Nov. 5, 2018 — Siuslaw’s underclassman-dominated wrestling team was on the mats for the first time this season during the Deven Dawson Memorial Tournament in Harrisburg over the weekend. A total of 20 teams were on hand for the meet, giving Viking wrestlers an opportunity to mix things up with a multitude of wrestling styles, experience levels and classifications.
“We’re a very young team and every member got a chance to see how they stack up against other wrestlers from a lot of small schools,” said Siuslaw coach Neil Wartnik. “They all had accomplishments and also met some immoveable objects.”
For the team's lone senior Riley Jennings and sophomore Brady Libby, they proved to be the “immoveable objects” all the way until the championship rounds for 170 pounds and 126 pounds, respectively.
Both Vikings went undefeated for their first three matches, including two pins and a technical fall each before being defeated in the title round and finishing second in their weight classes.
“To make it to the finals in a 20-team tournament was an accomplishment,” said Wartnik. “They looked very strong in their early matches.”
Siuslaw sophomore 138-pounder Elijah LaCosse also went 3-1 on the day, but lost in the semi-finals before pinning Samuel Baker of Pleasant Hill to take the third place match. Sophomores Christian Newlan (195 lbs.) and Matthew Horrillo (285 lbs.) also had third-place finishes for Siuslaw.
JC Gentry, a freshman wrestling at 220 pounds, had two wins at Harrisburg, pinning opponents from Creswell and Sheridan high schools in his last two matches to place fifth overall.
The Vikings also have four female wrestlers this season, including freshmen Hayden Muller (138 lbs.) and Bailey Overton (120 lbs.), sophomore Adrianna Edwards (138 lbs.) and junior Polish exchange student Kinga Bugajska (152 lbs.)
Overton scored a pair of takedowns against a male opponent from Coquille, with match wins for Muller, Edwards and Bugajska against female wrestlers.
“All four of our girls showed a lot of improvement,” Wartnik said.
Siuslaw will return to the mats this weekend at the multi-team, multi-divisional North Bend Coast Classic this Friday and Saturday. Friday’s matches begin at 2 p.m.