I.V. wrestlers win another tourney

Dusty Fiske
IVN contributing writer

First off, kudos to the officials of the Dan Vidlak tournament after receiving a phone call from coach Gene Griffin about a mistake in the scoring, they recounted and agreed the final total shows Illinois Valley with 235.5 points and second place South Medford with 203. The coach asked South Medford to give the I.V. team the trophy, but he haven’t received a response. But the good news is that I.V. wrestlers were the champions to start the season.
Last week the grapplers went to North Valley for a quad duel and won all three of their matches. First up was Phoenix which we defeated 57-12. Next we disposed of Ashland 48-27. In the main event of the evening, I.V. defeated North Valley by a score of 52-24. Locals James Conn (106), Mike Miller (113), Micah Martinho (120), Talen Shaffer (132), and Jozia Williams (165) all won their three matches while Kaiden Green (215) won both of his.
The boys jumped on a bus Friday at 5a.m. and went to Culver to wrestle in a strong 23-team tournament. After the dust cleared Saturday night (approximately 190 matches) I.V. accumulated 217 points to finish in first place. They narrowly defeated two-time defending 3A State Champions LaPine, who finished in second place with 206 points. There were several outstanding performances as the Cougars had three champions, 3 second places, 2 thirds, 3 fourths and a sixth.
Ryan Griffin (157), the defending 150 State Champ, was amazing with five pins in five matches totaling three minutes and seven seconds. He took home the fastest pin award (26 seconds).
James Conn won his three matches with three pins in two minutes and seven seconds. Surprising freshman Garret White (113), Ethan Green (144) and Cole Nerple (157) all lost only in the final bout, for second place finishes. Mike Miller, our three-time defending champion, lost his first bout to the eventual champion in a hard fought 5-2 decision. He then showed why he is a champion by pining five consecutive opponents, then won a 10-3 decision to capture third place. Talen Shaffer won five out of his six bouts to also finish third.
Micah Martinho continued to impress with two pins and two tech falls, 20-4 and 17-1 in the final. He easily won the best take-down award and beat Ryan Griffin by one vote to capture the outstanding wrestler award. Our fourth-place finishers were Kaiden Green, Justin Foster and Grit Charitram.
It took the entire team to win this tournament and everyone who participated should be proud. Great win!