Alsea School hosted the 1A State Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 21 but it turns out that it wasn’t the first time Alsea hosted such an event. 

Back in 1982, Alsea High School invited Crane High School for a wrestling match, since these were the only 1A (then called “B”) schools in the state with wrestling programs. The Alsea wrestling coach reached out to the Crane wrestling coach, inviting their team to come to Alsea for a wrestling match. This was the first 1A wrestling match in the state. 

If that isn’t a big enough first, Marianne Lange and Rosie Fomai wrestled on Alsea High School’s inaugural wrestling team as the first female high school wrestlers in the state of Oregon. This came as a great surprise to the Crane wrestling team, who did not know they would be expected to wrestle female athletes, or weigh in next to them. Eventually everything was sorted out and the match took place. Crane took home the trophy.

Over the years, the 1A State Wrestling Tournament has grown as an entirely grassroots invitational for all 1A schools. This year, 17 teams were in attendance. If the current schedule for hosting is followed, Alsea will host this event again in 17 years.

(Sara Cash is the public information officer for the Alsea School District. She can be reached at

To clarify, the 1A state tournament that Alsea hosted is not sanctioned by the Oregon School Activities Association but organized each year as an exclusive event for 1A wrestlers. The OSAA-sanctioned 2A/1A state tournament is occurring this week in Portland.