JR Scott endured his share of physical challenges through the wrestling season, as lingering sickness nearly derailed his state-championship hopes.
As time has gone on, however, Scott is rounding into form, entering Special District 4 Wrestling Tournament in Redmond with a streak seven wins in his last eight matches.
Scott posted a 3-1 record for third-place honors to lock down his first-ever state qualification, joining senior teammate Glenn Breckterfield, who placed fourth for his state berth.
“It was really rough wrestling with a stomach flu throughout the season, which made it a so much harder to wrestle with the same intensity I normally do,” Scott said. “Knowing that I wrestled hard and I’ve beaten or been a challenge to all of my opponents even while being sick is very rewarding. Being a wrestler has taught me to power through the pain.”
As a No. 3 seed in the 182-pound classification, Scott had an opening-round bye before facing Hood River Valley’s Blake Willis.
In that quarterfinal match, Scott (26-5 record) quickly took control of matters, scoring three takedowns, until finally picking up the pinfall victory at the 54-second mark.
Now with a semifinals berth, Scott went to work against the state’s No. 4 wrestler, Bend’s Haakon Kjellesvik (29-4 record).
Both wrestlers came out strong, but Kjellesvik scored an escape point for a 3-2 lead.
Scott appeared to be taking momentum in the second round as he racked up an escape and a takedown to go ahead, 5-3, and had Kjellesvik on his back.
Just as Scott was about to get the pin, his toe goes out of bounds, so the referee put both wrestlers back in their starting position, where Kjellesvik pulled a reversal and rolled Scott up for the pin at the 3:21 mark of the second round.
Even with the loss, Scott had a chance to take one step closer to a state berth with a qualifying match versus Jaron Forbes (Summit).
Not to be denied, the Riverhawk grappler wastes little time overpowering Forbes, putting him on his back to gain a pinfall victory at the 54-second mark of first round to secure his state invitation.
Now that state was locked up, Scott just let it loose in a tough match with Jake Palmer (Hermiston), where the duo duked it out for three full rounds. Scott eventually chalked up a 6-4 decision for third place.
Heading into state, Scott is 26-5, his only losses to wrestlers that ranked No. 4 or higher.
On the year, Scott has three tournament wins, a runner-up finish and a fourth.
In two tourneys, he advanced to the semifinals but had to withdraw.
For Scott, getting this opportunity is humbling.
“It’s been a goal of time of mine for the past two years, but because of injuries, I haven’t been able to wrestle, so it means a lot to me and the program,” Scott said.
Wrestling at 145 pounds, Breckterfield (19-14 record) lost a quarterfinal match by first-round pin against Javan Hedges (Ridgeview), and needed to battle through the consolation bracket to earn his stripes.
Breckterfield pinned Matthew Robertson (Pendleton) in the third round (5:16) and followed up that triumph with a 10-0 major decision opposite Grant Harpole (Bend).
All that stood in the way of Breckterfield and a state trip was Pendleton’s Blake Davis (29-10 record), which meant there was more on the line in this tussle.
In this six-minute match, both grapplers refused to give an inch, but Breckterfield managed to hang on for a 4-3 decision to punch his ticket.
With third place up for grabs, Breckterfield hit the mats with Austin Rosales (Mountain View) and another dogfight ensued.
Rosales (19-5 record) got the pin win at the 5:50 mark of the third period.
“We are so proud of Glenns accomplishment,” TD head coach Paul Beasley said, “I will remember his effort and determination for a long time to come. His state appearance is a fitting sendoff for one our programs best athletes, wrestlers, teammates, and young men.”
As much as he’s been through with the wrestling program, Scott knows how much time and dedication Breckterfield put into his craft over his four-year wrestling career.
Now the Riverhawks have Scott and Breckterfield giving the program two chances at a possible state title, something that has Beasley beaming.
“We did not have a state representative last year and this season, we have placed two, the first time in five years we have more than one, so our program is on the rise,” Beasley said.
