NORTH BEND — The Central Coast Challenge was a solid litmus test for a couple of local wrestling programs.
North Bend went 0-3 at a four-way dual with Thurston, Siuslaw and Reedsport in town, and the Brave held its own against the 5A Colts on Tuesday at North Bend High School.
North Bend's Anthony Derrick wrestles Reedsport's Nick Glover on Tuesday during the Central Coast Challenge at North Bend High School.
“It was a good day,” Reedsport coach Bo Hampton said. “The kids wrestled tough.”
North Bend is still young and building with youth and inexperience.
Tuesday was another step in its development, with the Bulldogs likely the most inexperienced team at the meet.
There were good things to be seen, even as the Bulldogs fell 38-36 to Siuslaw, 65-18 to Reedsport and 64-15 to Thurston.
North Bend was without its most skilled wrestler, according to coach Garrett Caldwell, as Liam Biskerud tweaked an ankle during practice this week and was unavailable.
But first-year wrestler Divenson Willis went 1-1 at 220 pounds with a forfeit, the win coming in a 36-second pin of Siuslaw’s JC Gentry, but the loss coming in a 48-second pin by Thurston’s Avery Jamarillo.
“Right now, each moment is a learning experience for me,” Willis said. “So each match, I try to learn something better for the next match and hopefully by next year be on top.”
North Bend's Anthony Derrick pinned Thurston’s Jeremy Foss in the second round, but fell in to Reedsport’s Nick Glover in a second-round pin and by a 12-8 decision to Siuslaw’s Christian Newlan at 182 pounds.
Ethan Ingram also came up with a pin over a Siuslaw wrestler, 120-pounder Bailey Overton, and also won by decision 12-7 over Thurston’s Dakota Impanen. Gabriel Johnston had pins for North Bend at 126 pounds against both Reedsport and Siuslaw and Cutter Woodworth got a pin against Thurston at 195 pounds.
Caldwell is encouraged by the progress and development he’s seen already, though he knows the process is far from over.
“We use it as a learning experience,” Caldwell said. “I’ve said it before; we’re young. We got lots to learn. When you wrestle teams like Reedsport, Thurston and Siuslaw, they just show you where you need to do a little extra work in some areas.”
Siuslaw got pins against the Bulldogs by Elijah LaCosse, Ryan Jennings, Riley Jennings and Christian Newlan. Hector Garcia won by technical fall.
Reedsport, like North Bend, is working with larger numbers this year than it’s had in recent seasons.
The Brave finished with a big team win over North Bend, topped Siuslaw but came up short against the much larger Thurston squad, though the Brave held their own. Final scores for the duals with Siuslaw and Thurston were not available.
Glover had a solid day, as did Yesenia Velazquez. In the dual with North Bend, Reedsport won all but one of its contested matches, and all but one of those wins came by fall. Adam Solomon, Eli Carson, Dennis Magee, River Lichte, Miguel Velazquez, Justin Cassaro and Glover all had pins for the Brave and Christian Solomon won by technical fall.
“I think we did pretty decent (today),” Glover said. “We lost some matches, but we did pretty solid against Siuslaw and North Bend.”
Even so, Hampton wasn’t dwelling on Tuesday’s big dual.
He was looking ahead to the next one, which will require Reedsport showing up in full.
“We wrestle again on Thursday,” Hampton said. “We got to Sweet Home, the No. 1 4A in the state and the No. 4 4A team in the state (Cascade). Those are some huge matches for these kids.”
North Bend hosts a three-way meet on Jan. 2 with Coquille and Myrtle Point.