Noelle Acosta wrestles at the Calhoun Classic, a two-day wrestling tournament in Nyssa. (The Enterprise/Joe Siess)
NYSSA – Last weekend’s Calhoun Classic marked the unofficial beginning of the winter wrestling season, with a host of local prep grapplers putting in solid performances to please both coaches and fans.
Nyssa, Ontario and Vale wrestlers were among the more than 20 teams from Oregon and Idaho that participated in the two-day competition hosted by Nyssa.
The Nyssa boys team clinched fifth with 102 points while the girls squad claimed seventh in team standings at 104 points.
PHOTO GALLERY: Calhoun Classic brings wrestlers to the mat in Nyssa
The Ontario boys ended the tourney in eighth place at 71.5 points, and the Tiger girls team secured ninth place with 101 points.
The Vale girls ended the tournament with 59 points for 18th place. The Adrian girls team had 6 points to come in at 30th place.
The Viking boys finished at 17th place, with 18 points.The tournament was divided into varsity and junior varsity competition.
Nyssa results, outlook
In individual scoring, Nyssa’s Vanessa Ruiz placed third in the girls 135-pound weight class while teammate Noelle Acosta clinched third place at 155 pounds.
Francelia Celedonio claimed second place in the girls 170 weight class for the Bulldogs and Yvette Martinez finished in fourth place in the girls 235-pound weight class for Nyssa.
On the boys side for Nyssa, Elijah Cleaver claimed top honors in the 152-pound weight class. Raul Ruiz took fourth at 132 pounds while Adam Simpson finished first in the 195-pound class, and Bryan Flores placed second at 220 pounds. Marlin Miles finished third in the 285-pound match.
Next week, the Bulldogs will journey to Reno for the Sierra Nevada Classic, Dec. 27-28.
Cleaver said the Reno tournament is by far one of the top competitions in the Pacific Northwest, but part of a rigorous schedule overall.
“We’ll have some really tough tournaments,” he said. “In my mind, we probably have the toughest schedules for 3-A (league) in Oregon.”
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Another obstacle for the Nyssa boys is the fact that they have just nine qualifying wrestlers this season, instead of 12.
“So, it is going to be tough to get out of our league,” Cleaver said. “Three of the top five teams are clearly in our league, in my mind.”
Ontario results, outlook
A number of Ontario boys and girl grapplers put in solid performances at the Nyssa tournament.
For the Tiger girls, Abby Osei took first place in the 235-pound weight class and Naidalin Cancho placed second in the 190-pound weight division.
Other top placers for Ontario included: Maritza Gonzalez, second at 235 pounds; Aiyana Luna, third at 235 pounds; Maria Diaz, first in the 155-pound weight class; Ashley Cano, second at 155 pounds; and Jasmine Lopez, third in the 170-pound weight division.
Tiger girls coach Shawn Grove said his expectations for the 2019-2020 season are high.
His goal for the season can be summed up in two words.
“Get better,” he said.
Grove said he expects his wrestlers to give him “coachable moments” and wants the team to get better even if it is through trial and error.
Four Ontario boys placed high in their respective weight classes at the Calhoun.
Kyle Wulf claimed second at 132 pounds, while Ruben Hernandez was fourth at 152 pounds.
Ruben Chavez placed third at 220 pounds and Eliazar Ramirez clinched fourth at 285 pounds.
Tiger boys coach Ruben Hernandez expects a good season for Ontario.
“We have a good opportunity to send kids to state,” he said.
Ontario will host the Charlie Anthony Memorial Wrestling Tournament Dec. 27-28.
The Vale wrestlers also came away from the Calhoun tournament with top finishes.
For the girls, Alexis Cleaver claimed second place at 115 pounds while Tyler Richardson won the 145-pound weight division for the Lady Vikings.
For the boys, Moritz Rust claimed first place in the junior varsity 195-pound weight class.
Vale wrestling coach Dirk Cleaver said the tournament “showed us where we are at.”
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