By NR Staff • 

Grizzlies qualify nine for state

McMinnville wrestling went into the weekend with hopes of winning the Special District 3 tournament. That didn’t happen, but the Grizzlies did qualify nine wrestlers for the 6A state championships.

“We had a good tournament,” Keinonen said. “We just couldn’t match their numbers.

“(Still) I’ll take our nine guys over Sprague’s nine and McNary’s eight any day, though.”

Sprague won the tournament, scoring 310 points. McNary was second, and McMinnville scored 263.5 team points.

The Grizzlies had three champions. Senior Jered Sublet, who was Mac’s highest finisher at state last year at third place, won the 132-pound bracket. J.T. Barnes won his bracket at 152 pounds, and Tiger Paasch won at 170. Bryce Branson was second at 120 pounds.

Bobby Crowston was third at 138 pounds, and Solomon Souza was third at 120. Aspen Nelson (106), Manny Humlie (126) and Chris Cerda (195) each finished fourth to qualify for the state tournament.

The Grizzlies now have two weeks to prepare for the state championships, held Feb. 22-23 at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

“I’m super proud of our whole team this year and really look forward to next week to finish strong,” Keinonen said. “Hopefully we will be at our best when it matters most.”

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