Crater wrestlers overwhelm SOC
KLAMATH FALLS -- Tony Overstake personified a Herculean performance by the Crater High wrestling team here Saturday.
Overstake won the toughest weight class at the Southern Oregon Conference district meet and the Comets steamrolled to the title in record-setting fashion.
The Comets claimed 10 individual titles -- the most in tournament history -- and racked up a whopping 512 points as the ran off with their seventh SOC championship in the past nine years.
Just as significantly, the Comets qualified 16 wrestlers for the Class 4A state tournament Feb. 26-28 at Portland's Memorial Coliseum.
Eagle Point came on strong Saturday to finish second with 252 points, while North Medford settled for third (244).
Ten district champions -- I don't think any team in Oregon has won that many, Crater coach Greg Haga said. There's only four weight classes we didn't win. That's kind of mindboggling.
Overstake won the 125-pound division, knocking aside highly-touted John Nelmes of Eagle Point and Juston Menteer of North Medford.
The threesome came into the tournament with a combined record of 93-3 and Nelmes hadn't lost a match. But Overstake drubbed the EP standout 6-1 in the semifinals Saturday morning and then downed Menteer 7-3 in the title match Saturday evening.
Overstake said a one-point loss to Menteer in the title match of the Rogue Valley Invitational in January might have been the best thing that ever happened to me.
I always thought I was one of the hardest workers on our team, but I realized then I had to work harder if I was going to be a district champion and state champion, he said. I brought my workouts up to another level. I ran longer and harder in the morning and I stayed after practice to work on my technique.
Overstake also altered his strategy against gung-ho grapplers such as Nelmes and Menteer. He eased up on his throttle and tried to not put himself in as much risk.
I have an aggressive style, but I was putting myself in bad positions and giving up easy points, Overstake said. I had to wrestle smarter, basically.
Against Nelmes, Overstake scored a takedown and near fall in the first period to build a 4-0 lead.
Against Menteer, he built a 7-3 lead through two periods then rode him out the entire third period.
Everyone knows those are three of the best 125-pounders in the state and everything could change at the state meet, Haga said. But Overstake made a statement here. He probably wrestled better than anyone in this tournament.
Other Comets collecting district crowns were Andy Oman (103 pounds), Morgan Hawkins (112), Sean Mullen (119), Jayson Stratton (130), Justin Godley (135), Matt Lee (152), Mike Lee (160), Erza Morse (171) and Cameron Fjarli (215).
Morse, the No. — seed in his weight class, trailed Jeremy Delack of Grants Pass 3-1 with less than a minute remaining in the final. But Morse muscled his way to a takedown, clamped on a near fall and then pinned Delack with just 20 seconds left in the bout.
I'm not sure what I did, Morse said. Everything happened fast at the end.
Nick Lennert won an individual title for North Medford. The senior 145-pounder, who pinned his first three opponents, beat Klamath Union freshman David Trujillo 10-3 in the finals.
Lennert didn't allow an offensive point to be scored on him in the tournament.
I just missed going to state last year, so this is a dream come through for me, Lennert said. I've been wrestling a long time and it's nice to finally get a big reward for all the work I've put in.
Other individual titles went to Jeremy Conner (140) and Jake Leair (189) of Grants Pass and to Eagle Point heavyweight Robbie Fletes.
Fletes had an outstanding tournament as he pinned all four of his foes, including Crater's Burk Thomas in the finals.
I came out more aggressive than I've been, Fletes said. I really don't like to shoot much but I know I'm not going to be able to throw everybody at state. So at this tournament I started to use some ankle picks and stuff like that.
SOC district wrestling
KLAMATH FALLS -- Final team scores and results from placing matches at the Southern Oregon Conference district wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Mazama High School. The top three finishers in each classification qualify for the Class 4A state wrestling tournament.
TEAM SCORES -- 1, Crater 512; 2, Eagle Point 252; 3, North Medford 244; 4, Grants Pass 219; 5, Klamath Union 148; 6, Mazama 110; 7, Roseburg 94; 8, South Medford 42; 9, Ashland 40.
SEMIFINALS -- Andy Oman, C, dec. Grant Cannon, GP, 9-5; Joel Dunn, C, dec. Josh Tarolli, NM, 12-10.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Oman, C, dec. Dunn, C, 4-3.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Lowell, M, dec. Tarolli, NM, 5-2.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Cannon, GP, dec. Jason Kruggel, SM, 10-6.
SEMIFINALS -- Morgan Hawkins, C, dec. Lionel Leon, NM, 7-0; Chad Griffin, C, dec. Todd Knutson, KU, OT.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Hawkins, C, dec. Griffin, C, 3-0.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Leon, NM, def. Knutson, KU, ns.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Mark Pyle, R, pinned Colin Duncan, KU, 1:56.
