By Jeremy McDonald
MCMINNVILLE, Ore.– Louie Sanchez has continued on where he left off his junior year that saw him bring home that State Championship and there is no doubt Sanchez is looking to duplicate that success into his senior season.
Sitting at number one according to the Oregon Wrestling Forum at the 220-class, Sanchez got two quick pins to push his undefeated record further during in the opening rounds to get to the finals versus Willamina’s Jordan Mode.
Getting win number 34 would be his hardest during the weekend against mode as he assumed the top position in the referee position and on the restart, got a good jump on Mode as he drove him around trying to get the junior on his back for the pin.
Mode fought it as the referee pealed them a part for the second period where Sanchez found himself fighting the scrappy Mode trying to get the upper-hand. Eventually Sanchez did as his stood his six-four frame up and escaped to take a 3-0 lead before bringing Mode down and getting the pin at the 2:44 mark of the match.
“Usually just taking the first blow and then just settle down. I usually end up grabbing the wrist and hands, break them a part and I hold it and I get up and get the escape,” said Sanchez on reversing the tide.
As for winning the tournament at his weight class, the humble Sanchez just described it as ‘no words’ as Macoy Christman wrapped up the winner bracket at 285 versus South Salem’s Ashton Adams.
The junior Christman looked to join Sanchez, Joesph Baker (126, defeated teammate Dakota Elliott via pin) and Noah Thompson (132, defeated teammate Kane Nixon via 9-7 decision) to win their weights. Kade Van De Hey finished second at 152 as did Jackson Sigler (120) and Daniel Moore (106) as other Cougars who reached the Championship round.
Christman, who has faced Adams two times before and once each in the last few years, went into a stalemate as the match began, but Christman quickly brought down the Saxon heavyweight and pinned Adams in 67 seconds.
“I wrestled him freshman year at our home tournament Perry Burelson and sophomore year at our home tournament and both times I actually ended up throwing him into a head-and-arm, which is the move I pinned him in,” starts Christman. “I don’t know, you just got to get a feel for the experience and knowing when to hit it.”
Joey Casiano (138), Matthew Stahlberg (145), Israel Martinez (160), Kayden Lindquist (195) all finished third in the tournament as Cascade finished second to host-McMinnville by 27.5 points as they scored 214 in the tournament.
As they enter the twilight of the season with senior day Wednesday versus rival Stayton at 6pm, those involved with the team are happy and proud with how far this team has develop with districts coming up at Sweet Home here in a few weeks.
“I’m just happy with the team’s success and how much we’ve grown on the mat and how hard we’ve trained,” said Sanchez. “It’s pretty awesome to get the feeling that it’s paying off.”
“I say so far this entire year, this team has been pretty successful,” added Christman. “We got a pretty solid five guys that have a really good winning record. Then we have guys that still have winning records, they’re not as good but they got a winning record. Then we got guys who are really helping out in the line-up, getting wins when they’re not expected to. So it’s been a really good team.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald