Pirates win their seventh straight crown
Longtime coach Harry Mondale receives honor
LAKEVIEW - Phoenix High wrestling coach Harry Mondale can be two feet from the mats or 200 miles, and it doesn't seem to matter.
Mondale's Pirates captured the Skyline Conference tournament championship Saturday at Lakeview High and the 33-year Phoenix mentor was named district coach of the year.
But Mondale wasn't on hand to congregate, dictate or celebrate; he was 180 miles away at his home in Phoenix after being hospitalized last week with a blood clot in his leg and an aneurysm near his heart.
"It was strange not having Harry here today but he had us prepared just the same," said George Pearce, a 140-pound senior who took home one of six individual titles for the Pirates. "Now we're going to Portland and see if we can't win him another state championship."
Mondale, 73, is also expected to miss the Class 3A state tournament, which kicks off Thursday at Memorial Coliseum in Portland, while he recovers from his ailment.
The Pirates are the defending state champions.
"Harry was here in spirit and we wrestled the way he taught us," said Brian Murphy, who collected the 171-pound title for the Pirates. "I'm glad we can bring him another district championship."
Phoenix piled up 372 points to garner its seventh straight Skyline crown and its 20th in the past 22 years under Mondale. Mazama was a distant second with 216.5 points, followed by Illinois Valley (141.5), North Valley (119.5), Rogue River (109), Henley (106), Hidden Valley (84) and Lakeview (73).
Along with Pearce and Murphy, other Pirates to claim individual titles were Anthony Broskey (103), Chris Vote (130), Ryan Staten (145) and Nick Acord (160).
All told, Phoenix qualified 17 competitors to the state tournament, and yet things didn't go as smoothly as hoped.
In fact, the Pirates took some direct hits over their bow during Saturday morning's semifinal round when seven of their 18 entrants lost, including No. — seeds Jesse Mitchell (112) and Ben Workman (125) and No. 2 seeds Jack King (152) and Justin Gray (215).
But those four all battled through the consolation rounds and still punched their tickets to state, as did two other semifinal casualties - Davy May (103) and Jon Rowden (140).
The top three competitors in each weight division qualify for state.
"I've been coaching at Phoenix for 20-plus years and I've seen us limp through a round like that," Pirates assistant coach Joe Hagler lamented. "It would be one thing if teams were pounding on us, but they weren't. We just made a bunch of silly mistakes and didn't wrestle very well."
A case in point was Mitchell, a sophomore who opened up a 16-6 lead over Henley's Justin Cantrell only to get pinned with 57 seconds remaining in their 112-pound semifinal bout.
Mitchell spent the next 10 minutes vomiting and seemed destined for a quick exit from the tournament. But to his credit he fought back and won his final two matches, pinning Henley's Chris Deese in the do-or-die third-place match.
"I made a couple of huge mistakes in the semifinals," Mitchell said. "I'm getting to state the hard way, but that's OK because last year I didn't get there at all.
"Hopefully, I can learn from this."
In one of the most exciting battles of the day, Pearce eked out a 6-5 victory over Illinois Valley's Matt Britt in their 140-pound title match. Pearce took a 5-2 lead into the third period only to watch Britt fight back into a 5-5 tie. But seconds after Britt registered the tying takedown, Pearce wiggled free for a match-winning escape.
"I knew this would be a tough match because he (Britt) has some great shots," Pearce said. "I had to protect my legs."
Acord won his second district title in as many years but nearly passed out doing so. Midway through his 160-pound title match against teammate Paul Stierle, the two slammed heads. Acord wobbled across the mat like a punch-drunk boxer and then crumpled to the floor.
As officials and trainers rushed to his aid, Acord got to his feet but still appeared woozy.
He was allowed to continue and somehow managed a 6-2 victory.
"They (the officials) were trying to make me quit but I wouldn't let them," said Acord, who was still seeing stars for several minutes after his match. "I'm a senior and there's no way I'm coming off that mat."
Vote, meanwhile, pinned Mazama's Tyler Conner in the 130-pound title match while the 145-pound Staten picked up a forfeit win over Phoenix freshman Rick Farrell, who was slightly injured during a 7-6 semifinal win over North Valley's Josh Cutino.
Mazama's Matt Steeples gave Murphy a tough go before the Phoenix wrestler emerged with a 5-4 victory.
Skyline Conference Results TEAM SCORES -- Phoenix 372, Mazama 216.5, Illinois Valley 141.5, North Valley 119.5, Rogue River 109, Henley 106, Hidden Valley 84, Lakeview 73.
103 -- Jon Zimmerman, HV, d. Derek Patterson, Hen, 12-6; Anthony Broskey, Pho, pinned Matt Berubee, IV, 1:33.
112 -- Justin Cantrell, Pho, pinned Jesse Mitchell, Pho, 5:03; Jason Boatright, Maz, pinned Chris Deese, Hen, 3:47.
119 -- Kevin Cowley, Pho, pinned John Herzog, RR, 1:58; Dustin Power, Maz, pinned Travis Brollier, Hen, 3:03.
