After taking a month of use-it-or-lose-it vacation in December and then welcoming the New Year with what I can only assume was one of those pesky brands of animal flu, I’m ready to dip toe-first into the high school wrestling pool.
What better way to do that than put together rankings for area wrestlers at each weightclass.
Now, before anyone gets too steamed up about the rankings, let me say this: I am, by no means, the end-all, be-all expert on wrestling in the Mid-Columbia. I would rank myself slightly behind the coaches, wrestlers, assistant coaches, parents, student scorekeepers, cheerleaders and average joe on the street. But after all of them, I’m lights out.
Second, the rankings are meant to spark a little debate. We have powerhouse programs like Moses Lake and Hermiston on the fringes of our coverage area as well as some championship-caliber competitors in the Tri-Cities, in Sunnyside and Othello, in Connell and Warden and on and on. It’s fun to think about what a Mid-Col championship tourney would look like.
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And that brings us to the biggest reason of all to do rankings: fun. A chance to think “what if” as well as get the wrestlers names in print and online a few more times. Nothing wrong with that.
I combed through dual and tournament results that have been reported to The Herald and that I’ve tracked down online (thanks John Crawford and Washington Wrestling Report, among others).
But, if I happened to have completely messed up a weight or am totally off my rocker, feel free to comment. The Web guys love it when you comment. Coaches, feel free to call or email and make your case.
And with that, here are the Tri-City Herald’s area rankings:
1031. Payton Manthei, Richland — Wins at Bob Mars and Pacific Northwest Classic and runner-up at Inland Empire are impressive, though I can’t wait until Chiawana pays a visit.2. Chris Montelongo, Chiawana — Impressive showings early in the year at 112, now hitting his stride after placing eighth at Pacific Coast.3. Isaac Aguilar, Hermiston — Placed fifth at Rollie Lane and Inland Empire.4. Anthony Barrera, Othello — Runner-up finishes at Winter Cup and Leonard Schutte, has traded a pair of decisions with ...5. Jesse Barajas, Sunnyside — Won Winter Cup and Larry Brown, beat Barrera 11-8 but also lost to him 10-2
1121. Josh Andrews, Richland — Finished fourth at Tri-State, won Winter Cup, third at Bob Mars wrestling up two weights2. Javier Tapia, Warden — Placed fourth at state last year, finished second at Connell Invite and Royal and won Omak tourney3. Santos Guerrero, Sunnyside — Finshed fourth at SunDome and was in semifinals at White River and Larry Brown4. Michael Hosfield, Kennewick — Ran into trouble wrestling up at 119, but won Bob Mars5. Gilberto Villa, Othello — Won Leonard Schutte, had pin vs. Montelongo
1191. JP Martinez, Warden — Ranked 10th overall in Washington, proven big-match wrestler, two-time state runner-up who has two tourney wins at 1252. Kyler Mars, Richland — Won Cat Classic and Winter Cup, second at Bob Mars, fourth at Pacific Northwest Classic and won three matches at Tri-State3. Nathan Gonzalez, Sunnyside — Won SunDome, third at Winter Cup and second at White River4. Sid Britt, Hermiston — Reached quarterfinals at Tri-State, ranked sixth in Oregon 5A5. Hernan Serra, Connell — Won state at 103 last year; won Connell Invite
1251. Tyler Berger, Hermiston — One of few freshmen to win Tri-State title, won Best of West and was third at Inland Empire2. Irving Jaimez, Prosser — Won Winter Cup, SunDome and Grandview 3. Danny Barajas, Royal — Won Connell at 130, won Jim Bair and Royal; m.d. over Matt McCallum at 1304. Brandon Gonzalez, Chiawana — Won Bob Mars and Leonard Schutte at 130, sixth at Pac Coast; competitive in matches at 1355. David Gonzales, Kiona-Benton — Fifth at Bob Mars, third at Best of West and second at Connell
1301. Joey Delgado, Hermiston — Ranked No. 1 overall in Oregon, won Inland Empire at 135 over Washington state champ Jeremy Golding, won Tri-State and Rollie Lane, won Best of West2. Nick Garcia, Chiawana — Second at Bob Mars at 135, second Best of West, third Pac Coast, has pair of wins over McCallum3. Matt McCallum, Kiona-Benton — Third at Bob Mars at 135, fourth Best of West, won Winter Cup4. Isaac Guerrero, Sunnyside — Third at Winter Cup, semifinals at White River and Larry Brown5. Hugo Mabry, Pasco — Sixth at SunDome
