As Reedsport wrestling coach Bo Hampton sees it, his team was just one athlete short of reaching the championship match at the Oregon Classic at Redmond over the weekend.
The Brave won their pool in the Class 2A-1A portion of the tournament and then won their quarterfinal match before coming just short in the semifinals and third-place matches.
“The kids wrestled great,” Hampton said. “We gave up one too many forfeits.
“We won the majority of matches wrestled, but came up one match short to two teams with a full lineup.”
On the opening day, Reedsport beat North Lake (48-24), Pine Eagle (42-24) and Monroe (48-30).
That put Reedsport in the championship bracket, and the Brave beat Crane (42-33) before just losing against both Central Linn (40-36) and Grant Union (42-39).
“That is very impressive to know that even (with the forfeits) we were still able to lose by three to Grant Union and four to Central Linn, who are two of the best teams in the state,” Hampton said.
“Our kids got to wrestle some matches that are very important against kids we only see at the Classic and state. I was very impressed with how our kids wrestled. They beat some very good kids.”
On the opening day, Christian Solomon, Austin Manicke and River Lichte own all three of their matches with pins.
Eli Carson and Miguel Velazquez also had pins against North Lake, Yesenia Velazquez had a pin against Pine Eagle and Adam Solomon had a pin against Monroe. Reedsport’s other wins during the day all came by forfeit.
In the quarterfinals, the Brave got a mix of wins.
Aaron Solmon and Lichte recorded pins, Carson won by technical fall and Christian Solomon by major decision and Miguel Velazquez by decision.
Against Central Linn, Reedsport almost won on the strength of six pins. Jose Martinez, Adam Solomoin, Carson, Christian Solomon, Lichte and Velazquez all pinned their foes.
And against Grant Union, Adam Solomon, Carson and Miguel Velazquez all had pins. Christian Solomon won by technical fall and Aaron Solomon won by major decision.
For the tournament, Christian Solomon won all his matches and Lichte only lost once and had five pins. Martinez only had one contested match, a victory by pin.
Reedsport will get another chance for several duals Saturday, this time against larger schools in Marshfield’s annual Bay Cities Duals tournament.
Reedsport is working toward the district and state tournaments. In the most recent coaches poll for Class 2A-1A, Reedsport was third, behind Culver and Pine Eagle. Culver easily won the Oregon Classic over Central Linn on Saturday.
Several of Reedsport’s wrestlers also competed Sunday in the cadet portion of the tournament.
Miguel Velazquez took first place at 182 pounds. He won two matches by pin and another by technical fall.
Martinez wrestled up a weight class to 113 pounds and won one match by pin while losing to wrestlers from Elgin and Dallas.
Skyler Sunder and Jayden Berst also gained experience in the cadet tournament.
In the girls portion of the event, Yesenia Velzquez also won the title, with a series of pins, three of them coming in the first round.
“She wrestled amazing for us in the men’s duals and won the individual women’s tournament,” Hampton said.
The Solomon brothers, who wrestled well in the high school event despite battling illnesses, did not compete in the cadet tournament.
The cadet event was an added opportunity for the others to get more quality experience, Hampton said.