Feb. 14, 2022 — On Saturday, Siuslaw welcomed seven other schools from around the state to Glen Butler Court in Florence for the OSAA Special District 2 Championships. Cascade, Elmira/Crow, Junction City, Newport, Philomath, Stayton and Sweet Home joined the Vikings in a tournament-style competition to decide who would qualify to wrestle at the OSAA 4A State Championships at Cascade High in Turner on Feb. 26.
After a winter sports season where the Siuslaw team has faced challenges from COVID along with the bumps and bruises and normal ups and downs of a wrestling season, this week may have been the most challenging. On Feb. 8, beloved assistant wrestling coach Robert Forsythe passed after a short bout with serious illness.
As they have all season, the Viking wrestlers seemed to use the adversity to motivate them as they rose to the occasion and had a great showing at their home tournament. SHS had five wrestlers who finished in the top four or higher, which earned each a chance to wrestle at the state meet.
The first Viking wrestler to qualify was junior Yoskar DeLaMora at 126 pounds.
DeLaMora, who is an impressive 16-6 on the season, lost to Blake Niemann of Philomath in the semifinals but bounced back to win two more matches. These included an impressive pin of Brody Olsen of Sweet Home in just 45 seconds to win the fourth place match and earn his spot at state. DeLaMora also scored 14 team points for the Viks.
Wrestling at 160 pounds for the Vikings was junior Mason Buss. Like DeLaMora, Buss’ only loss was in the semifinal, a hard fought 8-7 decision to eventual champion Ethan Spencer of Sweet Home. Buss recovered and dominated his opponents after that to score 17 points for his team and earn a third place finish and a spot at state.
Wrestling at 170 pounds was Joel Sissel. The freshman grappler went 4-2 on the day. Sissel beat Caleb Darby of Cascade in the fourth place match to earn his state spot. He also scored 15 team points.
Sophomore Dayne Muller only had to wrestle two matches on the day to earn his spot at state, both against grapplers from Sweet Home. Muller won his first match and then lost in the championship to earn second place and 18 points for his team.
Sophomore Cort Waggoner was the final Siuslaw wrestler to earn a spot at the state meet. Waggoner had a busy day wrestling five matches. He went 3-2 and finished with a win in the fourth place match over Zane Clemmer of Elmira/Crow to score 15 team points.
Also scoring for Siuslaw were freshman Leo Robertson at 132 pounds, who finished sixth and scored 9 points. Junior Lucian Murphy, 170 pounds, also finished sixth and scored 5 points. 182 pound senior Jason Garcia finished fifth for 9 points. Sophomore River Howell wrestled at 220 pounds, finished sixth and scored 10 points.
The Vikings finished with 112 total points, enough to claim the sixth spot in the Special District 2 rankings.
Sweet Home won the meet in dominating fashion, scoring 428 team points — over 200 more than their next closest competitor, Cascade who had 226.5. Philomath was third with 175.
Buss, DeLaMora, Muller, Sissel and Waggoner will join senior Hayden Muller and freshman Macali Lade as Siuslaw’s representatives at the OSAA State Wrestling Championships. The girls will compete first, on Feb. 24 at Culver High School. Two days later, the 4A boys meet will be at Cascade High in Turner. First matches are at 9 a.m. for both meets.