Willamina wrestlers finish second in state, again
The Bulldogs scored 180 team points to easily outdistance third-place Riverside’s 120.5, but they were well behind state champion Glide’s 205.
“We’re going to have 10 placers for the second year in a row,” Willamina coach Ariah Fasana said just before the state finals matches Saturday. “At the start of the year I would have thought that was amazing. We’re happy with that. Obviously you want lots of champions, but I feel we did well.”
Skyler Voigt won his second state title for the Bulldogs, and Coty Brown rebounded from a loss in last year’s 106-pound finals to win Willamina’s other individual state championship this year. Dayton’s Micah Cisneros also came away with a state championship at 138 pounds, and Sheridan’s Justin Acuff successfully repeated as state champion at 132 pounds.
Voigt dominated his finals match at 120 pounds, beating Ian Quimby of Glide 12-4. It was Voigt’s second straight state championship after he won last year at 113 pounds.
Brown followed that up at 126 pounds with a pin in the first period vs. Nyssa’s Julio Mendez to win his first state title. Brown caught Mendez on his heels midway through the first period and slowly squeezed him out.
“It felt so good,” Brown said. “I didn’t know where I was at first, and when I realized he was on his back, I knew I couldn’t let it go.”
Perhaps the most shocking result of the tournament occurred in the 138-pound finals match in 3A. Cisneros matched up with No. 1-seeded Walker Damewood, who beat Cisneros 14-1 in last year’s state championship. This year, Cisneros held Damewood at bay and even pressed his advantage at times to win 4-2.
“Damewood is the best kid in 3A, hands down,” Dayton coach Rob Henry said. “Everybody would say he’s the best kid in 3A. That’s the upset of the tournament right there. I don’t know what else to say.”
Even Cisneros said he was a bit taken aback by the result.
“Surprised. Really surprised,” he said. “Damewood pretty much kicked my butt last year. Just really excited right now.”
Acuff cruised through his first three matches of the tournament before running into trouble in the 132-pound finals vs. Dallin Widmer of Nyssa. Acuff won 6-5 to escape with his second straight state championship.
Willamina’s eight other state placers were second most behind Glide. Michael Reyes finished second at 113 pounds. Reyes was 3-1 in the tournament, but he was pinned late in the third period by Hans Rockwell of Riverside. Trevor Hunt finished third at 160 pounds after losing Saturday morning in the semifinals. Edwin Villalobos (145), Jacob Ward (152) and Tommy Cobb (245) all finished fourth, Jordan Combs was fifth at 106, and Keegan Davis (132) and Mykal Stewart (170) finished in sixth place.
Dayton had five state placers including Cisneros. Michael Gentry lost his first match of the tournament then won four straight to finish third at 126, and Adan Gutierrez was fourth at 120 pounds. Cade Stahl finished fifth at 160 pounds, and Andres Gonzalez was fifth at 285 pounds.
“Andres was phenomenal,” said Henry, adding that Gonzalez moved up to the heavyweight class just prior to the Special District 2 tournament two weeks ago. “He battled hard. I’m so proud of him.”
Amity’s Jake Markee (120) and Aaron Campbell (285) each were eliminated in the consolation rounds. Markee won his first consolation match but was eliminated in the quarterfinals. Campbell went 0-2.
Yamhill-Carlton’s three wrestlers in the 4A state tournament also didn’t place. Stefan Maxwell at 138 pounds was pinned in his first match then lost 11-0 in the first consolation round to be eliminated. Dakotah Olson was pinned twice at 195 pounds.
Cesar Meza won his first match at 220 pounds for the Tigers, winning 11-5, but he lost his quarterfinals match by pin, and then he was pinned in the consolation quarterfinals to be eliminated.