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Tornado rules in Rogue Valley Invite

The North Medford wrestling team bested 12 schools Saturday to win its home tournament, the Rogue Valley Invitational.

North had six individual winners — Chase Mitchell (120 pounds), Cole Zoller (132), Ben Zeigler (138), Thomas Hamilton (152), Andres Ramirez (160), Julian Stone (220) — and accumulated 342.0 points to finish ahead of runner-up Eagle Point (231.5) and third-place South Medford (190.0).

“It’s good to see we got better. That’s always a good sign that we’re getting better,” North Medford coach Phillip Lopez said. “The effort was there. I’m excited. It’s a good start to get ready for the new year.”

South Medford had three champions, Kilian Cosgrove (126), Cole Schumack (170) and Jaxin Kinler-Gossman (182), while Eagle Point had two, Freddy Barajas (106) and Thomas Zomerdyk (113).

Fourth-place Grants Pass (187.5) and seventh-place Rogue River (94.0) each had one champion: Vincent Washington at 145 for Grants Pass and Gabe Echaide at 285 for Rogue River.

Outstanding wrestlers in the tournament for North Medford were, from the upper weights, Stone, and from the lower weights, Zoller.

In the championship match at 132, Zoller, a sophomore, won by decision, 9-3, over Hidden Valley senior Dan Backes, who is back after a season-ending injury last year derailed what could have been a state placer, Lopez said.

Backes is “a super tough kid,” Lopez said. “He’s a name that’s been in wrestling for a while and (Zoller) wrestled him really well.”

In a potential preview of the regional and perhaps state finals at 220 pounds, Stone, a junior, edged South Medford senior Michael Cormier, a returning state placer, 3-2.

Stone reversed Cormier with about six seconds remaining in the second overtime period to improve to 2-0 in head-to-head matchups between the two.

“It was fun because they were both going at it,” Lopez said. “They both stood toe-to-toe in the middle. They weren’t holding back.”

TEAM SCORES: North Medford 342.0, Eagle Point 231.5, South Medford 190.0, Grants Pass 187.5, Phoenix 113.0, Hidden Valley 100.0, Rogue River 94.0, North Valley 78.0, Gold Beach 76.5, Coquille 54.5, South Umpqua 38.0, Ashland 17.0, Illinois Valley 10.0.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

106 — Freddy Barajas, EP, dec. Trigger Weyers, EP, 15-3; 113 — Thomas Zomerdyk, EP, dec. Enrique Jaime, NM, 8-6; 120 — Chase Mitchell, NM, pinned Dylan Edwards, GB, 1:54; 126 — Kilian Cosgrove, SM, pinned Vicente Garcia, EP, 4:00; 132 Cole Zoller, NM, dec. Dane Backes, HV, 9-3.

138 — Benjamin Zeigler, NM, pinned Elliot Harris, GP, 1:49; 145 — Vincent Washington, GP, tech fall Tandy Martin, GB, 4:42, 18-2; 152 — Thomas Hamilton, NM, dec. Brayden Clayburn, Coq, 12-1; 160 — Andres Ramirez, NM, injury Jerry ‘JJ’ Watts, GP, 4:44; 170 — Cole Schumack, SM, pinned Justin Josephson, SM, 2:30.

182 — Jaxin Kinler-Gossman, SM, pinned Dane Johnson, Pho, 3:05; 195 — Joey Vigue, Coq, pinned Joshua Robbins, NM, 1:28; 220 — Julian Stone, NM, dec. Michael Cormier, SM, 3-2; 285 — Gabe Echaide, RR, pinned Nate Eli, SM, 1:33.

Eagle Point's Thomas Zomerdyk, left, and Noth Medford's Enrique Jaime go at in the championship match at 113 pounds. [LARRY STAUTH JR./FOR THE MAIL TRIBUNE]
North Medford's Cole Zoller, right, keeps hold of Hidden Valley's Dane Backes during the 132-pound title match at North Medford High. [LARRY STAUTH JR./FOR THE MAIL TRIBUNE]