They say all roads lead to Rome. In the case of Brookings-Harbor High School senior Cole Hannan, Rome is the final round of the 4A OSAA State Wrestling Championships.
With a first-round pin of Astoria High School sophomore Joshua Long in the second period, Hannan took the first step on his way to achieving his goal of becoming a state champion in the 145-pound division.
"It feels good," Hannan said of the win. "From here on out, I won't be as tired. The first match is always a gas burner because you're so wound up about being here."
Hannan controlled the match from the first whistle and while he allowed Long to score 2 points on escapes, he quickly took him to the ground again, after letting him go. Hannan started the second period on the bottom and quickly reversed Long into a head-and-arm and locked the move tight for the pin.
Hannan's second match wasn't a cake walk, but walk on he did as he defeated Jeffrey Jones of McLoughlin 9-5 in three periods.
Hannan scored the first 2 points in the first period, but Jones was able to score a reversal to even up the score as the two battled for control. The second round was a back and forth round in the points with Jones scoring an escape for 1 point before Hannan was able to get a takedown for two to go ahead by one at the end of the second.
The third period saw Hannan choose to start on the bottom and he quickly scored a reversal before allowing Jones to his feet for 1 point. With the final seconds winding down Hannan scored a final takedown to capture the victory.
"He wrestled great," Head Coach Dave Freeman said. "He might have been a little lethargic from having to wait so long between matches, but he wrestled really well."
Fellow seniors Ethan Williams and Johnny Feuerborn did not fare as well, both getting pinned in the first round.
Williams faced the number-three seed Braydon Moller of McLoughlin, a senior, and was pinned in the second period. According to Williams, his shoulder was still off the ground when the ref indicated he had been pinned, but he realized he just had to work harder in his second match.
And work harder he did. At least enough to avoid getting pinned. But it wasn't enough as he lost 1-13 to Kuloly Tudela of Cascade.
"It was great, I did my best and made it as far as I could," Williams said of accomplishing his goal to make it to the state championships. "I'm proud to have been part of the wrestling program at Brookings-Harbor High School."
Feuerborn also was pinned in the second period, losing to junior Phelan Lund of Ridgeview, but was able to come back in his second match of the day and pin Dakota Olson, a senior from Yamhill-Carlton, in one minute, 22 seconds. Feuerborn was scheduled to wrestle again Friday night but those results were unavailable at press time.
The Bruins will wrestle again today (Feb. 23) with Hannan scheduled to wrestle in the semi-finals at 10:39 a.m.