Sports Zone

Nelson is district champ; three Dawgs on to state

Blake Nelson pins his Jefferson opponent to win his second district title at 220 pounds. PETE NELSON

Blake Nelson captured his second district championship at 220 pounds, and two more Bulldogs also qualified for state as Creswell competed with Pleasant Hill, Colton, Gervais, Jefferson, Santiam Christian, Scio and host Harrisburg in the Special District 2 Wrestling Championships on Feb. 3.
Nelson was undefeated in his bracket. ”Blake’s really had no struggles against 3A wrestlers this season; his only losses came against a 4A wrestler at 285 pounds and a 6A wrestler at 220,” said Creswell Head Coach Wayne Roberts. ”He works so hard and has really stepped up as a team leader, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Two-time state champion Titus Mejia-Rice placed second at 145 pounds to qualify for state. Falling 3-9 in the championship match, Mejia-Rice took his hardest loss of the season to Brandon Zeiher of Scio.
”It’s always been Titus’ goal to be a four-time state champion, and if he gives us two solid weeks of practice I think he can still do it,” Roberts said.
Jeramiya Yates placed third at 182 pounds to qualify for state.
Alex Metteer, the third seed at 115, placed fourth after being pinned with 20 seconds remaining in the third-place match.
Logan Johnson placed fifth at 138. He lost 9-10 on a penalty point to the wrestler who placed third to qualify for state.
”Logan was one of our ‘dark horses’ that we hoped would get to state,” Roberts said. ”He’s really strong, but just didn’t wrestle up to where we know he can – and losing that point for not having his mouthpiece in was a hard lesson to learn.”
Josiah Lee placed fifth at 120, Rogelio Legorreta placed fifth at 170, Miguel Lopez placed sixth at 115 and Kobe Sanders placed sixth at 160.
Christian Tucker went 1-2 at 138 and Carley Wilkerson was 0-2 at 126.
”We have a lot of first-year wrestlers; it’s just a matter of getting that conditioning, staying in good position and never giving up,” Roberts said. ”But with the kids we have coming back I think we’ll have a strong team next year.”
For now, attention turns to prepping Nelson, Mejia-Rice and Yates for the 3A State Wrestling Championships, to be held Feb. 16-17 in Portland.
”Blake has said ‘I want you guys to beat up on me these next two weeks – really go at me hard,’ Roberts related. ”He really wants it, he’s constantly striving, he takes pride in what he’s accomplished – and if he and Titus put in the work I really think we have a chance to have a couple of state champions.”



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