PORTLAND — Three Glide High individuals looking to repeat as state champions were unable to do so. It didn’t matter.
Bonafide Oakland superstar David Henry very routinely repeated again. He insisted it mattered very much.
For the first time in school history, though, there was something bigger in store than individuals titles for the Glide Wildcats at the end of the night: a Class 3A team championship trophy.
Junior 145-pounder Garret Short was the only Wildcat to take home individual gold from Memorial Coliseum, but the whole team got to stake claim to the most important and elusive prize. A complete effort up and down the weight classes led to 205 points for the Wildcats, who easily beat out second-place Willamina (180) and third-place Riverside (121.5).
“Just seeing the smiles on these kids’ faces, this is a great night,” Glide coach Jeff Freeman said. “This team has been resilient all year, and they were especially resilient up here. I couldn’t be happier for them right now.”
The closest Glide had come was a second-place finish in 2008. Last year, they made their presence known again by taking third with a group of underclassmen.
“The kids that won last year and fell short tonight aren’t even worried about it,” Freeman added. “They know this is about the team.”
Not that individual accomplishments didn’t remain cool. In the case of Henry, a 220-pound senior, they were more expected than anything as he completed a third straight undefeated season with another Class 2A title.
Henry pinned all three of his opponents in a total of five minutes, 15 seconds. His final record, unblemished yet again, was 34-0.
“A kid like that’s gotta set little goals for himself to keep it exciting,” Oakland coach Aaron Swan said. “That’s what he did with those pins.”
He pinned all three of his opponents at state last season, too. The final match of his storied career ended with Lowell junior Colin Cash laying motionless on the floor 11 seconds into the second round.
“It’s satisfying,” Henry said. “It’s always satisfying.”
Oakland sophomore Angus Swan was actually even more impressive at 182 pounds. The No. 2 seed pinned all three of his opponents in the first round, including No. 1 seed Kaleb Gilbert, a Central Linn senior, in 1:13 in the final.
As a freshman last season, Swan said he weighed 179 pounds but competed at 195. He didn’t place, but came back stronger this year.
“I had some doubts because I hadn’t seen (Gilbert) before, but I was pretty confident about coming out and just getting after people right away,” Swan said. “I think I’ve come a long way, and it definitely helps training with the best wrestler in the state (Henry).”
Despite bringing just three individuals to the final site, the outrageous number of pins compiled by Henry and Swan gave Oakland a sixth-place team finish.
Glide, on the other hand, did it with depth. The Wildcats had a total of 11 placers — one first, three seconds, five thirds, one fifth and one sixth.
Short was the No. 2 seed and had to upset No. 1 Sean Shipley, a Rainier senior, with a 4-3 decision in the final. The back-and-forth battle was decided with a point awarded when Shipley was called for illegally pulling on Short’s head gear with 43 seconds left.
“It was a long last round, man,” Short said. “My plan was to get the first takedown. That didn’t work, so I just had to keep fighting him. It was a good scramble.”
Short proved to be difficult to score on throughout the tournament, winning his first match by fall before 4-1 and 2-1 decision got him to the final.
Defending champions Walker Damewood and Luke O’Connor both nearly delivered Glide titles for the second straight year but fell just short. O’Connor, a 160-pound senior, pinned his first two opponents in a total of 47 seconds and won a 9-2 decision to get to the title. There, Burns junior Seth Nonnenmacher controlled him in a 5-1 decision.
Damewood, a 138-pound junior, also picked up two pins and a major decision on his way to the final before falling to Dayton’s Micah Cisneos, the No. 2 seed, 4-2. Freshman Ian Quimby, a No. 3 seed, was the third Wildcat to make the finals with third-round pins in his quarterfinal and semifinal matches. He dropped a major decision to Willamina junior Skyler Voight for the championship, 12-4.
Junior Jake Forrester, the top seed at 152 pounds, was Glide’s other defending champ. He reached the semifinals where he was upset by Burns senior Brennan Bailey in a 41-second pin, but came back with two wins in the consolation bracket for third place.
Joining Forrester in third for the Wildcats were senior Michael Loomis (132 pounds), sophomore Alex Holland (138), junior Mikel Farley (170) and senior Brey Syverson (195). Sophomore Devin Freeman (126) was fifth and freshman William Beard (152) sixth.
“That consolation round is really what won it for us,” said coach Freeman, whose Wildcats went 5-0 in third-place matches.
In 2A action, sophomore Ricky Esparza got Glendale on the board in a big way with a finals appearance in the 113-pound class. Esparza began the tournament with an upset 4-2 overtime decision against No. 2 Tyler Sherman of Monroe, but couldn’t upset No. 1 Joe Fine of Oakridge in the finals, losing 3-1.
South Umpqua senior Chris Bowers was Douglas County’s only 4A placer, taking sixth at 106 pounds to finish the year with a record of 29-6.