When he was putting together his initial football staff at North Medford High, Mike Mitchell put a particularly different spin on his...
TRI CITY — Six Phoenix wrestlers earned trips to next week's state tournament at the Class 4A District 3 tournament at South Umpqua High Saturday.
However, one key Pirate won't be making the trip to compete.
Braden Vega, a junior who is ranked third in the state at 138 pounds, suffered an apparent concussion during a loss in the consolation round, said Phoenix coach John Farmer, and was taken to a hospital. He was later released, but his hopes of competing at state were dashed.
"It was hard for him, especially," said Farmer. "He's worked so hard."
Henley won the team title with 317.5 points and was followed by Klamath Union at 202.5 and Phoenix at 132.5.
The top four at each weight in the 12-team region advanced to state, which is next Friday and Saturday at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Phoenix got more than half of its 11 competitors through, led by Izzy Rubio, the Pirates' lone champion, at 160.
Rubio, a junior, defeated North Valley's Ryan Clarkin, 9-1, in the finals.
"Last year, he (Rubio) wasn't seeded at all," said Farmer. "This year, he lost in the district finals last week, then came back today. He had a great tournament. He stepped up and we're really looking forward to seeing him perform at state. He's been doing a good job all year, so it's good to see him get the reward he deserves."
The Pirates' Austyn Snow was runner-up at 126 pounds. The senior was pinned in the second round by Conner Noonan, a freshman from Henley.
Sophomore Knute Thompson placed third at 120, while fourth places were garnered by sophomore Richard Orndorff (113), junior Kyle Bradfield (145) and freshman Trace Vega (152).
Hidden Valley had three finalists, with Brad Hyatt taking the title at 195 pounds after a 3-2 decision over Klamath Union's Mitch Mirande. Mustang teammates AJ Munoz, at 132, and Chance Anderson, at 152, were runners-up.
Clarkin was North Valley's lone finalist.
TEAM SCORES — Henley 317.5, Klamath Union 202.5, Phoenix 132.5, Sutherlin 105, Hidden Valley 76, South Umpqua 65, Siuslaw 61, North Valley 58.5, Brookings-Harbor 57, Douglas 38, North Bend 32, Mazama 17.
3A DISTRICT 3 TOURNAMENT — At Coquille, five Illinois Valley wrestlers placed second to lead the Cougars to a fourth-place team finish at Coquille High School.
Glide won the tournament with 345 points. Rogue River was fifth and Cascade Christian sixth in the seven-team event.
Cascade Christian sophomore Jacob Hoppes, a 126-pounder, and junior Levi Clark (220) both came within a win of qualifying for the state tournament before losing their third-place matches. Cascade Christian junior Trace Walker placed fifth at 285, giving the Challengers three top-five finishes by wrestlers who are new to the sport.
Earning runner-up status for IV was Eric Miller (120), Brandon Parker (132), Logan Miller (145), TJ Hughey (160) and Julian Northrup (195).
Rogue River's Andrew Smith also is headed to state after losing to Michael Romine of Coquille in the 182-pound championship bout.
TEAM SCORES — Glide 345, Coquille 237, Lakeview 178, Illinois Valley 141.5, Rogue River 57, Cascade Christian 25, Creswell 21.
106 — Ethan Melton, Gli, pinned Ryan Benifiel, Gli, :49; 113 — Kody Courtright, Coq, dec. Marcus Allen, Coq, 5-4; 120 — Ian Quimby, Gli, pinned Eric Miller, IV, 2:43; 126 — Devin Freeman, Gli, pinned Conner Lysne, Lak, 3:49; 132 — Michael Loomis, Gli, dec. Brandon Parker, IV, 11-9.
138 — Walker Damewood, Gli, dec. Alex Holland, Gli, 9-1; 145 — Garrett Short, Gli, dec. Logan Miller, IV, 4-3; 152 — Jaked Forrester, Gli, pinned William Beard, Gli, 2:43; 160 — Luke O'Connor, Gli, dec. TJ Hughey, IV, 7-3.
170 — Sye Yates, Coq, dec. Mikel Farley, Gli, 6-3; 182 — Michael Romine, Coq, dec. Andrew Smith, RR, 8-2; 195 — Tony Frank, Lak, pinned. Julian Northrup, IV, 2:43; 220 — Austin Ross, Coq, dec. Jake Brewer, Coq, 16-10; 285 — Dylan Amerson, Lak, pined Daniel Martinez, Lak, 2:31.
106 — Zack Clark, IV, pinned Seth Lambson, Coq, 5:51; 113 — Bryson Belloir, Gli, pinned Manny Pementel, IV, 3:50; 120 — Mack Crandall, Lak, pinned Skyler Tidwell, Cre, 1:12; 126 — Jimmy Christensen, Gli, pinned Jacob Hoppes, CC, 3:09; 132 — Dylan Potter, Gli, pinned Steven Hedlund, Lak, 1:20.
138 — Tristan Dixon, Coq, pinned Tony Mungarro, Lak, 5:22; 145 — Chris Elmer, Coq, dec. Dakota Schelatzke, Gli, 10-4; 152 — Austin Flood, Coq, pinned Dalton Alexander, Lak, 3:29; 160 — Nathan Harlan, Lak, dec. Kiefer Hogge, RR, 11-8.
170 — John Britt, IV, pinned Brennan Moody, RR, 3:20; 182 — Andy Clemons, Coq, pinned Saul Bellaine, Lak, 5:00; 195 — Brey Syverson, Gli.; 220 — Eddie Murreita, Lak, dec. Levi Clark, CC, 8-4; 285 — Zach Latimer, Coq, pinned Nick Worley, IV, 1:30.
ALL-COMERS MEET — At Berkeley, Calif., several North Medford athletes competed unattached, led by Blake Spencer and Ray Schireman.
Spencer was third in the 800 meters in 1:55.72 and Schireman seventh in the 3,000 in 9:07.5.
In the 1,500, Caleb Diaz clocked 4:24.63 and Joey Rincon had a 4:28.38.
Sprinter Luke Fotualli was 18th in the 60.