Eagle wrestlers 2nd in State 5A

“Just a bunch of hard-nosed kids,” was how Eagle Point’s head coach Kacey McNulty referred to his wrestling team on Wednesday, Jan. 4 after their dual meet at home against Grants Pass High School. With five wins by a fall, one by major decision and one by injury default, the Eagles claimed victory in seven out of 12 matches and won the meet by a team score of 46 – 32.

These “hard-nosed kids” include six seniors competing at the varsity level, of which Aaron Lorenz (126 lb.) and Manny Valdovinos (285 lb.) are both ranked 1st in the 5A division. Travis Woods (152 lb.) is ranked 2nd and Trevor Olsen (195 lb.) is ranked 5th. Eagle Point as a team is currently ranked 2nd in 5A just behind Hermiston High School.

McNulty held in high esteem the athletic ability and leadership skills of his senior wrestlers. “Their maturity showed tonight,” McNulty said.

But it was a junior, Orlando De La Cruz (120 lb.), who won the first match for the Eagles and “got us started on a roll,” according to coach McNulty. After De La Cruz pinned his opponent in the first period, Lorenz did the same, pinning his opponent also in the first period. Then, Alek Callahan (132 lb.) collected the third fall in a row for the Eagles in the second period of his match. De La Cruz is now ranked 2nd in 5A.

Following two loses, Woods won his match 14 – 4, and Edward Martinez (160 lb.) was leading 5 – 1 in the second period before his opponent was unable to continue. Alajandro Valle (220 lb.) won by a fall in the first period, and Valdovinos pinned his opponent near the end of the third.

Valdovinos was the most fun to watch. He was more agile and active throughout his match than what is expected of most heavyweight wrestlers. Valdovinos held what some call “target practice,” going after high-crotch, double- and single-leg takedowns for almost the whole three periods before getting his fall. Coach McNulty explained that he did not wish to boast, but said “that match could’ve been ended a lot earlier.”

The JV team also beat Grants Pass, by an impressive score of 48 – 18. Eagle Point JV match winners were Eddie Perez, Levi Pomeroy, Sherman Hammond, Sho Talmadge, Hunter Hoeptner and Devin Grady.

Eagles wrestling will host South Medford and Ashland High School on Wednesday, Jan. 11.
By Michael Stephens
For the Independent

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