Marcus Larson/News-Register##
Dayton’s Jimmy Larsen was the top performer for Yamhill County teams, winning every match to earn the tourney title in the 138-pound class. Dayton finished ninth overall.
Marcus Larson/News-Register## Dayton’s Jimmy Larsen was the top performer for Yamhill County teams, winning every match to earn the tourney title in the 138-pound class. Dayton finished ninth overall.
Marcus Larson/News-Register##
Yamhill-Carlton’s Caden Hill in the process of pinning an opponent in the semi-final round. He lost in the finals to finish second.
Marcus Larson/News-Register## Yamhill-Carlton’s Caden Hill in the process of pinning an opponent in the semi-final round. He lost in the finals to finish second.
By Rusty Rae • Of the News-Register • 

Y-C top local team in Dayton invitational

 

When it comes to wrestling communities, Yamhill County is second to none.

Take this weekend: When the annual Bob Bishop Tournament at Willamina was postponed due to a positive COVID test by one of the Bulldog team members, Dayton High School leaped into the breach, hosting 19 teams and some 250 boys and girls wrestlers.

After the decision was made to postpone the Bob Bishop tournament, at the PacWest Conference weekly athletic director’s meeting, Dayton AD John Crawford, realizing the needs of his schools and others, volunteered the Pirates facility for a tournament.

Dayton head wrestling coach Rob Henry was with his team at North Marion at a match when his phone started blowing up with text messages from coaches, “Hey, we’re going to Dayton!” Puzzled at first, he finally talked with Crawford who admitted, “I volunteered us – and we are hosting a tournament Saturday.”

“We’re fortunate that we have the space to be able to host a tournament of this size. And we’re also blessed to have a strong supporting group without whom we wouldn’t have been able to take on such a large project in such a short time,” Henry said.

Willamina head coach Ariah Fasana said, “We were obviously disappointed we had to postpone – and so far there have been no more positive tests – but we had to do what was thought to be best for the safety of all concerned.”

Fasana hopes to host a scaled back Bob Bishop tournament later in the season.

The tournament, which became the Dayton Invitational, drew a wide range of teams from around the area, including several from larger divisions, 6A McNary and 4A Estacada.

While larger schools have the luxury of greater depth, Fasana, and it seems most of the coaches at the tournament, doesn’t really care – what they’re after is the best competition they can find to help their kids improve their skills.

“We love competing – and in many cases our number one kids are as good as their (the bigger schools) number one kids – they just have more depth,” he said.

With a depleted squad, Willamina finished well out of the top tier of schools, in 12th. Fasana, nevertheless, was pleased with the opportunity his team received and with the performance of several of his wrestlers.

The Bulldogs’ Nelson brothers, senior Spyre and sophomore Rhyne, earned second and fourth places.

Spyre lost to McNary’s Gavin Harris in the title match by a 9-8 count in a back-forth battle of the 182-pound weight class.

Rhyne, wrestling in the 220 division, lost his first-round match to Fox Ferryman of Camas. However, he persevered through four consolation contests to earn a third place. In his fourth match in the consolation round, he turned the tables on Ferryman, getting a pin early in the second round. By rule, he and Josh Smith of Warrenton were not allowed to wrestle for the third place slot. The Oregon School Activities Association limits each wrestler a maximum of five matches a day.

Top performer for Yamhill schools in the tournament was Yamhill-Carlton. Tiger head coach Sean Nonamaker said after the Bishop tournament was postponed he debated whether to enter the Dayton tourney.

“We needed to get the work in. The last three weeks our matches have been cancelled and the Oregon Classic is next week, so we were glad Dayton decided to host,” he said.

The Tigers finished sixth overall, with 123 points and the Y-C head coach said it was about what he expected from his squad.

Top finishers for the Yamhill-Carlton were Alex Shipman in the 113-pound class and Caden Hill in the 120-pound class.

Shipman won his preliminary matches by falls, but lost in the finals to McNary’s Max Blanco. Hill, similarly, won his preliminary matches by pins, but fell to McKay’s Ismael Flores in the title match.

At 138-pounds, Y-C’s only senior, Asher Tindall, who is also the team captain, finished in third, pinning Estacada’s Tucker Jackson in 53 seconds.

In the 182-pound class, Erik Potter finished third, losing a semi-final match to McKay’s Gavin Harris. Potter won his consolation semi-final match and could not actually wrestle for third due to the five-match rule.

Hunter McAvoy had a long day, wrestling in five matches. He also was unable to wrestle in the fifth place match because of the five-match rule. Dayton’s Pedro Cisneros ended his title match hopes in the first round with a fall at the 58-second mark.

David Wheeler, too, was unable to finish his fifth-place fight due to the five-match rule. He lost a quarterfinal match to Joey Barros of McNary and then wrestled his way back to fifth place match.

Henry’s Pirate squad finished in ninth place. The home team scored 78 points, mostly thanks to a championship effort by Jimmy Larsen in the 138-pound class and Dave Bowlin at 195, who finished second.

Larsen was the hot knife and his competition the butter as he pinned three of four opponents, including a second round fall of Ranier’s Christian Roberts for the title.

Bowlin was equally impressive, flattening competition in his four matches to reach the finals. Against Nolan Earls of Colton, he dropped a hard-fought, 4-3 decision.

Kaiden Abell earned his way to the fifth place match but was unable to compete further because of the five-match rule.

Sheridan finished 18th of the 19 teams, and did not have a wrestler qualify for any of the final matches.

In the girls’ competition, Willamina and Dayton battled for the fifth place position with the Bulldogs taking fifth with 31 markers. Dayton finished sixth with 30. Y-C finished in 10th.

Fasana was pleased with the performance of the girls on the Willamina team. Esmeralda Tapia-Bravo finished second in the 140-pound class. Makena Thomas was fourth in the same class. Zoe Brewer took second in the 100-pound class, and Anni Sproge was fifth in the 120 pound class.

Dayton’s Tana Williams, in the 130-pound division, pinned all four of her opponents to win the title. At 155-pounds, Adalyn Williams had a pair of wins by falls, but lost the title match to finish in second.

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