▶️ Culver wrestling coach takes team to Texas to boost athletes’ mental health

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

No wrestling is allowed right now at local high schools, but that hasn’t stopped a local powerhouse wrestling team from taking their athletes on the road.

Despite a high number of Oregon COVID-19 cases and travel advisories, the Culver Mat Club team traveled to wrestle in a tournament in Texas this past week.

“To have this and to have them have a why, it’s a blessing, a true blessing to a lot of us families, to be able to give that to our kids and to have Culver wrestling give that to them was amazing,” parent Juanita Dickson said.

J.D. Alley has been the Culver High School varsity wrestling coach for 31 years and has taken his wrestlers to tournaments all over the country.

He called the trip to Texas “the most important trip they have ever taken.”

“To me, for that group of kids and you weigh the risk versus the benefit, it was an easy decision,” Alley, who is also the president of Culver Mat Club, said.

“This was a trip that had a little bit of wrestling in it, but it really wasn’t about wrestling,” he added.

Alley says the decision to travel was mostly about the mental health of his athletes.

“Just where COVID has put us mentally, we needed a snap out of it moment,” Alley said.

The Culver Mat Club team placed 6th out of 118 teams at the Texas tournament.

Many Culver Mat Club members are also on the Culver High School team. The Bulldogs’ wrestling program has been a 2A powerhouse, winning 12 state titles in 14 years.

Last season they placed second in the 2A state tournament. This was supposed to be their redemption year.

 “Some of them that you think would be chomping at the bit, weren’t,” Alley said. “That carrot and that dream has got away from them.”

Alley hoped the Texas tournament sanctioned by USA Wrestling would relight a fire under Alley’s athletes.

“It gave my kid a why to do something and finding a why has been hard, really hard,” Dickson said. “My kid had a why, a why to get out of bed, a why to do his homework, a why to have his smile on his face.”

The OSAA has approved a proposed six-week, mid-May, wrestling season ending with a culminating event.

Uncertain Future for the Pacific Crest Sports Festival

The Pacific Crest Sports Festival got under way down in Sunriver today and runs through the weekend. The festival is the largest endurance event in Central Oregon with more than 4,000 competitors. However concerns over the size of the race, and its affect on the small community of Sunriver, means there could be changes on the way.

Eric Lindstrom went down to Sunriver today to check out the festivities and catch up with the race director.

Madras Hosts the District Five Little League Tournament

The District Five Little League Tournament was taking place all week in Madras. The big Little League tournament featured all-star baseball and softball teams from all across the region.

Teams competed to advance out to the state tournament and the winner of each division moves on. If you keep winning you could eventually end up at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania in August.

Central Oregon was well represented in the tournament with teams from Warm Springs all the way down to La Pine and everywhere in between competing at the weeklong tournament and enjoying the kick off to their summer.

Mt Bachelor Plans New Mountain Park for 2019-20 Season

For the upcoming 2019-20 ski season, Mt. Bachelor will be unveiling their new Woodward Mountain Park which will be geared toward learning. The new area will feature three new lifts, two covered carpet lifts, and one aerial chair lift, as well as a start park where you can practice your “pizza” and “french fries” before hitting up the summit lift. You’ll also be seeing some other upgrades to the resort come the 2019 season, in the form of new parking lots, remodeled rental shops and modernized restroom facilities.

Bend Rock Gym Bouldering Expansion

Bend Rock Gym is already the hot spot to climb indoors in town but now the gym has expanded its facility by 11,000 square feet and has all new walls for beginners to experts. The gym will be hosting an open house for the public from 6-9 PM on Thursday, June 13, with beer and pizza for visitors to enjoy.

Central Oregon Daily’s Dalton Roth has more.

Ridgeview Ravens Take First Softball State Title

Less than twenty-four hours after La Pine defended their 3A baseball title, the Ridgeview Ravens softball team stepped onto the field at Jane Sanders Stadium in Eugene for their first-ever state championship appearance on Saturday.

Central Oregon Daily’s Meghan Glova was there when the Ravens won the 5A state title.

The Comeback Kids – La Pine Baseball Heads to State

The La Pine Hawks were up against the number one team in the state in the 3A Baseball semi-finals…and one that had beaten them several times before. While the game started great the Hawks soon found themselves behind, but they quickly turned that around.
 
Central Oregon Daily’s resident La Pine fan Eric Lindstrom was at that semi-final game and has the story of La Pine’s epic comeback.

Cascade Cycling Classic Returns to Central Oregon

More than 250 cyclist took off from Tumalo today, kicking off the return of the Cascade Cycling Classic. The race is making its return to Central Oregon after it was cancelled last year but this year it is back…with a few changes to ensure the community can get involved.
 
Central Oregon Daily’s Dalton Roth has more from today’s kick off in Tumalo.