By Chad Robert Snyder

Pilot staff writer

The Brookings-Harbor wrestling team finished sixth out of sixteen teams at the Cottage Grove dual meet on Saturday, despite an issue that has been haunting the Bruins all year.

As Head Coach Dave Freeman said, low numbers means not having wrestlers in certain weigh classes, which leads to forfeits. And forfeits cost points.

andquot;(Forfeits) were a major problem for us, especially versus Corvallis,andquot; Freeman said.

The Bruins started strong in their first of four matches, defeating Springfield 58-36.

The match included pins by Pete Peterson, Ray Mazyck, Nicky Yuan, Erik Olsen, Tim Drafahl and Evan Peterson.

BHHS didn't fare as well in the second match, principally because of spotting 18 points to Corvallis due to forfeits. The final score was 39-30 in favor of Corvallis, but as Freeman said, although the Bruins were at a disadvantage due to numbers, the match was still extremely close.

andquot;There were a couple of matches that could have gone in our direction, and that didn't help us,andquot; he said.

Mazyck again won by pin, only 1:27 into the first round. Pete Peterson and Daniel Grubb also pinned their opponents, and Dustin Paradis and Drafahl won by decision.

The third match was a rout. Brookings lost only one bout out of the 11 wrestled on their way to a 55-18 victory over Elmira.

In the match that would decide fifth and sixth place, the Bruins came up just eight points short, losing 44-36 to Crescent Valley.

Mazyck, Olsen, Paradis and Grubb again provided wins by pin. Favian Fernandez helped the cause with a pin in the 285-pound weight class.

After the match, Freeman said he was excited about the results.

andquot;It was awesome,andquot; he said. andquot;I was very impresses with the kids.andquot;

Having hung in with several much larger schools, the team is beginning to understand what they are capable of, Freeman said.

andquot;I keep telling them, if they keep working, they can beat these bigger schools,andquot; he said.

andquot;We're making steps forward, as a whole,andquot; he continued. andquot;We can be pretty tough, we just need to fire on all cylinders.andquot;

As to what the future holds, Freeman said he wants his team to stay focused.

andquot;I want to keep them striving, all the way to the district meet,andquot; he said.

Next on the Bruins' dance card is a 9:30 a.m. appointment with North Valley for an individual meet.

As Freeman said, a number of 5 and 6A teams will be there, and it should make for some exciting competition.

andquot;It's going to be tougher than nails,andquot; he said.