TOLEDO — Four teams from Lincoln County took part in the 2020 Toledo-Siletz Invitational last weekend at Toledo High School.
Wrestlers from Waldport, Toledo, Taft and Siletz took part in a daylong wrestling tournament, pinning 1A teams all the way up to 6A. Combined, the four Lincoln County schools showed out in front of family, friends and foes.
Along with the other teams — Reedsport, Grants Pass, Kennedy, Gervais, Sheridan, Oakridge, Riddle and South Albany — there were close to 200 wrestlers taking part in the event.
Grants Pass took first place with 197 total points, Reedsport Charter came in second with 114, Toledo finished third with 94 points, while Taft finished fifth with 76, Siletz in sixth with 68 and Waldport in 11th place with 26.
Winning wrestlers were given special prizes, as well.
The glass ball trophies for first place donated by Chinook Winds Casino Resort, beaded necklaces made by volunteers from the Siletz Warriors and handcrafted metal and wood plaques for outstanding wrestler.
The plaques were also given out as top-team awards; they were made by Lance and Kelli Simonds.
A moment of remembrance was held as well for Carter Worden and Robby Kirkland, two boys who passed away last year. The families of both boys handed out the awards at the end of the event.
“It was an honor for all the kids that took the podium to be able to honor the boys in this way,” Toledo wrestling coach Tony Blomstrom said.
The event was run by Lance and Kelli Simonds, in conjunction with Toledo and Siletz as their home mats donned the Boomers gym.
The Boomers came away with an overall third-place finish at the Toledo-Siletz Invitational, but had many bright moments individually, as well.
“The team has really taken a big step this year. Each tournament they get better, and it shows in the placing. We were one of the smaller teams at the tournament with 10 active wrestlers and six scorers, and with that small amount, we finished third overall,” Blomstrom said. “The highest finish for the Boomers wrestling team in over 10 years. As a coach, I could not be more proud of the effort each wrestler put out.”
Ethan Ferris took home first place in the 126-pound class, along with an outstanding wrestler award, finishing all of his opponents in the first round. Kyle Hayner dominated the 152-pound weight class for a first-place trophy, and Trenton Hutchinson finished in first place to go along with an outstanding wrestler award he earned.
Hutchinson might be wrestling at his best, but head coach Blomstrom can see more potential.
“Trenton has made huge strides in his wrestling this season. This is the best we have seen him wrestle, and we still haven’t even seen his best,” he said.
Hunter Lewis took home a third-place finish, Cocoa Barrett also took home third, and the multi-sport senior Jelly Fleser finished third, as well.
“Hunter Lewis, who had been fighting illness, dropped an early round match to fight back to third. In his third-place match, he was trailing and came back to secure third place for the team,” Blomstrom said. “Kyle represented his team well, showing great sportsmanship and leadership, encouraging his teammates and helping out wherever he could.”
Now that the wrestling season has almost reached midseason, the Boomers look like a team on the rise, but for coach Blomstrom, the goal is to make a run at state, but just as important, shaping the Boomers into upstanding men and women.
“The overall goal is to create great young men and women who will be contributors to the community. The team goal is to make a serious run at the district title,” Blomstrom said. “The program goal is to continue to grow and bring Toledo back to be being one of the best wrestling schools in the state and many of the kid’s goals are to see that state podium this year.
“The team has really come together as a whole and put emphasis on doing their best to help out the team.”
For the Irish, only three of the five members of the wrestling team were present at the Toledo-Siletz Invitational.
Kolby Albitz was the only placer, but he got second place at 170 pounds.
“We’ve seen probably the best wrestling this season from all of our wrestlers who participated. Seeing all the things come together that we have been working on since the beginning of the season,” Waldport wrestling head coach Joseph R. Chavez said. “Regardless of wins and losses, we look to see the progress in them mentally, in their technique and for them to take on one match at a time, no matter the individual in front of them.”
The Irish don’t look at the size of their team, and they sure don’t look at the size of their opponents. For the athletes from Waldport, it’s all about the match in front of them, and during this time of year, the Irish will be on the mat Saturday (Jan. 18) in Siuslaw and then Tuesday (Jan. 21) in Lincoln City.
“We seem to battle injuries this time of year,” Chavez said. “We’re very excited to see what happens as we head into the big part of our season. We would like to keep working to achieve individual and team goals.
“We continue to see daily and weekly progress, and it’s great to see them audit or examine themselves to recognize it themselves.”
The Warriors finished sixth overall at the Toledo-Siletz Invitational, but the Warriors had a few wrestlers highlight the afternoon.
Kenneth Johnston came in second place in the heavyweight division, Joshley Howell also finished second at 220 pounds, Tyee Yanez took third place at 120 pounds and Harry Smith was fourth at 152 pounds.
The Tigers from Lincoln City finished fifth with 76 points overall and had a few wrestlers place in the final rankings.
Jace Phippen wrestled at 220 pounds and finished in third place, Arnoldo Ortiz came in fourth place at 132 pounds, Riley Ellis wrestled at 160 pounds and finished third, while Elin Fitch finished fourth at 195 pounds.