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In a large, competitive tournament down at Grants Pass on Friday and Saturday, the Philomath High School wrestling team placed seventh among a 29-team varsity field that included eight schools from California.

The Warriors were just two points out of a top-five showing at the tournament. Grants Pass won with 188 points in holding off Crater (155), Illinois Valley (139) and Mazama (112). Dayton placed fifth (90) and Henley was sixth (89.5) just ahead of the Warriors (88). Rainier (86), Del Norte, California (85.5) and Siuslaw (82).

Senior Blake Niemann had Philomath’s top individual performance by reaching the championship match at 126 pounds. Niemann beat his first three opponents leading up to the weight division’s finale on pins of 56 seconds, 3:31 and 5:14. In the 126 finale, Ashland’s Lindson Turner edged Niemann on a 7-5 sudden victory decision.

Junior Ben Hernandez won four of five matches and placed third overall. Hernandez beat his first two opponents — one on a pin and the other on a 9-4 decision. Henley’s Dylan Clark pulled out a 14-9 decision over Hernandez to send him into the consolation bracket. Henderson responded with a first-period pin over an opponent from Fortuna, California. In the third-place match, Hernandez needed extra time to defeat Crater’s Elijah Baynes with a sudden victory decision, 8-6.

Junior Chase Ringwald placed fourth at 126 with a 4-2 record. Ringwald easily pinned his first opponent before losing on a tough 3-0 decision to Ashland’s Turner — the eventual champion. Ringwald came back to win three straight on a 7-1 decision, pin in 4:35 and 4-1 decision to get into the third-place match. But in that one, Crater’s Ryan McCarty had the upper hand with a 14-0 major decision.

Junior Caleb Blackburn also had a 4-2 record and fourth-place finish with his performance at 132. After pinning his first opponent, Blackburn lost on a pin to drop into the consolation bracket. There, he won three straight with a pin, win by injury default and an 8-2 decision. Mazama’s Treyce Horton defeated Blackburn on a pin in the medal-round match.

Freshman River Sandstrom placed fourth at 106. Falling in his first bout, Sandstrom regrouped for a 10-2 major decision over an opponent from the host school. That put him in the third-place match against Rainier’s Hunter Hendricks where he lost by pin.

Other wrestlers winning matches but not placing were Gradin Fairbanks at 138 (2-2) and Joseph Choi at heavyweight (1-2).

Neither senior Blaise Pindell nor junior David Griffith competed in the meet. Overall, Philomath’s varsity boys went 19-18 in individual matches.

The Warriors’ next action is scheduled for Wednesday at home in the Benton County Championships. Coming to Philomath for the meet will be Corvallis, Crescent Valley, Santiam Christian, Monroe and Alsea. The tournament is slated for a 1 p.m. start.

In the girls’ tournament, Philomath had two wrestlers competing with sophomore Ellie Morton placing second in the 100 division with a win over a Siuslaw opponent on a pin in 4:19. Vanessa King of Hoopa Valley (California) defeated Morton on a pin and took first in the weight division.

The next meet on the schedule for the girls is Jan. 8 at the King of the Hill at Pleasant Hill.

Grants Pass Winter Kickoff
Friday, Dec. 17-Saturday, Dec. 18, at Grants Pass HS


Team Scoring
1, Grants Pass 188; 2, Crater 155; 3, Illinois Valley 139; 4, Mazama 112; 5, Dayton 90; 6, Henley 89.5; 7, Philomath 88; 8, Rainier 86; 9, Del Norte (Calif.) 85.5; 10, Siuslaw 82; 11, Eagle Point 75.5; 12, North Medford 64; 13, Ashland 62; 14, Phoenix 60; 15, South Medford 54; 16, Willamette 44; 17, Fortuna (Calif.) 42; 17, North Bend 42; 17, North Valley 17; 20, Hidden Valley 36; 21, Lowell 31; 22, Arcata (Calif.) 30.5; 23, Modoc (Calif.) 29; 24, Etna Union (Calif.) 23; 25, Cascade Christian 22; 26, Rogue River 13; 27, Eureka (Calif.) 12; 28, Hoopa Valley (Calif.) 7; 29, St. Bernard (Calif.) 4.

PHS Results

106: River Sandstrom (1-2, 4th place)

Harley Hardison, LowellL-Pin1:26
Nathan Higa, Grants PassW-MD10-2
Hunter Hendricks, Rainier L-Pin1:24

120: Ben Hernandez (4-1, 3rd place)

Andrew Aflague, Del Norte (Calif.)W-Pin3:14
Ebyn Lindsey, South MedfordW-Dec9-4
Dylan Clark, HenleyL-Dec14-9
Mason Evanow, Fortuna (Calif.)W-Pin1:59
Elijah Bayne, Crater W-SV8-6 (SV-1)

126: Blake Niemann (3-1, 2nd place)

Blake Robbins, RainierW-Pin0:56
Riley Ore, HenleyW-Pin3:31
Ryan McCarty, CraterW-Pin5:14
Lindson Turner, Ashland L-SV7-5 (SV-1)

126: Chase Ringwald (4-2, 4th place)

Talen Shaffer, Illinois ValleyW-Pin0:35
Lindson Turner, AshlandL-Dec3-0
Robert Howes, Eagle Point W-Dec7-1
Riley Ore, HenleyW-Pin4:35
Colton Downey, Etna Union (Calif.)W-Dec4-1
Ryan McCarty, CraterL-MD14-0

132: Caleb Blackburn (4-2, 4th place)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Jeromy Gardiner, CraterW-Pin1:36
Treyce Horton, MazamaL-Pin4:55
Wesley Clark, AshlandW-Pin0:56
Evan Reyes, North MedfordW-InjForfeit
Christian Dara, Grants PassW-Dec8-2
Treyce Horton, MazamaL-Pin2:33

