TACOMA – Hornet Bryce Woodruff became an OHS wrestling State Champion after being a State runner-up for two years in a row.
“Woodruff pinned his way all the way to, and including, the finals for a perfect day in the Tacoma Dome Mat Classic XXI,” said Hornet Head Coach Chuck Ricevuto.
Mike Lynch became the first Oroville freshman wrestler to make it all the way to the finals and placed a very impressive second in State. Another outstanding freshman, Nick Perez, placed third in State by beating the only wrestler he lost to earlier in the State competition.
“Both Lynch and Perez will return next year as huge favorites for the State title,” said Ricevuto.
Freshman Alex Kelly started his State Tournament off with a pin only to lose to the eventual State Champ in the semi-finals. Then came a very hard fought three to four loss in the consolation finals that spoiled his dream of being a State placer, said his coach.
Sophomore Tyler Herrera started off with a loss, but came back strong with a pin over Levi Cline of Tacoma Baptist. Then, after leading a Consolation Semi-Final bout that would have put him into the medals, he lost a very tough match.
Perhaps the most heart-breaking loss came Friday night when State Champion hopeful Carlos Herrera suffered a lower rib area injury and lost a two to four decision in the Championship Semi-Finals.
“Carlos battled his injury pain the very best he could but it was quite evident he was far from 100 percent effective. Carlos, being a true team wrestler, tried again in the Consolation Semi-Finals but was again denied,” said Ricevuto.
The coach added, “We salute this great senior effort on Carlos’ part for the sake of his teammates.”
Placing in sixth out of 35 trams in State Competition is an honor, according to the coach.
“We are certainly proud of our accomplishments. Nevertheless we were disappointed we could not place in the top four plaque-awarded positions,” he said.
With four returning State veterans and two more returning State alternates Ricevuto feels the Hornets will have a great opportunity for an even stronger State performance next season.
“The top six teams were all from our region,” said Ricevuto.
The top eight teams and their scores at State were: Republic, 113.5; Kittitas, 107; Pomeroy, 97; Reardan, 70; Liberty Bell, 66; Oroville, 59; Concrete, 49 and Mary Walker, 39.