With four battle-tested seniors leading the way, the No. 1-ranked Roseburg High wrestling team completed its home schedule Wednesday night with a dominant performance against South Medford.
Hunter Sparks (126 pounds), Garrett Russell (160), Brandon Jeffers (182) and Terrell Jacks (195) all posted falls on senior night and four other Indians were victorious in contested matches in a 60-11 Southwest Conference dual meet romp at Robertson Memorial Gym.
“All four seniors got pins, so that was a good way to end senior night,” said the third-ranked Sparks, who improved to 29-4 on the season.
The Indians — who are chasing their fifth consecutive Class 6A title and 10th crown in 12 seasons — received major decisions from Cameron Cross (106), Tristin David (132) and Caleb Jeffers (138) and a fall from Colin Rietmann (145). Winning by forfeit were Kaden Schlatter (113), Kahleb Diaz (120) and Austin David (152).
Emotions always run high on senior night. Before the varsity meet, 15 seniors and seven stat girls were recognized.
“I was preparing myself because I knew it was going to be emotional,” Sparks said. “All of the guys, we were pretty shook up about it. We were doing good through stretches, but as soon as Steve (Lander, Roseburg head coach) gave me a hug after warmups I kind of broke down. Then as soon as they called my name I kind of broke down.
“This is where we grew as wrestlers. From wrestling in a little mat club tournament as a peewee to having my last match in here ever, it’s a lot to take in. But we’re not done yet, we’ve still got four weeks left.”
Brandon Jeffers and Russell shared similar sentiments.
“Pretty much every emotion you could think of has run through tonight,” Jeffers said. “Between coming out and hugging Steve, and coming out for a match here for the last time and winning and pinning my kid, it’s been a hectic night.”
Russell said, “I had a hard time keeping it together. This has been my home the last four years ... football’s done and wrestling is coming to an end. I love this place. It’s really hard, but it’s been a blast.”
It’s emotional for the coaching staff as well.
“We’re super proud of the seniors,” Lander said. “They’ve been a part of three state championships, with an opportunity for four. They just won their fourth Oregon Classic dual meet championship. They’ve been a very important class to our success, and we get pretty attached to them.
“I always worry if they’ll handle it well, but I thought tonight they handled it well and wrestled well. They didn’t let the other stuff get in the way.”
The Indians will compete in the Reser’s Tournament of Champions this weekend in Hillsboro. A dual at Grants Pass ends the regular season on Jan. 24, then comes the district tournament the following weekend in Medford.
“I think so,” replied Sparks, when asked if the Indians are where they need to be at this point of the season. “There’s always room for improvement and we can always work harder. Our mindset is narrowing down to getting that fifth one (championship). I think we can do it.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think this team has the ability to do the things we want to do,” Russell said.
“It’s getting more intense, and just getting better,” Brandon Jeffers said.
For now, Lander is anxious to see if his squad can defend its title at the Reser’s TOC.
“It’s the best meet in Oregon, and it’s our last chance to be in a bracket tournament before district,” the coach said. “We always try to get them to put a little pressure on themselves to place. It’s a quality event. The toughest schools in Oregon are there and we’re looking forward to it.”
Roseburg 60, South Medford 11
106 — Cameron Cross, R, maj. dec. Aidan Rania, SM, 14-2. 113 — Kaden Schlatter, R, won by forfeit. 120 — Kahleb Diaz, R, won by forfeit. 126 — Hunter Sparks, R, p. Killian Cosgrove, SM, 1:03. 132 — Tristin David, R, maj. dec. Chase Imus, SM, 13-1. 138 — Caleb Jeffers, R, maj. dec. Andrew Hall, SM, 12-4. 145 — Colin Rietmann, R, p. Lucas Rivera, SM, 1:04. 152 — Austin David, R, won by forfeit. 160 — Garrett Russell, R, p. Trenton Bates, SM, 1:33. 170 — Cole Schumack, SM, dec. Logan Folsom, R, 4-3. 182 — Brandon Jeffers, R, p. Ryan Beck, SM, 3:08. 195 — Terrell Jacks, R, p. Jaxin Kinler, SM, 2:12. 220 — Michael Cormier, SM, p. Cody Van Sickle, R, 1:52. 285 — Nate Eli, SM, dec. Mason Labahn, R, 2-1.
JV Score — Roseburg 84, South Medford 0