Strength in numbers did not apply to the Enterprise Wrestling Team Friday night as the eight-man squad placed second with 135.5 points at the Enterprise Kickoff Tournament. The 11 team match-up saw Clarkston grab top team honors with 200.5 points followed by EHS, with Baker in third with 132.5. Joseph and Wallowa placed sixth and ninth compiling 79 and 28 points, respectively.
"We had some great matches and got the crowd really involved," said Enterprise Wrestling Coach Troy Farwell. "This is what it's all about," he added.
Enterprise placed four of eight wrestlers in the championship round with three of eight competing in consolation matches.
EHS junior Justin Moncrief wrestled a tough match at 103 pounds in the championship falling to Jessie Christensen of Baker 4-2. Moncrief sat out most of last season after breaking his arm at the Jo-Hi Tournament.
The most exciting match for Enterprise came in the 119-pound weight class between Andy Wallace and Clarkston's Jared Waltari. Walitri controlled the match, holding on to a 6-4 advantage heading into the final period. Wallace pulled to within one at 8-7 with :30 seconds remaining in the match. The EHS freshman made his move for a reversal with five ticks left on the clock in the final period to take the victory with a 9-8 decision over Waltari.
"Andy's conditioning and the constant pressure that he put on his opponent won the match for him," Farwell said.
Second-place state finisher Jake McCleary wrestled a tough match at 125 pounds in his final, only to be pinned in a cradle by Clarkston's James Standerfer midway through the third period.
EHS senior Austin Himes pinned Sterling Horn from Grant Union early in the third period for the victory at 135 pounds. Himes said that once he figured out what Horn was trying to do he baited Horn and got him on his back for the pin.
Ryan Barstad was the only Joseph wrestler to make the championship round in the 140 pound slot. Barstad was unable to generate points in the match, falling to Joel Christensen 18-3 by technical fall with :19 seconds remaining in the final period.
Enterprise's final win came in the 189-pound championship round pitting Jimmy Van Belle against Jeff Chamberlin of Pine Eagle. Van Belle was able to pin Chamberlin :55 seconds into the final period. " He was strong, so I just had to get over the top and go all out, that's what did it for me," Van Belle said.
Farwell said that his team placed just about where he had expected them to because of their experience level.
Team Scores: 1.,Clarkston 200.5; 2. Enterprise 135.5; 3. Baker 132.5; 4. Pine Eagle 115; 5. Grant Union 82; 6. Joseph 79; 7. Imbler 64.5; 8. Elgin 41; 9. Wallowa 28; 10. Stanfield 20; 11. Union 0.
Weight Class Results
1st Jesse Christensen, Baker by a decision of 4-2 over Justin Moncrief, Enterprise
1st Bryton Hills, Pine Eagle by pin in 2.48 over Bryce Line, Clarkston
1st Andy Wallace, Enterprise by a decision of 9-8 over Jared Waltari,Clarkston
1st James Standerfer, Clarkston by pin in 4.29 over Jake McCleary, Enterprise
1st Kyler Buckner, Clarkston by pin in 1.24 over Josh Arnell, Grant Union
1st Austin Himes, Enterprise by pin in 3.27 over Sterling Horn Grant Union
1st Joel Christensen, Baker by technical fall in 5.31 over Ryan Barstad, Joseph
1st Tom Whittum, Clarkston by a decision of 6-2 over Nick Stiner, Grant Union
1st Wyeth Crawford, Pine Eagle by pin in 3.26 over Cody Reece, Clarkston
1st Chris Price, Baker by a decision of 4-3 over Zac Myers Imbler
1st Daniel Johnson, Imbler by pin in 0.28 over Steven Cook, Baker
1st Jimmy VanBelle, Enterprise by pin in 4.55 over Jeff Chamberlin, Pine Eagle
1st Blake Eckstien, Elgin by pin in 1.04 over Brad Phillips, Clarkston
1st Levi Chamberlin, Pine Eagle by pin in 3.33 over Andrew Walker, Baker