The five Lady Bulldog wrestlers who competed in the girls’ side of the Winter Kickoff Tournament hosted by Grants Pass on Dec. 14-15 beat out 5A and 6A teams to place third at the large, prestigious annual tournament that draws 6A-1A teams from Oregon and Northern California.
”For our girls to place third out of 46 teams – especially with five wrestlers when a lot of other teams had two or three times that number – is so big,” said Creswell Head Coach Wayne Roberts. ”Our girls’ team completely shocked the wrestling community, for sure.”
The 16-member girls’ tournament champion team was from Eureka, Calif.; 4A Sweet Home placed second.
Creswell beat 6A North Medford by three points to claim third place.
”It came down to Brielle Brick’s third-place match,” Roberts said. Wrestling up at 140 pounds, the freshman placed third in her weight class with a 3-1 record. In her third-place match, she defeated North Medford’s Alicia Gentleman, who had bested Brick in their first match of the day. In their final match, Brick pinned Gentleman in the first round to lock up third place for Creswell.
”It was impressive,” Roberts said. ”If Brielle sticks it out, I don’t see any reason she shouldn’t be a girls’ state champion during her time at Creswell.”
Jane Marquess went 4-1 to place third at 120 pounds. ”Her only loss came to the state champion from Sweet Home, and she wrestled her tough,” Roberts said.
Hannah Bettis went 3-1 to place third at 105, Carley Wilkerson went 1-2 at 125 and Julianne Kersgaard went 0-2 at 105. ”The girls set a goal of placing third as a team, and they achieved it,” Roberts said. ”They didn’t expect it, our guys didn’t expect it, but they came out and did it. They’re super-excited and ready to work hard in practice and build on that. I really think we have the potential and ability to have a large and very successful girls’ team in future years.”
Wrestling in the 36-team boys’ varsity tournament at Grants Pass, Logan Johnson went 2-3 to place sixth at 152 pounds. Alex Metteer went 3-3 to place sixth at 120 and Jaxson Wilkerson finished 1-2 at 145, forfeiting the remainder of his matches after being accidentally knocked unconscious during a match.
”The varsity tournament at Grants Pass is very, very, very, very hard; that’s why only three of our more experienced wrestlers competed in it,” Roberts said.
Wrestling in the 46-team JV tournament, Carlie Prosser went 3-2 to place fifth at 138. The freshman plans to cut weight to 132. ”He has vast potential, and I think he’ll be much more successful at 132,” Roberts said. ”He’s just not quite strong enough for 138, with all the wrestlers who’ve dropped down from 145.”
Christian Tucker went 4-2 at 145; Josiah Lee went 4-2 at 126; Giovanni Vazquez went 3-2 at 126; Jurny Halvorson went 2-2 at 126; Miguel Lopez went 1-2 at 132; Ayden Stubbs went 1-2 at 138; and going 0-2 were Juan Bautista at 120, Hugo Taura at 126, Sam Kenworthy at 152, Javier Fregoso at 195 and Corbin Allison at 220. In its competitive caliber, ”The JV tournament at Grants Pass is better than a lot of the varsity tournaments we go to,” Roberts said. This week, the Bulldogs compete at Thurston; on Dec. 29, they will compete at the Elmira Holiday Tournament.