Four Raiders place at state
Dominant all season, Raider wrestler Orrin Gross seized the state championship at 138 pounds at the Mat Classic in Tacoma last weekend to lead the team to sixth place in the state "B" championship tournament.
In his first match, Gross pinned Oscar Roa of Brewster in the third round to move on to a semifinal match against Jon Walling of Kittitas.
Walling continued to be a tough opponent for Gross, but Gross put the moves on Walling and defeated him 10-5.
Gross took on Daniel Stauffer of Davenport in the hard-fought championship match, coming out on top 10-4 to take home the gold medal.
Gross was joined in the medaling and placing by three other Raider wrestlers to give LR the sixth-place team finish in the all-B classification.
"It was the culmination of a season, or for some, years of hard work and preparation paying off at the right time," Raider Head Coach Steve Hood said.
At 126 pounds, Kodie Horn defeated Elijah Towery of North Beach in his first match by first-round pin. Then Horn was tripped up by J. P. Martinez of Warden, the eventual state champ at 126. After defeating Mason Mackey of Wahkiakum, Horn had to wrestle for third or fourth place against another similar opponent, Noel Espinoza of Kittitas. It was an even fight until the very end when Espinoza came out the victor by just one point, 10-9. Horn took home fourth at 126.
Sean Waters started his state tournament off with a first-round pin of Cody Corn of Concrete, then got pinned in the first round by Tony Knebel of Pomeroy in the semifinal match for 170 pounds. Knebel went on to take the championship.
Waters moved on to pin Gus Randall of Winlock in the second round.
In the placing match for 170, Waters faced a league foe in Garet Sax of Selkirk, prevailing in a three-round match 5-3 to earn the bronze.
The final placer for LR was Levi Seylor at 182 pounds. Seylor won his first-round match 8-2 over Matthew Boyes of Raymond, then moved on to face Niko Knezovich of Reardan. Seylor put up a hard fight, but Knezovich defeated him in a second-round pin, eventually taking the state championship.
Seylor didn't let himself remain frustrated long. He mauled Cameron Wischhausen of Liberty (Spangle) 14-2. In the third/fourth match against Ike Martinez of Reardan, Seylor overcame the challenges Martinez threw at him to win 9-7 and take home the bronze medal at 182.
Coltin Williams did not place at 120 pounds, but he gained great experience for next year, Coach Hood noted, pleased with the way Williams wrestled in the tough matches.
All the Raiders at the Mat Classic last weekend will likely return next year, forming a strong base to challenge Reardan and Kittitas for dominance of State "B" wrestling.
Hood said the Raider success this season also came from the large amount of volunteer coaching from former LR wrestlers and from community members who took time out of their day to help for two hours making the current LR wrestling better.