“Much of the praise should go to our coaching staff. Ryan (Manciu) and Jason (Davis) have given an enormous amount of time and effort to turn this thing around. It would not happen with them.”
Taking hold of the 138-pound class, Steven Preston is going to be a name to keep an eye on down the road.
The sophomore won his first two matches by pin to move into the semifinals, but ran out of steam on the second day with three consecutive losses to narrowly miss the state cut.
Preston (12-12 record) dropped Riley Wood (Redmond) by second-round pin (3:29), and then piled on an impressive effort versus Jonovan King (Bend), eventually pinning Wood in the second round (4:38).
Against Pendleton’s Brendon Bedolla (31-12 record), Preston wound up losing by pin in the first round (1:19) to move into the consolation side of the bracket, where his first bout was with Cade Parker (Hood River Valley).
Parker (33-14) and Preston locked horns for two rounds, until the Eagle wrestler notched the pinfall win at 4:23 to end Preston’s state hopes.
Although state was by the wayside, Preston had his eyes on fifth place in the standings in a match opposite Tanner Higham (Mountain View).
Higham (18-6 record) got the second-round pin (3:33) to take fifth place and drop Preston to sixth.
TD’s Andrew Richman had a 2-2 record in district action for eighth place, and also had a solid start to his tournament with a second-round pin over Jackson Intlekofer (Bend) at 3:36 mark for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Richman (11-14) had to go up against Redmond’s Jacob Curry (23-8) and Curry staked himself to a 16-0 technical fall win, scoring the final points in the third period (5:08).
In his first consolation match, Richman took down Brookyn Seber (Ridgeview) at 1:57 of the first stanza to keep his tournament going, setting up a showdown versus Koby Jones (Pendleton), where the Buckaroo wrestler tallied enough points to secure a close 8-5 decision victory.
Levi Krueger (170 pounds) had one win and two losses in three district bouts, as he lost to Bend’s Payton Davis (28-5 record) by pin (:59) and then scored his win against Dan Gallegos (Summit) by forfeit.
However, Krueger had his tournament run cut short in his next consolation match against Josh Whaley (Pendleton) at the 1:07 mark of the first round.
At 132 pounds, Josiah Andersen lost by fall to Daniel Raley (Summit) at 4:29, and then after a consolation bye, the junior was upended at the 2:33 mark of the second period in a match against Ethyne Reid (Ridgeview) to end his season.
Ophath Silaphath (8-16 record) suffered the same fate as Andersen in the 160-pound division, losing both of his matches by pin.
His first lost was versus John Taylor (Bend), and the season-ending setback in a consolation contest opposite Isaac Urbina (Pendleton) at the 1:15 mark of the first round.
As state approaches at the end of the week, Scott is starting to feel confident in what he can achieve.
Scott’s state approach is simple, but he needs to execute on a few components to hoist some hardware.
“My plan is to do what I’ve always been doing, by staying focused and getting ready for my matches, wrestling smart, taking shots and staying in control, on top,” Scott said.
Scott starts state with No. 8-seeded Jack Hudgins-Johnson, of Thurston, with the winner facing either Wilsonville’s Jacob Stelle or No. 1 seed, Treve Earhart, out of Dallas.
Breckterfield has his opening bout against No. 3 Jacob Jones, and if the Riverhawk veteran comes out on top, he hits the mats versus unseeded Isaiah Contreras of Thurston, or No. 6 Chase Miller from Lebanon.
“Glenn and JR need to get back to their successful style of wrestling,” Beasley said. “Glenn is a tough, aggressive and scrappy wrestler, who relies on his will to be successful.
He needs to get off to a fast start and be the aggressor. JR is a grinder. He is very tough and effective on top and will need to return to a conservative approach and work for a six-minute win rather than a quick pin.”
In addition, Scott, Breckterfield, Preston, Richman, Silaphath, Richman, Anna Galbraith and Mauricio Carrera had a grade point averages of 3.2 or better and were recognized for their time and dedication to the sport as well as the classroom with 5A all-academic honors.