The Brookings-Harbor High School wrestling team took 12 wrestlers to the Far West League District Championships with the hopes of qualifying them for the regional tournament that is the final hurdle before the state finals, and qualified nine.
BHHS senior Cole Hannan, right, uses a leg to run his opponent all over the mat during Saturday’s district wrestling tournament. Hannan was named Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weights for the tournament. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
In the 106-pound weight class, freshman Conrad Dethlefsen won his first match over Sutherlin’s Marco Benitez with a pin before losing to Derrick Hargraves of South Umpqua.
After the loss, Dethlefsen seemed a changed wrestler and dominated Kyle Gaylor of Sutherlin in the consolation final match to take third place.
Fellow freshman Phillip Spencer, wrestling at 120-pounds, lost his first match to Brycen Olsen of Sutherlin but defeated Caleb Willis of Douglas and Jake Gunn of South Umpqua to take third place.
Junior Adan Brambila wrestled against eventual champion AJ Anderson in his first match at 132 pounds and lost by pin, but refused to quit and took third after defeating Shane Keeling of North Bend.
Shane Mercer and Jess Fitzhugh both failed to place in the top four in the 138-pound weight class.
With two wrestlers in the 145-pound class, the Bruins had the possibility of taking first and second but, while senior Cole Hannan marched through his half of the bracket, senior Brandon Holteen fell in the first round to second-place finisher Luke Carroll of Siuslaw.
Holteen refused to give up and took third after defeating Jared Dean of Douglas and Travis Dahlberg of Siuslaw to take third.
Hannan dominated his matches, winning his first against David McKinney by pin, winning his second over Dean by pin and then beating Carroll 13-6 in the finals.
One inch was all that separated Hannan from a third and final pin, but he couldn’t get Carroll’s shoulder to lie flat enough on the mat to satisfy the referee and time ran out ending the period.
Hannan was honored by being named Outstanding Wrestler for the lower weight classes for the Far West League.
In the 152-pound weight class Kevin Brambila lost the two matches that mattered in placing for the tournament but won a third match he was able to pick up as an exhibition match.
Brambila was behind in points before reversing his opponent, Maverick Michael of Siuslaw, and getting the pin in the third period.
Junior Tyler Marrington defeated Casey Kawihara of Siuslaw by pin and Dalton Scheer of Douglas, 10-2, to make it to the final match against Austin Mitchell of Douglas.
Speaking of his first two matches, Marrington was feeling good about the wins but cautious.
“You can never feel cocky,” he said. “You have to remember that it is just one person and there are a bunch more in front of you.”
Marrington led most of the championship match and was seeking the first-place spot on the podium, but fell behind 6-7 and was unable to escape or get a reversal in the final moments of the third period and had to settle for second.
In the 170 pound weight class, senior Ethan Williams was hoping for a chance to go to the regional tournament by placing in the top four and while he lost to Chance Wimberly of Douglas, he was able to defeat Aaron Wagner of North Bend for a third-place finish.
“It feels great,” Williams said. “Third time’s the charm. Maybe I’ll get to state this time.”
Wrestling in the 182-pound weight class, senior C.J. Paxton strolled all the way to the championship spot on the podium, defeating Cameron Matthew, Siuslaw, by pin and Turner Wyckoff, Siuslaw, 9-2.
“Feels good being a two-time district champion,” Paxton said. “Coming out after working hard and reaping the rewards of the season is great.”
Senior Johnny Feuerborn only had one match on Saturday because there were only three people in 195-pound weight class. It was probably to his detriment as he went into a match against Nic Baning of Sutherlin cold and lost 5-10.
Feuerborn had beat both Baning and the other possible opponent earlier in the season, but lost to take second at districts.
The Bruins took second overall, losing to Sutherlin which simply overwhelmed their opponents with superior numbers.
“Considering what we had and the whole of our season, it wasn’t bad,” Head Coach Dave Freeman said. “It’s hard to lose those other kids. If we’d had those six, it might have been different.”
The Bruins lost a number of wrestlers late in the season to illness, injury and attrition, including Matt Sanders who quit the team the week before the league championships and Eddie Yeager who contracted a staph infection in the same week.
The nine Bruins who qualified for the regional tournament will wrestle beginning at 9 a.m., on Saturday at South Umpqua High School in Myrtle Creek.