Pete Peterson, 119; Cole Hannan, 135; and Tim Drafahl, 152, will represent Brookings-Harbor High School at the state level.
Peterson demonstrated why he is the second seed 119-pounder headed into the state tournament, marching unimpeded into the top spot.Peterson defeated Zach Hallmark of Hidden Valley 6-3 and seemed cautious in his victory.
“I was a little nervous that I would make a mistake and not make it to state,” Peterson said. “I felt like I couldn’t do any of the stuff I normally do.”
Peterson kicked the jitters in his next match, pinning Braden Vega of Phoenix, one minute into the third round. Peterson then polished off his championship with a 10-5 domination of Austyn Snow of Phoenix.
Hannan’s path to the state tournament took a hard right when he met Lamont Hook of Henley in the second round after tech-falling, 15-0, Chantz Mariscal of Klamath Union.
Hannan was unable to contain Hook and lost 2-5. Hannan put his loss behind him and defeated Jordan Rose of Mazama, 9-4 and Mariscal again with another tech fall, 20-4, to take third place.
Drafahl also lost in the second round, falling 10-12 to Harmon Heater of Henley before defeating John Fowler of Mazama, 10-4, to move into a match for third and fourth place.
Drafahl, still recovering from a lingering cough was unable to break free of Hector Garcia of North Valley’s grip and lost 0-3 to take fourth.
Of the remaining nine qualifiers for the regional tournament sophomores CJ Paxton, 171, and Johnnie Mathiesen, 135; and freshmen Tyler Marrington, 145, and Levi Williams, 125, gained valuable tournament experience even though they went two and out.
Senior Favian Fernandez, 285, also went two and out, after losing the highest scoring heavyweight match, 14-13, at the tournament.
Fernandez seemed gassed in his second match where he lost 0-11 to Trevor Derra of Mazama.
Sophomore Brandon Holteen qualified for the tournament but did not wrestle after coming into contact with poison oak.
Freshman Brycen Cessnun took fifth overall after losing his first match by pin to David Cornish of North Valley.
Cessnun defeated Alex Backman of North Bend before losing to Chris Bowers of South Umpqua and falling to the fifth place round where he defeated Cornish’s twin, Johnathon, 12-10.
Sophomore Ethan Williams took sixth, losing his first match, 2-12, to Gunnar Kropholler of Henley. Williams defeated Zach Fisher of North Bend and then lost to Dillon Schnee of North Valley and Kropholler again to take sixth.
Junior Dylan Taylor got a tough draw in Drake Dow of Henley, but barely lost 4-7 after controlling for a portion of the match.
“I could have beat him,” Taylor said. “There just wasn’t enough time left.”
Taylor proceeded to defeat Tyler Garrard of Mazama with a pin in the first minute of their match, before losing to Garrard’s teammate Jacob Cox and Beau Grauf of Sutherlin to take sixth place.
The three state qualifiers are all veteran wrestlers with experience at the OSAA state championships.
This season marks the third year at state for Peterson and Drafahl, and the second appearance for Hannan.
Nerves aren’t much of a consideration for any of the threesome.
“I already got the jitters out,” Drafahl said. “I got them out at regionals.”
All three wrestlers are proud to represent their team, town and the Far West League at the championships.
“It feels good,” Peterson said. “To represent not just Brookings but everyone else.”
An opportunity to improve over previous years performances looms large for all three wrestlers.
“I worked really hard during the summer,” Hannan said. “I barely lost to some of the best wrestlers in the state and I am confident that I can do better this year.”
“We’re the captains this year,” Drafahl added. “We deserve the right to go up and compete at state and show that we’re not just a speck on the map, that we’re actually there to do something.”