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Four Yamhill County wrestlers win state titles

Mar 2, 2014


By Robert Husseman
Of the News-Register



With a moment to reflect, J.T. Barnes wished that his high school wrestling career could have ended a little sooner.

"I should've pinned him," Barnes said.

Barnes was referring to Roseburg's David Harker, his opponent in the Class 6A 152-pound state finals. The McMinnville senior captured his first Oregon state championship with an 11-4 decision over Harker at the 2014 OSAA Wrestling State Championships Saturday evening at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

The Dayton Pirates walked away from Memorial Coliseum with a fourth-place trophy after accumulating 117.5 points. Glide was the Class 3A champion with 182.5 points, followed by Vale (167 points) and Rainier (151). Willamina finished seventh with 107 points; Sheridan was the 19th-place team (22 points) and Amity finished tied for 21st (eight points).

McMinnville finished 12th in the Class 6A portion of the tournament with 50 points, 222.5 behind state champion Roseburg.

Barnes, Dayton freshman Jared Henry and Willamina sophomore Michael Reyes each won their first individual state titles. Saturday. In a frenzy of third-period activity in the Class 3A 138-pound final, Henry escaped from the grasp of Glide's Devin Freeman at the very last second of the match to claim a 10-9 victory. 

Reyes didn't let his final opponent, Elijah Conlon of Riverside, contest him for six minutes in the Class 3A 120-pound final. A series of aggressive moves allowed Reyes to pin Conlon in 5 minutes, 48 seconds.

The Class 3A 132-pound final was an emotionally charged affair, with Sheridan's Justin Acuff, a two-time returning state champion, battling Willamina's Coty Brown -- also a returning state champion and one of Acuff's best friends. 

In the end, it was Brown who emerged victorious in the hard-fought match, taking down Acuff with 10 seconds remaining to seal an 8-5 victory.

"I'd rather it not be me (to defeat Justin)," Brown said afterward. "He's my best friend."

The Class 3A 145-pound championship was a rematch of the 2013 138-pound state final, when Dayton's Micah Cisneros defeated Glide's Walker Damewood for his first state title. On Saturday, it was Damewood who controlled the match as Cisneros absorbed a 7-0 loss.

Willamina senior Skyler Voigt, a defending champion and the No. 1 seed at 126 pounds, was pinned in overtime (6:18) by Riverside's Hans Rockwell in the Class 3A final at that weight. Bulldogs sophomore Austin Howard dropped a 13-10 decision to Glide's Garret Short in the Class 3A 160-pound final.

Freshman Brian Barnes -- J.T.'s younger brother -- gave McMinnville a boost in the standings with a third-place finish in the Class 3A 195-pound bracket. Barnes and Roseburg's Will Reddekopp went to overtime tied 1-1 and proceeded to last into the fourth overtime, neither wrestler gaining an edge but each losing strength. Barnes eventually performed a one-point escape to seal up a 2-1 victory.

Read more about the state wrestling tournament in Tuesday's News-Register

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