By AJ MAZZOLINI
Despite varsity wrestling rosters on the south side of a dozen athletes, Eastern Oregon’s Riverside and Heppner could be well represented at the state wrestling championships in Portland next week. All that stands in the way first are the regional rounds.
The Class 3A Pirates — who have 11 boys entered in the district meet Saturday, which they’ll be hosting in Boardman — have a couple of near-sure things at the top of their lineup. Lightweights Hans Rockwell, 113 pounds, and Gustavo Madrigal, 106, have just one loss between them over the season. Along with Elijah Conlon at 120 pounds, Riverside’s nastiest wrestlers are all competing on the light end of the spectrum.
By AJ MAZZOLINI
MILTON-FREEWATER — It’s not quite Christmas but the Mac-Hi Pioneers are celebrating with some holiday festivities anyway in Milton-Freewater this week. The Mac-Hi Christmas Wrestling Tournament kicks off at 11 a.m. on Saturday with a full day of grappling scheduled.
Saturday will be the first of the just two times that Pioneer wrestling fans can see their varsity squad in action this season locally, and possibly the lone opportunity with the full squad on the mats. Mac-Hi has only one other home wrestling date on the calendar this winter, a dual meet with Baker on Feb. 7, but with only one squad in town — and a smaller sized one at that — Pioneers coach Beau Chester probably won’t have his full arsenal on display.
By AJ Mazzolini
HERMISTON — The last time most of us saw them, they were grappling for state championships in February. But when a collage of Eastern Oregon’s best prep wrestlers get together in Hermiston this weekend, the matches will have a more international feel.
Hermiston High is playing host to the final stop of a cultural exchange wrestling tour through Oregon, with representatives from Hermiston, Pendleton, Riverside and Mac-Hi squaring off with a team of New Zealand all-stars. Matches for the roughly 20 local competitors will begin in Hermiston’s purple gym in a dual-meet style event beginning at 5 p.m. on Sunday.