125 -- Lyman Mason, Lak, d. Ben Workman, Pho, 13-9; Keith Pedrick, HV, won by inj. default over Jeremiah Leman, NV.
130 -- Chris Vote, Pho, pinned Chance Clause, Lak, 2:10; Tyler Conner, Maz, d. Greg Morrison, Lak, 9-1.
135 -- Brad Jones, IV, d. Mike Manring, Pho, 11-0; Phil Gibson, Pho, d. Tyler Hendrick, Hen, 11-4.
140 -- George Pearce, Pho, pinned Caleb Renno, IV, 1:16; Matt Britt, IV, d. Billy Scott, Maz, 20-3.
145 -- Ryan Staten, Pho, pinned Natty Krauss, IV, 1:55; Rick Farrell, Pho, dec. Josh Cutino, NV, 7-6.
152 -- Michael Pagnotta, IV, d. Greg O'Neal, Pho, 17-4; Gary Oliver, Hen, d. Jack King, Pho, 6-4 (OT).
160 -- Nick Acord, Pho, pinned Pedro Torrez-Perez, 2:45; Paul Stierle, Pho, pinned Justin Nelson, Maz, 3:45.
172 -- Brian Murphy, Pho, pinned Tom Janson, IV, 1:17; Matt Teeples, Maz, d. Steven Keen, NV, 17-7.
189 -- Brendon McLean, NV, pinned Matt Frederick, RR, 1:46; Greg Brown, Pho, d. Trey McLean, NV, 14-3.
215 -- Jon Pope, IV, pinned J.J. Nichols, Maz, :30; Brandon Rankin, NV, d. Justin Gray, Pho.
275 -- Skyler Massey, Maz, pinned Travis Wheeler, NV, :46; Chris Strand, IV, d. Brian Peterson, Maz, 5-1.
103 -- Broskey, Pho, d. Zimmerman, HV, 5-3; 112 -- Cantrell, Hen, d. Boatwright, Maz, 20-5; 119 -- Power, Maz, d. Cowley, Pho, 7-4; 125 -- Pedrick, HV, d. Mason, Lak, 11-2; 130 -- Vote, Pho, pinned Conner, Maz, 5:58.
135 -- Jones, IV, d. Gibson, Pho, 8-6; 140 -- Pearce, Pho, d. Britt, IV, 6-5; 145 -- Staten, Pho, won by forfeit over Farrell, Pho; 152 -- Pagnotta, IV, pinned Oliver, Hen, 1:24; 160 -- Acord, Pho, d. Stierle, Pho, 6-2.
171 -- Murphy, Pho, d. Teeples, Maz, 5-4; 189 -- McLean, NV, d. Brown, Pho, 7-4; 215 -- Pope, IV, pinned Rankin, NV, :51; 275 -- Straud, IV, d. Massey, Maz, 3-2 (2 OT).
103 - Davy May, Pho, d. Berubee, IV, 12-7; 112 - Mitchell, Pho, pinned Deese, Hen, 1:30; 119 - Brollier, Hen, pinned Herzog, RR, 1:45; 125 - Workman, Pho, d. Jaysen White, HV, 18-5; 130 - Jeremy Marhenke, IV, d. Nick Coulter, RR, 6-1.
135 - Andrew Grajalez, RR, d. Hendrick, Hen, 17-5; 140 - Jon Rowden, Pho, d. Scott, Maz, 13-11; 145 - Cutino, NV, d. Krauss, IV, 10-9; 152 - King, Pho, d. O'Neal, Pho, 3-1; 160 - Torres-Perez, Lak, d. Nelson, Maz, 7-3.
171 - Keen, NV, d. Tyler Jackson, Pho, 17-4; 189 - Frederick, RR, d. T. McLean, NV, 8-6; 215 - Gray, Pho, d. Nichols, Maz, 6-5; 275 - Peterson, Maz, pinned Wheeler, NV, 5:03.
103 - Jimmy Linenburger, Maz, d. Stuart Fety, RR, 12-0; 112 - Ryan Musselman, HV, d. Brandon Dewitt, Lak.; 119 - Mike Gouette, Hen, d. Chris Pedrick, HV, 9-0; 125 - David White, RR, won by forfeit over Lewman, NV; 130 - Morrison, Lak, won by forfeit over Clause, Lak.
135 - Manring, Pho, d. Wes Daniels, Maz, 10-3; 140 - Caleb Renno, IV, fifth (no sixth); 145 - Tyler Fernlund, Lak, d. Eric Lentz, Maz, 4-2; 152 - Oley Crocker, IV, d. Paul Mitchell, Lak, 6-3; 160 - Ryan Reis, Maz, pinned Jay Evans, HV, 1:35.
171 - Janson, IV, d. Mark Dutton, HV, 12-11; 189 - Seth Morehouse, Maz, pinned Isaac Gansberg, Maz, 4:45; 215 - Dallas Hubble, Maz, d. Mike Hays, Hen, 18-5; 275 - Brandon Ducharme, RR, pinned Pat Noonan, Hen, 3:22.
Reach reporter Don Hunt at 776-4469, or e-mail