The Oregon Wrestling Classic tournament at the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center in Redmond last weekend had a lot of big moments. Teams on the High Desert saw a lot of success this year, but there was a tournament of controversy for one program.
Culver High School continued its dominance at the Classic, and Mountain View High School won it for the very first time.
“Making program history has always been a dream, I think of everyone, every kid on the team wants to make a difference at Mountain View and be that next best Mountain View team,” said 138-pound Mountain View wrestler Andrew Worthington.
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Throughout the years for the Mountain View High School wrestling program, it’s been a slow grind to reach consistent success. But years of hard work and dedication from both athletes and coaches have led to a year like this one.
“It’s been a really good year,” said 132-pound Mountain View 6A state champion Drew Jones. “This is the best, as far as my knowledge goes, the best Mountain View has ever been in the history of the program.”
The Cougars took home the first-place trophy in the Oregon Classic Wrestling tournament for the first time in program history.
“It was like a Watershed moment for us, but one of the things we talked about when we walked away, we didn’t want this to be that feeling of culmination like we had reached where we wanted to be,” said head wrestling coach at Mountain View Les Combs. “We just wanted it to be one big step and we felt like we got there when competing with the 5A.”
Mountain View was one of many teams from Central Oregon to find success at the Classic this year.
Culver won at the 2A level for the 17th year in a row, while Crook County took silver at 4A.
The La Pine Hawks took first at the tournament for the first time last year and were looking to do the same this year. But according to head coach Aaron Flack, the team was forced to forfeit from the Classic due to an error made during weigh-ins — a possible mistake by the Oregon Classic staff.
According to staff directors, any athlete that wrestles at the wrong weight must forfeit the entire dual, meaning the entire team has to forfeit.
In a Facebook post Flack says:
“This was a very unfortunate situation and anyone that thinks that was intentional, obviously does not know me very well…. We beat all three teams on Friday by over 40 points. We didn’t need his points. I don’t want to take away from the fact that our kids were wrestling tough, and they didn’t deserve to have this stripped from them”
You can read Flack’s full post here:
For the Mountain View Cougars and coach Combs, who has been the coach since 1996, they have high hopes for another historic moment in program history.
“We need to win state,” said Jones. “It’s never happened. Coach Combs has been coaching for a long time, and he’s never gotten that, we’re going to do everything we can to do what we can to make that happen this year.”