On Dec. 6 the season of the toughest sport of all: wrestling, dawned. Hundreds of participants and spectators gathered in Quinn Court at Enterprise High School to celebrate the Enterprise Kickoff tournament.
More than a dozen schools from Washington and Oregon participated and both wrestling programs from Wallowa County, Joseph/Wallowa and Enterprise, set their sights high for the meet with about 20 wrestlers between them.
Although no local ladies participated, several schools threw their female grapplers into the mix. Even though wrestling can be described as controlled violence, it is the most family friendly of high school sports.
Parents aren’t held back by bleachers or backstops: they can sit or stand at the very edge of the mat with their child locked in combat and offer encouragement or even advice in some cases. What other sport offers that?
Local parents indulge offer particularly hearty support, which showed out on the mats. With both JCS and EHS in rebuilding years, both squads put in a good showing and placing wrestlers in the top four with each squad having one first-place wrestler.
JCS senior, Jonah Staigle at 220 pounds gave out wrestling lessons to three competitors, pinning each in relatively short order. Also with the gold was EHS junior, Trace Evans, wrestling at 138 pounds, also manhandling three foes.
Joseph/Wallowa placed fourth in the meet, with 90.5 points, somewhat behind Baker’s 156 while Enterprise placed in the 11th slot with 44 points.
In addition to Staigle’s performance, two JCS wrestlers placed in the second slot: Zeb Ramsden at 145 pounds and Ronnie Morello at 170 pounds. Newcomer Lute Ramsden placed fourth at 126 pounts.
Over on the Outlaws’ side, Justice McQuown placed third at 132 pounds while Cody Fent placed fourth in the same bracket.
JCS coach, Tim Kiesecker was proud of his team’s performance, he noted Zeb Ramsden’s second-place performance in which the junior only lost to a top-ranked 3A wrestler and even then the loss was a close 4-2 decision. Kiesecker also noted Staigle’s performance, saying, “I’ve got big plans for that kid this year.”
Joseph/Wallowa next travels to Culver for its tournament on Friday, Dec. 13 and the following day. EHS is slated for the Muilenberg tournament in La Grande on the same days.