HERMISTON -- As often as state wrestling titles are celebrated in Hermiston, it would be easy to think it comes easy.
But there is a lot of work that goes into winning one team title, let alone the five in a row the Bulldogs accomplished this season with their overwhelming performance at the Oregon 5A championship.
And it is a lot of work combined with equal parts talent that leads to 53 wins and no losses, which is why Hermiston junior Joey Delgado has been chosen the Tri-City Herald's All-Area wrestler of the year.
"That was my big goal," Delgado said of going undefeated. "When I go into a match, I want people to know they don't ever want to wrestle me again. I want to beat 'em up. I don't want to give guys a chance."
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Delgado claimed his third state title this season, this time at 135 pounds. Along the way he improved his career record to 146-2.
His goals for next season are the same: unbeaten and win a state title, which would make him the 20th wrestler in Oregon history to win four state titles.
The picture after high school, though, is even bigger.
"I want to go to the toughest school," he said, "the school that can help me achieve my goal in college, which is four national titles."
He already has drawn strong interest from a lot of Division I schools, including Oregon State and Boise State, and a strong spring and summer could open even more doors.
His coach, Curt Berger, said Delgado's college dreams are par for the course.
"He likes a challenge," said Berger, chosen the all-area coach of the year. "That doesn't bother him. It takes a good kid to realize it's not how tough it is today, but how tough it will be five years from now."
Berger's Bulldogs landed five wrestlers on the first team, including his son, Curtis Berger, after the 189-pounder joined Delgado as a three-time state champ.
"The special thing for me was my son going through there," said Curt Berger, whose four children -- three daughters played tennis -- have 13 state titles on their rsums.
Also on the team are 152-pound champ Bryce McMahon, a four-time state placer; 140-pound senior champion Fabian Scotto; and 125-pound freshman champion Tyler Berger, Curtis' cousin and Delgado's workout partner.
"We think they're all a big deal," Curt Berger said of the many team and individual titles over the last five years. "People might get used to this, but we understand the amount of work it takes to win. For us it's a big deal because we're always training hard to do it. "
Another three-time champion landed on the team, Riverside's Brigham Hansen at 171 pounds after he finished his career on a 90-match winning streak and was 140-10 in his career.
Four Tri-Cities wrestlers made the team: Chiawana sophomore Chris Montelongo (sixth at state at 103) and senior Nick Garcia (fifth at 130); Richland junior Josh Andrew (sixth at 112) and Kamiakin sophomore Sisto Santana Pina (third at 160).
In a strange twist, Tri-Cities two big-school state finalists -- Richand's Dustin Utecht and Hanford's Matt Owens -- didn't make the team. Utecht wrestled at 135, same weight as Delgado, was named to the second team. Owens finished ranked third at 145 behind Moses Lake's Nico Moreno and Sunnyside's Josh Romero.
Owens finished second and Romero third in the same bracket at state. However, Romero owned a 12-6 win over Owens at regionals in their only match.
A trio of Moses Lake wrestlers made the cut: Moreno (state runner-up at 4A 145) and two-time state champion seniors Brian Chamberlain at 215 and Kabe Fluaitt at 285.
Warden junior JP Martinez, a state champ at 119, was the only small-school wrestler to crack the first-team lineup.
The girls representatives to the first team both are returners.
Kiona-Benton senior Sheridan McDonald, the choice for 135-285, became Washington's first four-time girls state champion. Kennewick senior Hannah Moon (girls 103-130) joined her father Tim Moon as a state champion.
MVP:135, Joey Delgado, jr. Hermiston
Coach: Curt Berger, Hermiston
First team All-Area
103 -- Chris Montelongo, sophomore, Chiawana
112 -- Josh Andrew, junior, Richland
119 -- JP Martinez, junior, Warden
125 -- Tyler Berger, freshman, Hermiston
130 -- Nick Garcia, senior, Chiawana
140 -- Fabian Scott, senior, Hermiston
145 -- Nico Moreno, junior, Moses Lake
152 -- Bryce McMahon, junior, Hermiston
160 -- Sisto Santa Pina, sophomore, Kamiakin
171 -- Brigham Hansen, senior, Riverside
189 -- Curtis Berger, junior, Hermiston
215 -- Brian Chamberlain, junior, Moses Lake
285 -- Kabe Fluaitt, junior, Moses Lake
Girls 103-130 -- Hannah Moon, jr. Kennewick
Girls 135-285 -- Sheridan McDonald, jr. Ki-Be
Second team All-Area
103 -- Jesse Barajas, fr., Sunnyside; 112 -- Javier Tapia, jr., Warden; 119 -- Kyler Mars, sr., Richland; 125 -- Irving Jaimez, sr., Prosser; 130 -- Rigo Valdez, sr., Sunnyside; 135 -- Dustin Utecht, sr., Richland; 140 -- Herson Rodriguez, sr., Moses Lake, 145 -- Josh Romero, sr., Sunnyside; 152 -- Lonnie Hurley, jr., Pasco; 160 -- Jonathan Perales, so., Moses Lake; 171 -- Hector Jimenez, sr., Pasco; 189 -- Joey Gomez, jr., Othello; 215 -- Damian Martinez, fr., Hermiston; 285 -- Adam Peters, sr., Sunnyside; Girls 103-130 -- Bianca Hernandez, so., Warden; Girls 135-285 -- Carter Marks, sr., Warden