By Jeremy McDonald
SWEET HOME, Ore.– Russel Stigall pursuit of another State Title continued with capturing the 132-pound District Title Saturday over Cascade’s Noah Thompson.
For much of the match, Stigall only held a 4-2 lead on the Cougar grappler entering the third and final round of the match.
“I wrestled him early on in the year and in this match he knew I was going to hit a single so he kind of just laid back a bit so I wouldn’t hit it,” said Stigall on the match with Thompson entering the third period. “So I had to work into it a little bit.”
Stigall admitted that he probably could have gone into attack mode a little bit sooner, but when he did, the two-point lead quickly grew.
The junior was open in remembering as well that his dad challenging him to finish the final round as well as he starts his matches.
“My dad, even when I win, he would chew my ass because I would kind of stall out in the third round so this match I went after it,” said Stigall with a laugh and a smile.
He was finding his open shot and was connecting on it, closing the match out with a 5-1 advantage to capture the Title 9-3 over Thompson as he knows how he can improve with the State Meet here in a few days.
“I got to work on my other shot besides the single,” said Stigall. “Maybe work on my high-crotches, my opposite, my single to the right and maybe my shots to my left.”
In the match following Stigall’s, the 138 with Brandon Gibson saw Gibson get after it against Sweet Home’s Travis Thorpe by building a 9-0 lead on Thrope after two periods.
“He was coming in really strong, so I was ready for him to come in and hit a single because in the first round, he was going for it and I saw a opening and I just waited for it after the break,” said Gibson as he did most of his damage in the second period.
There was some fatigue on Gibson’s part for getting after it during the first two rounds as Thrope was trying to find some way to get back into the match to start the third period and Thrope did score, but Gibson held off Thrope at the end when he got his second-wind.
“He came out strong you know, I was dying from the first two periods so I was tired,” starts Gibson. “But I just decided to step it up even though I was tired and i just stepped it up and get it.”
Gibson knows over the next couple of practices, he’ll need to work on his endurance and trying to push the tempo in preparation for State.
By tournament’s end, Gibson was named Outstanding wrestler for the ligther weights between 106 and 145, something that Gibson points to his hard work in which helped him to this point.118
“It’s everything I worked for you know? It feels great,” said Gibson.
Alec Roberts finished District Runner-Up at 160 before Matt Carrillo (182) and Ramon Organiz (195) won the Title at their respective weights. Organiz showed his excitment as he left the mat following his match.
“I feel awesome,” said an excited Organiz. “It was a lot of hard work, I pushed myself and it felt awesome.”
Saul Tarula (4th, 138), Ulises Maldonado (5th, 160) and Justin McConkey (5th, 106) all podiumed for the Huskies Saturday at Sweet Home.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald