The Azalea Middle School Bruins hosted the first district tournament in middle school history and had four wrestlers place in the championship bracket.
Eighth grader Tyson Manion, wrestling at 90 pounds defeated Ben Walker of Myrtle Point with a pin to take first in his weight division.
“I feel pretty good,” Manion said following his match. “It was pretty easy.”
Manion was also quick to credit his coach Ted Burdett for his assistance.
“I’d really like to thank Coach Burdett for coaching me and helping me with my win today,” he said.
Eighth grader Nick Boynton, wrestling at 175 pounds, was defeated in the finals by T.K. Capps of Marshfield to claim second place in the Far West League.
In the 140-pound weight class eighth grader Isaiah Ross won his first match but lost to Rocky Lilly of Myrtle Point to fall to the consolation bracket where he battled back and laid claim to a third-place finish.
Feeling confident after his first-round tech-fall victory, eighth grader Brett Conrad was disappointed to loss by pin to Cade Hite of Marshfield – the eventual champion in the 102-pound weight class – but was able to come back and take fourth and reach the medal stands.
“I felt pretty good,” Conrad said, “but I’m here trying to win a championship.”
As a team the eighth grade Bruins finished tied for fifth with Myrtle Point. Both teams had 35 points each.
The sixth and seventh grade team had only two wrestlers eligible to wrestle in the tournament – Jonny Allen and Jonatan Zebadua – and ended the night in eighth place.
The Bruins did win what could be argued was the most important trophy of the night – the Team Sportsmanship Award.
“The award was voted on by the referees and all of the coaches,” Head Coach Ted Burdett said. “It’s pretty impressive that they got it. I’m really proud of them for what they accomplished.”