From a team standpoint, Steve Lander probably couldn’t have expected much more from his Roseburg High wrestlers in the 33rd annual Coast Classic, held at North Bend High School Friday and Saturday.
The Indians, who filled 12 of the 14 varsity weights (they didn’t have wrestlers at 126 and 195 pounds), finished second in the 35-team tournament with 213 points. Crook County of Prineville, a 5A school, won the title with 266 points.
Crescent Valley of Corvallis (204 points) and North Medford (150) rounded out the top four.
Roseburg won the junior varsity tournament with over 300 points.
“We lost a few close decisions, but overall we wrestled well and won a lot of matches,” Lander said. “There’s a lot of things we can fix. Hopefully it’s a long process and our focus is to get better every day. Our JVs got a lot of good matches.”
Highlighting the Indians’ performances was sophomore Darian Thacker, who won four matches en route to the 160-pound championship.
Thacker, who was seeded fifth, pinned senior Saul Tarula of North Marion in 1:10 in the title match. Thacker scored a 16-7 major decision over top-seeded Andres Ramirez of North Medford, a senior, in the semifinals.
“(Winning) kind of boosts my confidence,” Thacker said. “It helps me think I can do something and help the team. I was nervous (coming into the tournament), but pushed through it and had the right people around me to do what I needed to do.”
Thacker hadn’t faced Tarula prior to Saturday.
“I thought I was the better wrestler and I clearly was at the end,” Thacker said.
“Darian was really dominant,” Lander said. “He beat the No. 1 seed (Ramirez) and pinned his guy in the finals, so that was outstanding. We’re real proud of him.”
Roseburg got runner-up finishes from senior Ethan Stoner at 170 and freshman Nash Singleton at 113.
Stoner, the No. 2 seed, dropped a 4-3 decision to top-seeded Clayton Elrod of Redmond in the championship match and finished 4-1 in the tournament.
“I felt like I did pretty good in the tournament,” Stoner said. “I knew going in he (Elrod) was a tough kid. I knew I had stay on the gas pedal and thought I’d get him in the third round. But things don’t always go as planned, so I’ve just got to keep working.”
“Ethan had some tough matches and was good enough to win them,” Lander said. “He scored when he needed to.”
Singleton, the No. 7 seed, lost 10-3 to top-seeded Chance Lamer of Crescent Valley in the title match. Singleton knocked off third-seeded Steven Ware of Crook County 9-4 in the semifinals.
“Nash was very dominant throughout the whole tournament (with two falls),” Lander said. “He was in a good spot and got to the finals against one of the best kids (Lamer) in the nation. He made him work and we were pleased with his performance.”
Sophomore Kahleb Diaz (138) placed third for the Tribe. Diaz, the No. 1 seed, lost 12-8 to fifth-seeded Isaiah Shideler of Sandy in the semifinals but rebounded to take third with a 20-7 major decision over third-seeded Patrick Brown of Cleveland.
The Indians got fourth-place finishes from freshman Carson Dunn (106), junior Tristin David (145), sophomore Caleb Jeffers (152) and senior Owen Vredenburg (182).
“I think we did way better than expected, given we had 12 varsity guys,” Stoner said. “The JVs did just as well.”
Roseburg will meet Oregon City and North Marion in dual meets Friday night at Oregon City. The junior varsity wrestlers will compete in the Myrtle Point Invitational Saturday.