Eagle Point soars to Rogue Valley Championships win
As he was about to start the second period of his championship match Saturday, Eagle Point senior Dylan Dahling looked back over his shoulder to where his coach was sitting for any last instructions.
Dahling heard three simple words from Kacey McNulty.
“Need the pin.”
It didn’t take long for Dahling, wrestling at 132 pounds, to get that oh-so-desired pin in his matchup against Grants Pass’ Christian Dara. And as it turned out, Dahling was one of six Eagle Point wrestlers to take first place at the Rogue Valley Championships at North Medford High on Saturday afternoon.
“In my eyes, we needed the team points, so I took the fall over the tech fall,” Dahling said. “Nothing really changed for me. It was just like, ‘Go out there and win the match.’”
Eagle Point, ranked eighth in the midseason Class 5A coaches poll, needed every bit of those points that Dahling and the rest of his teammates were able to accumulate in the championship finals, with the Eagles edging North Medford by 2 1/2 points to win the team title, 219 to 216.5.
South Medford finished third, with Redmond fourth and Grants Pass fifth.
“It was a good day and some of our younger kids performed really well,” McNulty said of his squad. “We had some freshmen in the finals against their teammates, so that’s good to see the younger kids performing. The older kids, there’s some pretty big discrepancies in some of those matches.”
Those older kids certainly put in quite the shift Saturday.
Eagle Point — which held a slim lead over North in the team standings entering the championship finals — got wins from Luke Callahan (120), Dahling (132) and David Brown (145) in the first seven finals matchups.
Callahan, like Dahling, won via pin in just 1 minute, 6 seconds over Redmond’s Mason Thynes, while Brown won on an 8-2 decision over Grants Pass’ Cole Carnes.
Dahling followed Callahan’s victory with his own win by fall in 2:41 after taking a quick 4-1 lead over Dara on a smooth takedown and then building his lead to 12-2 with a near fall. At the 2:41 mark, Dahling got the fall that he was gunning for.
“Stick to what I do best and try to get the fall and the win,” Dahling said of his mindset entering the championship final. “I started out nervous as with most matches, but after the first takedown it all just set into place.”
Added McNulty: “Dylan wrestled really well. In fact, his fireman’s carries were so slick that he was bouncing the kid’s head off the mat and it didn’t work out too well because it was too good. He had nice, explosive fireman’s carries with good timing on them. He looked good.”
Callahan, Dahling, Brown, Juan Ruiz (170), Jimmie Copeland (182) and Marc Milazzo (195) — the latter three also getting wins in their respective weight classes — are all part of a senior group that McNulty felt like set a quality tone Saturday and for the team as a whole this season.
“All those seniors, they definitely are our team leaders,” McNulty said.
“It was a pretty good day for us,” added Dahling. “We’ve got more to see in districts and in state. We’re going to be taking a bunch of people to state this year, so I’m looking forward to seeing a bunch of people on the podium at state, as well as myself.”
North Medford had three individual champions: Joseph Borraggine (106), Noah Allen (138) and Atreaue Roe (160).
Borraggine was one of the more impressive Black Tornado wrestlers on the day, according to North head coach Tony Champion. Just a freshman, Borraggine swept through the 106-pound bracket with four pins to remain undefeated on the season.
“He’s 9-0 now with nine pins,” Champion said of Borraggine, who joined the team late due to an arm injury. “He’s really figuring it out.”
“Obviously he’s a good wrestler, but I didn’t realize how good he was until a couple of weeks ago,” continued Champion. “He wrestled six kids and pinned every kid in all six of those duals (at the Oregon Classic). He’s kind of put himself on the map from out of nowhere. I think he’s going to do a lot in the regional tournament and be a surprise at the state tournament.”
Allen, a wrestler who Champion feels like can get to the podium at state, also won all of his matches by fall, with a win in 3:10 over Eagle Point’s Kenai Copeland in the championship. Roe pinned North teammate Robert Doshier in 2:47.
“Noah had a great tournament,” Champion said. “He’s kind of turned a corner this year. He’s coming into practice, working hard and is focused. Those seniors are coming in and showing their leadership skills.”
South Medford had a trio of first-place finishers in Cameron Johnson (113), Brayden Ostvik (126) and Li Moala (220), all of which came by fall.
In a limited girls bracket, Sienna Caruso of Crater finished in first ahead of North Medford’s Sadie Hall at 105-110 pounds. North’s Isabella Jaime won at 130 and Black Tornado teammate Isabella Prinslow took the 145-pound division. Grants Pass’ Morgan Edwards placed first at 140 pounds, while Eagle Point’s Sage Teixeira took top honors in the 170-190 weight class.
Estella Gutches, competing in the boys bracket, placed third at 120 for North Medford.
TEAM SCORES: Eagle Point 219, North Medford 216.5, South Medford 141, Redmond 134, Grants Pass 105, Willamette 84, Crater 62.
106 — Joseph Borraggine, NM, pinned Kristian Hernandez, SM, 3:55; 113 — Cameron Johnson, SM, pinned, Adam Mattern, NM, 1:35; 120 — Luke Callahan, EP, pinned Mason Thynes, R, 1:06; 126 — Brayden Ostvik, SM, pinned Connor Maukonen, SM, 1:40; 132 — Dylan Dahling, EP, pinned Christian Dara, GP, 2:41.
138 — Noah Allen, NM, pinned Kenai Copeland, EP, 3:10; 145 — David Brown, EP, dec. Cole Carnes, GP, 8-2; 152 — Logan Mcallister, W, dec. Jace Garibay, NM, 5-2; 160 — Atreaue Roe, NM, pinned Robert Doshier, NM, 2:47.
170 — Juan Ruiz, EP, dec. Brian Brown 4-3; 182 — Jimmie Copeland, EP, pinned Deandre McDonald, R, 3:38; 195 — Marc Milazzo, EP, pinned Brian Cortez, EP, 2:38; 220 — Li Moala, SM, pinned Kael Brown, NM, :27; 285 — Alexander Willoughby, W, pinned Garrett Matthews, EP, :24.
106 — Garret Breeden, C, pinned Logan Bercume, W, 1:35; 113 — Brody Jensen, C, pinned Cohen Mills, R, 1:52; 120 — Estella Gutches, NM, pinned Ethan Flynn, NM, 5:00; 126 — Luke Patterson, EP, pinned Ethan Powell, R, 1:37; 132 — Evan Reyes, NM,. pinned Brandon Osmon, R, :36.
138 — Mason Fisher, GP, pinned Kellen Tanner, R, 4:35; 145 — Wyatt Bigelow, R, pinned Wyatt Elizondo, EP, 1:06; 152 — Isaack Valdez, SM, pinned Carson Alvarez, SM, 1:04; 160 — Jared Flores, GP, pinned Rhylee Britton, EP, :51.
170 — Orinn Hubbard, R, dec. Caleb Dalke, SM, 9-7 SV; 182 — Conner McDougall, NM, dec. Vincent Noble, EP, 7-4; 195 — Alex Alvarenga, NM, pinned Justin Vinyard, GP, 4:35; 220 — Reagan Gowen, C, pinned Kolten Ketchem, R, 1:45; 285 — Kaleb Davis, GP, dec. Joel Montes, EP, 4-0.
Reach reporter Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.