Neah-Kah-Nie finished with Anthony Ramirez picking up the team’s only individual district win by beating teammate Travis Jonsson in the 285-pound finals.
It was was a pretty good finish for the team, according to coach Greg Kelley. “We took fourth…We placed third in the league in duals,” he added. “We are pretty happy with that.”
The team had seven wrestlers competing in the district championships. “Placing in the top half with seven (wrestlers) is pretty good way to to end the year.
“We had four in the finals. We had two (wrestling) for third who ended up fourth,” he said.
Kelley praised Josh Longfellow for taking fourth at 126, along with Jacob Griffith taking fourth at 132 pounds.
“Omar Arenas took second at 132 and qualified for state,” the coach said.
Freshman Tristan Bennett went into Saturday’s 220-pound finals with a 40-2 season record, but he had to settle for second after Joseph Ballard from Monroe picked up the gold by fall with 5:17 on the timer. “It was a well-wrestled match against a two-time defending state champ,” Kelley said.
In the heavyweight battle, Ramirez qualified for state with his win, but teammate lost his berth for Portland in a wrestle-back he lost.
“I hate seeing that for the kids, but that is wrestling,” the Neah-Kah-Nie coach said. “But, he’s a freshman. He’ll be back.”