Eagle wrestling hosted 13 other varsity teams from around Southern Oregon and Northern California at the Eagle Point Invitational tournament on Saturday, Jan. 21. After the finals, Eagle Point stood in first place in the team scores, with the closest school behind them by fifty points.
Team scores were as follows: Eagle Point- 218, Churchill- 168, Mazama- 135.5, Bend- 122.5, Phoenix- 111, Illinois Valley- 103.5, Klamath Union- 94, Marshfield- 89, Rogue River- 56, South Medford- 31.5, South Umpqua- 31, Etna- 20, Brookings- 15, North Eugene- 0.
Eagle Point’s head coach Kacey McNulty described the wrestling team from Churchill High School as “probably the top team in our region,” and was proud of this victory in particular. “That was a good win for us,” McNulty said.
Six Eagles wrestled in the finals, including Orlando De La Cruz (113 lb.), Aaron Lorenz (120 lb.), Travis Woods (145 lb.), Caleb Ash (160 lb.), Trevor Olsen (195 lb.), and Manny Valdovinos (285 lb.). First place finishers were De La Cruz, Woods, Olsen, and Valdovinos. Lorenz and Ash both took second place at their weights.
De La Cruz pinned his first two opponents and beat Kaleb Wineberger from Mazama by a 9 – 4 decision. Woods won a match by major decision and another by decision before beating Aaron Boatwright from Mazama by a 13 – 4 major decision. Olsen’s second match ended by decision, but he finished the others by fall, pinning D.J. Thompson from Bend in the finals. Valdovinos won by fall and then by decision before he beat Will Dawson from Churchill by 3 – 1 in overtime.
Coach McNulty expressed he was happy with his team’s recent improvement in wrestling ability. “This could be a turning point for us,” McNulty said.
But, McNulty also highlighted mental preparation as one area where his wrestlers still need to develop. “We’re going to continue to work on our attitudes,” McNulty said. “We want our guys attacking and getting after people.”
Eagle Point wrestling went to North Medford High School for a dual meet on Wednesday, Jan. 25. Their next dual meet is at Crater High School on Thursday, Feb. 2.
Coach McNulty said he would like to “get some fans here” when Eagle Point hosts the District Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11. Please come support the Eagles on their way to a regional championship.
By Michael Stephens
of the Independent