Joseph coach Matt McDowell and his wrestling team came away with a late Christmas present over the weekend with a second place tie with Elgin/Imbler at the Jo-Hi Invitational. "These guys really over achieved. We shouldn't have even been in the tournament against Elgin/Imbler and Pine Eagle," McDowell said.
Randall Eschler scored Joseph's first victory in the championship finals at 135 pounds with a pin over Levi Roberts from Culver at 4:52 of the match.
Aaron White finished the afternoon in second place after a tough 7-4 loss against Culver's Danny Loredo. 152 pounder Lance Strickland ended the day in third after losing to Union's Troy Savely. Kirk Borgerding and Mike Gamboa finished two and three at 160. Jason Harding ended up in fourth after EHS matman James Nash won by a 13-8 decision.
It all came down to Joseph's last match of the afternoon in the championship round. Joseph's 215 pounder Clayton Lowe had to pin Pine Eagles Cal Ruggles to secure a second place team finish. Lowe battled his way to the pin at the 3:32 mark of the match.
"Clayton went out and got the job done," McDowell said. "I couldn't be happier, I'm very proud of all the kids."
Seventeen teams were originally scheduled to participate in the tournament but due to the weather only 10 were able to attend.
1, Culver. 215; 2, Imbler/Elgin, 131: 2, Joseph, 131; 4, Pine-Eagle, 127; 5, Union, 89; 6, Grant Union, 66; 7, Enterprise, 63; 8, Alsea, 60; 9, Wallowa, 47; 10, Powder Valley, 36.
Local Individual Top Finishes
103 lbs.-2nd Quentin Byers, Wallowa. 112 lbs-2nd Justin Moncrief, Enterprise; 119 lbs - 4th, Chad Sams, Enterprise 135 lbs-1st., Randall Eschler, Joseph: 4th, Cody Rickert, Wallowa. 140lbs 2nd Aaron White, Joseph. 145 lbs-3rd Collin Cunningham, Enterprise. 152 lbs 3rd Lance Strickland, Joseph 160 lbs-2nd Kirk Borgerding, Joseph; 3rd Mike Gamboa, Joseph 171 lbs-4th Patrick Silveira, Wallowa. 189 lbs 3rd James Nash, Enterprise; 4th Jason Harding, Joseph. 215 lbs 1st. Clayton Lowe, Joseph.