TILLAMOOK — In some of the first meaningful action of the 2019-20 season for the Taft Tigers and Newport Cubs wrestling teams, four wrestlers placed within the top five at the annual Tillamook tournament for the Tigers, while the Cubs took part and flexed their muscles.
For Taft, Jose Flores earned first place at 120 pounds, Riley Ellis took second at 152 pounds, Jace Phippen won a second-place finish at 220 pounds and William Calderon took fourth place at 145 pounds.
Newport head coach Enrique (Rick) Hernandez had his wrestlers in shape and ready to compete. The Cubs boys and girls did their best on the mat.
Taft on the other hand, has opened their season at the Tillamook tournament for the past few years, but this was the first time the Tigers had top finishes at the event.
“This is our third year starting off the season at Tillamook and the first time we have had wrestlers make the first/second place match and we had three in the first/second place match,” Taft wrestling head coach Robb Ellis said.
Although it’s early in the season, Ellis is already seeing signs of a talented team.
“We are looking like we have some talent and a lot of numbers,” Ellis said.
So far this season, Ellis has 40 wrestlers on his roster: 34 boys and six girls make up the Tigers team.
Taft is currently the biggest 3A team in Oregon.
“We are looking like we have some talent and a lot of numbers,” Ellis said. “It is great to have so many bodies for wrestling partners.”