138: Gradin Fairbanks (2-2)

Ty Havniear, CraterL-Pin1:23
Troy Lewis, Modoc (Calif.)W-Pin2:50
Steven Justice, Etna Union (Calif.)W-Pin1:38
Christian Roberts, RainierL-Pin1:24

145: Ty Olsen (0-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Kaiden Abell, DaytonL-Pin2:58
Daniel Strain, Modoc (Calif.)L-Pin3:46

170: Jared Gerding (0-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Ryan Johnston, Grants PassL-Pin1:44
Dylan Phipps, DaytonL-Pin3:26

220: Jacob Hamlet (0-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Joseph Baynard, PhoenixL-Pin2:21
Marc Milazzo, Eagle PointL-Pin0:42

285: Joseph Choi (1-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
John Bailey, Eureka (Calif.)W-Pin1:30
Isaac Pena, ManzamaL-InjForfeit
Sherman Barney, EurekaL-InjForfeit


Team Scoring
1, North Medford 102; 2, Del Norte (Calif.) 80; 3, Crater 65; 4, Fortuna (Calif.) 62; 4, Siuslaw 62; 6, North Bend 53; 7, Henley 44; 8, Hidden Valley 42; 9, Eagle Point 26; 10, Rogue River 25; 11, Illinois Valley 24; 12, Hoopa Valley (Calif.) 22; 13, Douglas 19.5; 14, Lowell 18; 15, Arcata (Calif.) 16; 15, North Valley 16; 17, Dayton 14; 18, Grants Pass 13; 18, St. Bernard (Calif.) 13; 20, Philomath 12; 21, Willamette 8; 22, Modoc (Calif.) 6; 23, Rainier 4; 24, Ashland 0; 24, South Medford 0.

PHS Results

100: Ellie Morton (1-1, 2nd place)

Vanessa King, Hoopa Valley (Calif.)L-Pin3:41
Chris Hoover, SiuslawW-Pin4:19

105: Taylor Mussati (0-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Grace Murray, Modoc (Calif.)L-Pin2:32
Emma Poe, HenleyL-Pin1:29


Team Scoring
1, Del Norte (Calif.) 250; 2, Fortuna (Calif.) 217; 3, North Medford 153; 4, Grants Pass 150; 5, Eagle Point 136; 6, Klamath Union 123; 7, Eureka (Calif.) 118; 8, Siuslaw 107; 9, Philomath 94; 10, Lowell 76.5; 11, Mazama 72; 11, McKinleyville (Calif.) 72; 13, Crater 67; 14, South Medford 63; 15, Dayton 54; 16, North Bend 52; 17, Modoc (Calif.) 48; 18, Willamette 45; 19, Camas Valley 44; 20, Hoopa Valley (Calif.) 41; 21, Arcata (Calif.) 27; 22, Rogue River 20; 23, North Valley 15; 24, Cascade Christian 13; 25, Illinois Valley 11; 26, Henley 10; 27, Ashland 6; 27, St. Bernard (Calif.) 6; 29, Phoenix 4; 30, Etna Union (Calif.) 0; 30, Hidden Valley 0.

PHS Results

106: Cameron McConnell (2-3, 6th place)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Parker Supenia, MazamaW-Pin1:37
Levi Stewart, LowellW-Pin0:31
Austin Butcher, Fortuna (Calif.)L-Pin2:42
Noah Duncan, Camas ValleyL-Dec5-4
Logan Bercume, WillametteL-Pin1:37

126: Walker Westbrook (2-1, 2nd place)

Owen Gutches, North MedfordW-Pin5:59
Brandon Hildegeist, McKinleyville (Calif.)W-Pin3:12
Jacob August, Fortuna (Calif.)L-MD10-0

126: Vincent DeMasi (1-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Elijah Galvez, Eureka (Calif.)L-Pin4:00
Hayden Calderon, Illinois ValleyW-Pin2:49
Owen Gutches, North MedfordL-MD13-0

132: Colton Faust (3-3, 6th place)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Braden Davis, MazamaW-Pin3:53
Lewis Crumwell, Modoc (Calif.)L-Pin2:50
Yusuf Yildrim, McKinleyville (Calif.)W-Pin1:39
Jacob Stockman, Rogue RiverW-Dec7-6
Paul Walker, Eureka (Calif.)L-Pin2:14
Hunter Hatten, Fortuna (Calif.)L-Pin0:43

138: Lucas Bourguois (4-2, 4th place)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Segep Bates, Del Norte (Calif.)W-Pin1:19
Lane Hill, Camas ValleyL-Pin1:22
Blake Naughton, Eureka (Cailf.)W-Pin1:41
Michael Colegroeve, Hoopa Valley (Calif.W-Pin4:45
Logan Mcdougall, North MedfordW-MD9-1
Lane Hill, Camas ValelyL-Pin1:30

152: Ryder Zitlau (1-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Cooper Fisher, CraterL-Pin2:00
Tyson Nishimura, Eagle PointW-Pin1:25
Kaden Miller, South MedfordL-Pin1:00

160: JJ Lewis (2-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Lucas Dickey, McKinleyville (Calif.)W-Pin3:50
Tim Sarnecky, North BendL-Pin1:08
Hayden Behl, Grants PassW-Pin0:47
Nikwec Bates, Del Norte (Calif.)L-Pin0:26

160: Jonathan Doig (2-2)

OPPONENT ResultTime/Pts
Braydon Johnson, Del Norte (Calif.)L-Pin1:23
Bryson Ipock, Eureka (Calif.)W-Pin1:28
Tanner Via-Root, Arcata (Calif.)W-Pin0:56
Nikwec Bates, Del Norte (Calif.)L-TF3:50 (18-2)

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