PENDLETON — Over the past decade, Hermiston has fully established itself as a wrestling powerhouse in the state of Oregon with 10 team state championships and numerous individual titles.
However, as roster turnover over the past few seasons has left holes in the lineup, the Bulldogs have had to mix and match with the weight classes and be patient with some young faces. And with their Class 5A district tournament on the horizon next week, the Bulldogs showed they still have a lot of work to do following Wednesday night’s 42-30 dual victory over Pendleton at Warberg Court.
“I think we took these guys a little bit for granted,” Hermiston’s Zach Kirkpatrick said afterwards. “I think we need to come out more focused next time we’re out here with more intensity throughout the entire match.”
The Hermiston-Pendleton matchups have been one-sided for the Bulldogs for awhile, with Hermiston winning by a combined score of 174-46 in the three previous years. But the Bulldogs gave away 12 points with two forfeits at 132 and 138, lost two matches by fall and two by decision.
“Some guys wrestled tough, some guys I thought could’ve done a little better,” Hermiston head coach Kyle Larson said. “I think in a few matches we kind of stood around and were okay with just a decision. I think we could’ve pushed the pace a little bit more in some matches, maybe we’ll fix that this week before we go to districts.”
Hermiston’s Joey Gutierrez (195) had the most impressive win of the night as he pinned Cezar Medina in a quick 26 seconds. Gutierrez attacked quickly after the whistle, scoring a takedown just five seconds before flipping Medina to his back and securing the pin.
Gutierrez’s win was one of four pins for Hermiston on the night. At 145, AJ Tuia pinned Blake Davis at 3:41, Kirkpatrick (170) pinned Ian Bannister at 4:26 and Sean Stewart (220) pinned Aiden Henderson at 3:19.
Kirkpatrick battled with Bannister into the third round, holding a 3-1 lead, though the match featured little action as both wrestlers spent a lot of time dancing around and trying to find their shot. But as they started the third round, Bannister chose to start the crouch on the bottom, and Kirkpatrick saw an opportunity. As soon as the starting whistle blew, Kirkpatrick held Bannister, got in position and secured the pin 15 seconds into the period.
“The guy was kind of making me upset, kept backing out,” Kirkpatrick said of his match. “So when he chose down, I know I’m tough on top and thought ‘I’m just going to pin this kid.’ And you saw, I just got him over and got him down.
“I was relieved. The team needed it, so it felt pretty good.”
Stewart’s pin against Pendleton’s Henderson was also impressive. Henderson controlled the match through the first period and led 4-1 early in the second period. But while Henderson had Stewart in a hold, he hesitated for a moment, which allowed Stewart to get some leverage and flip Henderson on his back to secure the win.
HERMISTON 42, PENDLETON 30
138 — Brendan Bedolla (P) wins by forfeit (P 6-0)
145 — AJ Tuia (H) def. Blake Davis by fall, 3:41 (T 6-6)
152 — Isaac Urbina (P) def. Trevor Wagner by 10-9 decision (P 9-6)
160 — Aiden Patterson (P) def. Daniel Faaeteete by fall, 1:22 (P 15-6)
170 — Zach Kirkpatrick (H) def. Ian Bannister by fall, 4:26 (P 15-12)
182 — Jake Palmer (H) def. Kirk Liscom by 4-0 decision (T 15-15)
195 — Joey Gutierrez (H) def. Cezar Medina by fall, 0:26 (H 21-15)
220 — Sean Stewart (H) def. Aiden Henderson by fall, 3:19 (H 27-15)
285 — Beau Blake (H) def. Perry Markgraf by 5-2 decision (H 30-15)
106 — Isaac Lambert (H) wins by forfeit (H 36-15)
113 — Ruben Madrigal (H) wins by forfeit (H 42-15)
120 — Caleb Tremper (P) def. Shawn Pourier by fall, 5:00 (H 42-21)
126 — Chris Chambers (P) def. Gage Shipley by 4-0 decision (H 42-24)
132 — Koby Jones (P) wins by forfeit (H 42-30)