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Cowboys finish 10th at TOC - Central Oregonian

January 30, 2012
Crook County High School

“We competed well, and it was a great learning experience,” said Crook County head wrestling coach Jake Huffman following the Reser’s Tournament of Champions.

It’s a real meat grinder and narrowed down for us what we need to focus on for the remainder of the year.”

The Cowboys came away from the tournament with a 10th place finish — their lowest finish of the season. However, Crook County once again demonstrated how much depth they really have as they took first place in the JV portion of the tournament.

When scores from the Varsity and JV meets are added together, Crook County finishes second behind only tournament champion, Roseburg.

“I thought the kids in the JV tournament wrestled well,” Huffman said. “They’re not making the same mistakes that they made early in the year, and they just wore people down. Every tournament where two wrestlers are scored at each weight, we’ve done very well, and I think that it is an indicator of what our district tournament will look like.”

The 24-team tournament, which was held at Liberty High School, in Hillsboro, on Friday and Saturday, is widely considered the toughest tournament in Oregon.

Roseburg was the clear class of the field, scoring 254 points in the varsity division to outdistance second place Sweet Home (151.5) by more than 100 points. Dallas took third with 143.5 points, followed by Hermiston (126.5), Henley (118), Cascade (117.5), and McNary (114). Rounding out the top 10 were David Douglas in eighth with 110 points, Pendleton (109), and Crook County (105.5).

In JV action, the Cowboys came out on top with 233.5 points, narrowly edging the Roseburg Indians who finished second with 225 points.

Dallas finished third with 186 points, followed by Cascade (144), and Redmond (140).

The Cowboys stumbled on Saturday after having a nearly flawless performance on day one of the tournament. Crook County won 17 of their first 21 matches in the tournament and placed nine wrestlers into the quarterfinals. Four Cowboys reached the tournament semifinals, and at the end of day one, it looked like Crook County might challenge for the tournament championship.

At the end of Friday’s wrestling, just one Cowboy was eliminated from the tournament. In addition, after the first day, Crook County was alone in second place with 49.5 points, behind only Roseburg (64.5).

However, in the first round Saturday morning, the Cowboys won just one of six matches, taking the team out of any chances for a team trophy.

According to Huffman, other than that one poor round, the Cowboys had an outstanding tournament.

“We had some wrestlers in the wrong weight classes,” Huffman said. “We had some guys that had to battle back on Saturday, and we had several wrestlers come all the way back into the placing rounds.”

McKennan Buckner was the highest placing Cowboy, taking third place in the 120-pound class. Trayton Libolt (106), and Colbrann Meeker (126) each earned fourth-place finishes, while Rhett Smith (195) came away with a fifth-place finish.

“Smith is one of the wrestlers that we had in the wrong weight class,” Huffman said. “I believe that he could have won the whole tournament at 220 pounds.”

Crook County entered just 12 wrestlers in the JV portion of the tournament, and 11 of them placed. The Cowboys were led by Johnny Avina (106), Grayson Munn (120), and Aaron Swindle (170), who all won their weight classes. Curtis Crouch (152) came away with a third place finish, while Cody Pfau (138), and Zach Smith (195) each took fourth place. Cole McCarty (132), Dakota Matthews (160), and Gunnar Robirts (182) each finished fifth, while Clark Woodward (145) was the final Cowboy to place with a sixth place finish.

The Cowboys are back in action on Thursday, Feb. 2, when they host the Redmond Panthers in an Intermountain Hybrid dual match. Wrestling is set to begin at 6 p.m. with JV action, and varsity wrestling will follow 20 minutes after the conclusion of the JV matches.

“It is a long-standing rivalry,” said Huffman. “Crook County hasn’t beaten them for the last six years, and we are looking to get back on top.”

Reser’s Tournament of Champions

Friday and Saturday, January 27-28

at Liberty High School in Hillsboro

Varsity Team Scores — 1. Roseburg, 254. 2. Sweet Home, 151.5. 3. Dallas, 143.5. 4. Hermiston, 126.5. 5. Henley, 118. 6. Cascade, 117.5. 7. McNary, 114. 8. David Douglas, 110. 9. Pendleton, 109. 10. Crook County, 105.5. 11. Redmond, 89. 12. Sprague, 84. 13. Oregon City, 80. 14. Hillsboro, 79.5. 15. Grants Pass, 73.5. 16. West Albany, 68. 17. Newberg, 65.5. 18. Crater, 63.5. 19. Culver, 59.5. 20. Canby, 58.5. 21. Eagle Point, 47. 22. Sherwood, 43. 23. Nyssa, 42. 24. Westview, 37.5.

JV Team Scores — Crook County, 233.5. 2. Roseburg, 225. 3. Dallas, 186. 4. Cascade, 144. 5. Redmond, 140. 6. Crater, 137. 7. McNary, 114. 8. Sprague, 97. 9. Eagle Point, 93.5. 10. Canby, 90. 10. West Albany, 90. 12. Sweet Home, 82. 13. Culver, 81. 14. Oregon City, 79. 15. Pendleton, 75. 16. David Douglas, 73. 17. Hillsboro, 68.5. 18. Hermiston, 66. 19. Newberg, 62. 20. Sherwood, 60.5. 21. Grants Pass, 51. 22. Henley, 48. 23. Westview, 25. 24. Nyssa, 24.

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