EPHS sending 13 wrestlers to state tourney

Eagle Point High School and coach Kacey McNulty’s wrestling team hosted the 5A Special District #4 Regional Tournament on Friday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, Feb. 11. After two days, the Eagles wrestlers finished in first place out of eleven teams.

“I’m really pleased with the way the kids performed,” coach McNulty said. “Almost half the district champions were ours.”

Final team scores for all schools were: Eagle Point- 366, Churchill- 249, Bend- 235.5, Mountain View- 231.5, Marshfield- 162, Summit- 161.5, Springfield- 141, Willamette- 74, Ashland- 47, North Eugene- 17, Marist- 8.5.

The top four placers in each weight class qualified for the State Tournament. Eagle Point state qualifiers were Orlando DeLaCruz (113 lb.), Aaron Lorenz (120 lb.), Levi Pomeroy (126 lb.), Alek Callahan (132 lb.), James McCoy (138 lb.), Travis Woods (145 lb.), Thane Baumer (145 lb.), Hunter Hoeptner (152 lb.), Edward Martinez (152 lb.), Caleb Ash (160 lb.), Johnny Wilkerson (182 lb.), Trevor Olsen (195 lb.), and Manny Valdovinos (285 lb.).

When asked for his predictions at the end of the first day, coach McNulty said, “We expect to win this.”

Aaron Lorenz, Alek Callahan, James McCoy, Travis Woods, Johnny Wilkerson, and Manny Valdovinos were all champions of their weight brackets. Lorenz got two pins and a forfeit before winning a 5-0 decision over Hunter Goguen from Churchill in the finals. Callahan won twice by fall, once by decision and beat Kyler Ayers from Mountain View by 4-2 in overtime.

McCoy had  a pin and a technical fall before winning over Macyn Nagao from Springfield by another 17-2 technical. Woods pinned three opponents prior to his 5-2 decision over Joe Potts from Churchill. Wilkerson won by a fall, a major decision, and another fall before his 10-2 major decision over Kenny Dailey from Bend. Valdovinos had one pin before he beat Will Dawson from Churchill by a 3-1 decision.

Wilkerson’s gold medal was particularly impressive, since this was his first competition since before Christmas. “He’s just one of those added sparks to our team,” McNulty said.

Thane Baumer took third place at 145 lb., but this does not accurately reflect the quality of his wrestling. Over the two days, Baumer pinned no less than five opponents. Three of these pins happened within the final ten seconds of the third period, which shows that Baumer won his matches by wrestling all the way to the whistle. “He had a great tournament,” coach McNulty said.

The qualifying Eagles wrestlers will compete in the State Tournament on Feb. 24 and 25 at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Check with the school for send-off information.
By Michael Stephens
Of the Independent


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