SEMIFINALS -- Sean Mullen, C, pinned Travis Jermain, EP, 1:58; B.J. McFall, EP, dec. Chris Dunham, GP, 6-4, OT.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Mullen, C, dec. McFall, EP, 9-3.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Dunham, GP, def. Jermain, EP, ns.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Adam Nielson, KU, dec. Joey Morgan, C, 1-0
SEMIFINALS -- Juston Menteer, NM, pinned Mike Lopez, EP, 1:55; Tony Overstake, C, dec. John Nelmes, EP, 6-1.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Overstake, C, dec. Menteer, NM, 7-3.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Nelmes, EP, pinned Lopez, EP, 2:30.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Durbin, C, dec. Jeremy McLean, GP, 12-3
SEMIFINALS -- Jayson Stratton, C, dec. Loyal Neuman, KU, 11-4; Ryan Bray, EP, dec. T.J. Winningham, NM, 8-6, OT.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Stratton, C, dec. Bray, EP, 10-6.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Winningham, NM, pinned Neuman, KU, 2:12.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Chris Hill, GP, def. Levi Fuller, GP, ns.
SEMIFINALS -- Nick Robertson, C, pinned Vic Haudenschild, M, 2:29; Justin Godley, C, dec. Brandon Currey, NM, 7-4.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Godley, C, dec. Robertson, C, 13-3.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Matt Bray, EP, dec. Haudenshild, 5-3, OT.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Currey, NM, def. Ty Richardson, A, ns
SEMIFINALS -- Jeremy Conner, GP, pinned Lance Kailiuli, R, 1:51; Mike Gamble, NM, dec. Dustin Forrest, R, 8-6.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Conner, GP, dec. Gamble, NM, 11-5.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Forrest, R, dec. Joe Green, C, 9-3.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Kailiuli, R, def. Jason Ore, M, ns
SEMIFINALS -- Nick Lennert, NM, dec. Shane Webster, C, ns; David Trujillo, KU, dec. Nathan Reed, C, 2-0, OT.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Lennert, NM, dec. Trujillo, KU, 16-3.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Evan Pogue, EP, dec. Webster, C, 4-0.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Reed, C, dec. Corey Sweet, NM, 7-5
SEMIFINALS -- Matt Lee, C, dec. Pat Dee, M, 14-4; Dan King, KU, dec. Todd Wangsgard, GP, 3-2.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Lee, C, pinned King, KU, 2:24.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Dee, M, dec. Wangsgard, GP, 7-6.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Jesse Hepner, EP, dec. Jason Curtright, NM, 7-4.
SEMIFINALS -- Mike Lee, C, dec. Joe Young, 13-4; George Wheeler, NM, dec. Bret Thomas, EP, 4-2.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Lee, C, dec. Wheeler, NM, 18-5.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Tanner Hillyer, C, dec. Thomas, EP, 10-4.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Young, M, pinned Blaine Grace, A, 4:50.
SEMIFINALS -- Erza Morse, C, dec. Paul Mann, KU, 5-0; Jeremy Delack, GP, injury default Henry Delaney, C.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Morse, C, pinned Delack, GP, 5:20.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Ken Holmes, M, dec. Mann, KU, 1-0.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Jason Welch, EP, injury default Delaney, C.
SEMIFINALS -- Jake Leair, GP, def. Josh Hollinger, EP, ns; Mike Whitehead, C, pinned Ben Ross, A, 4:40.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Leair, GP, dec. Whitehead, C, 10-5.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Ross, A, dec. Hollinger, EP, 3-1.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Justin Klatt, GP, def. Anders Vetch, C, ns.
SEMIFINALS -- Cameron Fjarli, C, dec. Josh Hartley, NM, 4-2; Rick Trujillo, KU, dec. Scott Toney, C, 5-3.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Fjarli, C, pinned Trujillo, KU, :46.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Hartley, NM, dec. Toney, C, 3-2.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Travis Winter, GP, def. Blake Cam, EP, ns.
SEMIFINALS -- Robbie Fletes, EP, def. Wes Dearborn, KU, ns; Burk Thomas, C, dec. Carlos Alvarez, EP, 12-1.
CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH -- Fletes, EP, pinned Thomas, C, 1:32.
THIRD-FOURTH PLACE -- Jason bee, KU, dec. Brian Backstrom, NM, 7-6.
FIFTH-SIXTH PLACE -- Alvarez, EP, dec. Dearborn, KU, 4-3.