IVN Contributing Writer
The Cougars went to South Medford Jan. 3 and won six out of nine matches. The other four matches resulted in forfeits (four against Illinois Valley) and the official final score was South Medford 42, Illinois Valley 39. It was the first dual loss of the season, but considering it was against the ninth ranked 6A team in the state, it was very respectable.
The Cougars started the evening with falls by Mike Miller, Micah Martinho and Talen Shaffer. Then Ethan Green won an 8-5 decision against Brady Clark. Ryan Griffin and Jozia Williams then recorded two more falls. Unfortunately the last three matches were falls by South Medford and the score was I.V. 39, South Medford 36. The last match was a forfeit to South Medford, thus the final score of 42 to 39.
On Jan. 6 the wrestlers traveled to Eagle Point to participate in the Hunter Hoeptner Memorial 2024. A winter storm resulted in only eight of 12 teams participating and the Cougars took second place behind Eagle Point. It should be noted that Eagle Point had 21 wrestlers in the event to I.V.’s 11.
James Conn, Mike Miller, Micah Martinho, Talen Shaffer, Ryan Griffin and Jozia Williams were all crowned champions. Justin Foster, Ethan Green and Kaiden Green took third places while Dylan Hall finished fourth and Grit Charitram took fifth. Pretty impressive considering I.V. was the smallest school in the event.
The J.V. squad also had an excellent tournament. Kaiden Holbrook, Brody Riolo, Landon Mason and Brenden Ingram all claimed championships as the team finished in first place. All nine wrestlers contributed points as I.V. scored 142 points to finish ahead of North Medford (124 points) and North Valley (112).
The girls’ team had all six wrestlers in action for the first time this season. The result was a second place finish as all six girls scored points. Jozy Clark and Morgan Melton won championships, Isabella Podoll finished second and Breanna Reed took third. The girls took home their first trophy of the season.
This week the boys prepare to go to the Oregon Classics in Redmond Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13. It should be a fun time!