T-Birds place top 10 in tourney

By Konner Hancock - Staff Reporter

The Highline men's wrestling team fell short on their only match of the winter break and placed in the top ten for the Boxer Open tournament.

The T-Birds were toppled in Coos Bay OR. by the Southwestern Oregon Raccoons in a 32-9 defeat on Jan. 7.  

Highline gave up majority of the points in three weight classes 157 lbs, 165 and 174. A total of 18 points were lost in those weights alone. 

"The wrestler at 157 weight became ill a couple of days prior to the match. Our guys at 165 and 174 just did not wrestle well down there," said the Assistant Head Coach Bradley Luvaas. 

Although the team lost, they have been much more motivated and seem well rested from the break, he said.

"Luis Callen got us on the board at 125 with a solid decision over Ryder Mckee 13-7.  Returning All-American Andrew Ramirez, at 133, added to the score with an 11-5 decision over Marcus Martin who he has wrestled 3 times this year.  Cole Morrison, at 149, also added a victory over Cody Greene 5-2," said Luvaas.

Then the squad traveled back to Oregon. the following Saturday to compete in the Boxer Open where they competed against 23 other colleges from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Canada. 

Highline placed seventh with only two wrestlers landing in the top three in their weight class, Andrew Ramirez placed third in 141 weight division and Jacob Zocco placed second in the 174 class.

The guys came rested and have been wrestling so much better than the beginning of the season, said Luvaas. 

Despite losing majority of their dual meets so far this year Luvaas said, "It doesn't matter how rough the year is the only thing that matters is how we do at the national tournament. Last year we did not win a dual meet in our region either but we finished with four all-Americans and a top-12 finish in the country."

The squad's next action is the Clackamas Open Jan. 22. 

"I have no idea how our team will do.  Each wrestler will control their own destiny.  So, it really comes down to who shows up to compete," said Head Coach Scott Norton.

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