The Joseph/Wallowa wrestling squad braved the weekend storms to battle at the Echo High School Cougar Challenge.
The move paid off for Jo/Wa who, despite being several wrestlers short, managed a fourth–place finish with 66 points while second and third slots, filled by Heppner and Imbler respectively, eked out 67.5 and 67 points respectively.
Out mining the gold fields were Zeb Ramsden at first at 145 pounds with three falls and muscleman Jonah Staigle at 220 pounds for the gold. Staigle defeated all four opponents by falls.
Ronnie Morello came back with a second after a silver mining expedition at 170 pounds and Kennison Knifong found some bronze, also at 145 pounds.
Coach Tim Kiesecker was recovering from surgery, so he didn't attend the meet. He got good reports about his squad, however.
“We did all right,” Kiesecker said. “I talked to the boys at times, during and after their matches. We were down three kids, so only six kids went over.”
The coach said the squad didn’t meet any foul weather on the trip to Echo, but that changed by the end of the meet. Inclement weather forced the team to spend the night in a Pendleton hotel.
“I think the kids wrestled good, and a huge thank you to everybody who helped out and got them there safely,” Kiesecker said. “I’m really glad the kids were able to make this one.”
Jo/Wa has the next weekend off followed by a meet at ---??? on Jan. 24-25.