1351. Dustin Utecht, Richland — Won Winter Cup and Cat Classic at 140, runner-up at Tri-State, third at Inland Empire2. Chance Watt, River View — Won Bob Mars, Winter Cup and Grandview, won at Granger wrestling at 140, t.f. Isidro Ramirez3. Isidro Ramirez, Sunnyside — Second at Winter cup, third at SunDome; 9-2 d. over Goroski4. Laddy Goroski, Royal — Seventh at SunDome, won Jim Bair and Royal; p. Warden state placer Scott Henderson5. Derrick Cooley, Kamiakin — Second at Schutte at 140, won two matches at Tri-State
1401. Herson Rodriguez, Moses Lake — Third at Inland Empire, sixth at Tri-State after reaching semis2. Matt Jordan, Othello — Second at Winter Cup to Utecht, won SunDome and Schutte, second at Pacific Northwest Classic3. Fabian Scotto, Hermiston — Fourth at Rollie Lane, ranked second in Oregon 5A4. Emmanuel Tejeda, Sunnyside — Third at Winter Cup and SunDome, reached semis of White River, d. Rosane 6-55. Conner Rosane, Southridge — Won Bob Mars at 145, fourth at Pacific Northwest, third at Leonard Schutte
1451. Nico Moreno, Moses Lake — Won Inland Empire, fourth at Tri-State2. Abraham Rodriguez, Hermiston — Third at Rollie Lane3. Daniel Ramirez, Chiawana — Third at Best of West, seventh at Pac Coast4. Cody Rush, Pasco — State veteran has pin of McNamara, ranked in top 10 in state5. Matt Owens, Hanford; Will McNamara, Southridge; Ethan Groom, Prosser; David Vidales, Sunnyside — These four have traded wins and tournament placings to the point where sorting them out will require the postseason.
1521. Bryce McMahon, Hermiston — Ranked first in Oregon 5A, won Inland Empire and Best of West, fourth at Rollie Lane2. Josh Romero, Sunnyside — Won Winter Cup, SunDome and Larry Brown, second at White River3. Eddie Garza, Othello — Won Leonard Schutte, second at Winter Cup, third in Pacific Northwest Classic4. Alex Myrick, Royal — Won Jim Bair and Royal, second at Connell at 1605. Lonnie Hurley, Pasco — Ranked in top 10 in 3A, has close 3-0 loss to Sisto Santana Pina at 160
1601. Sisto Santana Pina, Kamiakin — Won Bob Mars at 171, ranked in top 5 in 3A2. Matt Kilsdonk, Hermiston — Fourth at Inland Empire, ranked third in Oregon 5A3. Joe Traverso, Hanford — Won Winter Cup, third at SunDome4. Jacob Rae, Connell — Won Best of West and Royal, won Connell at 1715. Jaime Garcia, Sunnyisde — Second at Winter Cup, won Granger wrestling up at 171
1711. Brigham Hansen, Riverside — Unbeaten and ranked second overall in Oregon2. Amando Deleon, Othello — Won SunDome, Winter Cup and Leonard Schutte, third Pacific Northwest Classic, rnaked second overall in Washington3. Jeffrey Christensen, Pasco — Lost 3-1 to Deer Park’s Aaron Frank at Best of West, was only wrestler to get out of first period4. Sam Johnson, Hermiston — Fifth at Inland Empire5. Damien Delarosa, Royal — Won Jim Bair, second at Connell, fifth at Royal
1891. Curtis Berger, Hermiston — Ranked No. 1 in Oregon, won Inland Empire and Best of West, second at Tri-State and Rollie Lane, ranked top 15 in nation2. Garrett Whitney, Kiona-Benton — Won Grandview, second at Bob Mars and Connell3. Jonathan Perales, Moses Lake — Sixth at Inland Empire, won three matches at Tri-State4. Adam Hansen, Warden — Won Royal, second Omak, third Connell5. Alberto Vargas, Othello — Third Winter Cup, fourth SunDome and Pacific Northwest
2151. Brian Chamberlain, Moses Lake — Is back from knee injury and is ranked ninth in the nation2. Adam Sauceda, Chiawana — Won Leonard Schutte, fourth at Pac Coast, 6-4 d. vs. Gomez3. Joey Gomez, Othello — Won Winter Cup, second at SunDome, fifth Pacific NW, d. Atwell 7-34. Mitch Atwell, Richland — Second Winter Cup and Cat Classic, third Inland Empire5. Adam Morales, Grandview — Won White River and Grandview, second Ephrata Invite
285 1. Kabe Fluaitt, Moses Lake — Ranked No. 1 in Washington and 14th in nation, won Tri-State, second Inland Empire, d. Simpson 4-32. Brady Simpson, Richland — Won Bob Mars, Holiday Cup, third Inland Empire, fifth Tri-State and Pacific NW3. Adam Peters, Sunnyside — Second SunDome, won Larry Brown, reached White River semis4. Albert Torres, Paco — Fourth at Best of West5. Alex Valdez, Chiawana — Second at Leonard Schutte