By Robert Husseman • Sports Editor • 

Nelson, Barnes brothers district champs

J.T. Barnes won his second consecutive Class 6A Special District 3 championship, and Aspen Nelson and Brian Barnes each won district titles for the Grizzlies Saturday at McNary High School in Keizer.

The Grizzlies finished fourth as a team, with rival Newberg winning the district title with 334 points. Sprague took second place with 289.5 points, followed by McNary (235 points), McMinnville (212), Tualatin (187.5), Tigard (172.5), North Salem (165.5), South Salem (112), West Salem (102) and McKay (99).

J.T. Barnes went 4-0 in the 152-pound weight class, winning each of his matches by fall. He submitted his weight class final opponent, Cameron Harris of West Salem, in 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

Barnes’ younger brother Brian, a freshman competing in his first district meet, also went 4-0. Brian Barnes won his first three matches by fall and defeated Alvarro Venegas of McNary in a 2-0 decision for the weight class title.

“I don’t believe Brian was scored on all weekend unless he let his opponent go so he could take him down again,” Grizzlies coach Shawn Keinonen wrote in an email.

Aspen Nelson, competing for the Grizzlies at 106 pounds, went 4-0 and won his final three matches by major decision, the last over Tanner Stones of South Salem to be crowned district champion.

Sophomore Bobby Crowston narrowly missed in the 138-pound weight class, as Tualatin’s Blake Reser defeated him in a 3-2 decision in the event final to send Crowston to second place. Manny Humlie fell in the 132-pound final to Raul Villarreal of

South Salem to finish second as well.

Alex Kiess (152 pounds) and Steven Weant (113 pounds) finished third in their respective weight classes and qualified for the Class 6A state championships. Alavaro Flores took fourth place at 106 pounds, and Josh Blanchard was fifth at 160 pounds for the Grizzlies.

“I wish we could have gotten two or three more guys through but the eight we have going to state are tough dudes who should score some points,” Keinonen wrote.

The Class 6A state wrestling championships will take place Feb. 28-March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

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