La Pine junior Landyn Philpott was the only Oregonian atop the podium at the 91-team Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno
La Pine junior Landyn Philpott was the only Oregonian atop the podium at the 91-team Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno

Liberty cleans up in Hawaii

When the devastating wildfires struck the Hawaiian island of Maui in August, Liberty wrestling coach Eric Givens wondered whether his team would be able make its scheduled trip in mid-December to compete in the Garner Ivey Maui Invitational Tournament.

“After the fire happened, we asked the host team if we should go,” Givens said. “Initially they said, “No.” “After a week they decided it would be beneficial for us to come to the Island.”

Liberty decided as a team that it wanted to give back to the Island. Wendy Givens, Eric’s wife, did some research and found the “SHARKastics,” which organizes a lot of cleanups on the island.

“More turtles, less nurdles.”

The team – 29 wrestlers strong -- participated in a beach cleanup on Dec. 17 and was part of a project that removed more than 20,000 pieces of beach debris weight more than one ton!

“Thanks to favorable tides and the enthusiastic muscle from the Liberty high school wrestling team from Oregon, we finally removed the large net bundle that we’ve been chipping away at for the past 10 years,” the SHARKastics exclaimed in a Facebook post. The team voted Logan Hinojosa, who wrestles at 190 pounds, most valuable in the cleanup!

“The kids took a lot of pride in making a difference,” Eric Givens said. “I was so proud of how hard our kids worked. They told us they have never had a group come in and work this hard.”

The Falcons made an impact on the mats as well.

Liberty brought seven girls to Maui and all seven placed, including champions Chloe Warren (105), Gracee Grenfell (135) and Bianca Miranda (235).

Liberty’s boys won the team title by a sliver over host Baldwin. The Falcons needed to be perfect the last day to take the team title and that’s essentially what happened, all the way to the final match, when unseeded Adam Matern had to win by fall at 126 pounds, and did exactly that!

Other individual champions included Gio Silva, the Most Outstanding Wrestler, at 138; Mario Page, who won the Gregorian Award for most pins, at 175; and Houstyn Lee-Perry at 215, who recorded the tournament’s fastest pin at 19 seconds.

News and notes

Dallas’ boys and Thurston’s girls won the NW Duals at Albany.

Redmond finished second in both the boys and girls events, the best-ever finish at the Duals for the Panthers.

Redmond’s boys defeated West Linn in the quarterfinals and Mountain View in the semis. The Panthers lost a close final, but had outstanding performances from the following undefeated wrestlers: Billy Jackson at 126; Joey Downing at 150; Ethan Powell at 165 and Orinn Hubbard at 190.

Redmond’s girls knocked off Dallas in the semifinals but came up short versus Thurston in the final dual. Kore Medina at 120, Mia Pedersen at 125, Reina Barnes-Rubio at 135, and Mackenzie Shearon at 155 led the Panther girls.



West Linn, the defending 6A state champions, placed sixth overall, but got a great effort from Oscar Doces, who went 8-0.


La Grande had a strong showing at the Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno last weekend. The Tigers placed eighth overall in the boys event out of 91 teams.

Kenai Huff took second at 285, Bragen Anderson placed third at 106 and both Tommy Belding and Ridge Kehr took home fourth-place medals, at 144 and 165, respectively.


Harrisburg placed tenth overall and La Pine was 18th, among the 11 Oregon squads present.

La Pine’s Landyn Philpott won the 138-pound bracket. Each of his seven matches ended by fall. Philpott was named the event’s Outstanding Wrestler.


Philpott, a junior with two state titles to his credit, wasn’t the only Oregon wrestler, from a school other than La Grande, to excel at Sierra Nevada.

Henley’s Dylan Clark placed second at 132 pounds. Mark Astry of Grants Pass was fourth at 138. La Pine’s Devin Kerr finished fifth at 144. Harrisburg’s Devin Martin took fifth at 175. Mazama’s Tyson Van Gastel placed fifth at 190 and Harrisburg’s Hunter Langham took fifth at 285.


There were 70 teams at the Sierra Nevada girls event, with Lebanon (18th) and Lakeview (20th) the only teams to place among the top 20.

Hannah Henderson of Harrisburg was the highest individual placer. She took second at 165.

Quincey Ludwig of Lakeview was third at 145, as was La Pine’s Jade Seymour at 132. Mary Jane Duty of Lebanon finished fourth at 114, while Gabriella Torres of Culver took fifth at 132.


McNary’s boys traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the Diamondback Duals. The Celtics won six consecutive duals before being toppled by Foothill in the final dual.

Alex Stephen, Brodi Maxwell, and Diego Piceno all came up clutch winning crucial matches during the tournament. 



McNary’s girls traveled to Brentwood in California to compete in the Brittany David Invitational and finished third out of 79 teams in an event filled with really tough competition.

Ali Martinez won the 190-pound title for the Celtics, while freshman Marlina Martinez finished third in a loaded 110-pound bracket. Three other girls, Desiree Brown, Adriann Durkin and Maranda Domnick, all recorded top-eight finishes.


Kennedy senior Isaac Berning, an outstanding football player, recently took third place at the Clatskanie Tournament. This is Berning’s first year on the mat and the third-place showing, at 190 pounds, came in only his third tournament ever. Berning fell in the semis, 6-4, to Logan Kirsch from Regis, the eventual champion.


Newport’s girls won the Molalla Mayhem tournament on Dec. 16, the first tournament title in program history. Camille Keck pinned her way through the tournament at 135 to reign as Newport’s lone individual champion.


Sprague’s girls team recorded fourth and third-place finishes at separate December events.

On Dec. 16, at the Battle in the Boro, the Olympians took fourth, behind strong efforts from sophomore Isabella Wilburn (110), junior Bailey Seley (135) and junior Elle McAllister (155).

On December 29, Sprague checked in third at the inaugural Tigard Girls Invitational. Sophomore Chaya Palomo (100) won her bracket and scored a team-high 24 team points. Wilburn was second at 105. Freshman Camryn Baarson (105), senior Emma Fisher (110), junior Payton Grogan and McAllister all took third place in their brackets.


In this recurring category, we list wrestlers with 12 or more wins who are currently undefeated on the season.

19-0 – Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 4A/3A/2A/1A (100)

11-0 – EunMi Kippley, Sr., Summit, 6A/5A (110)


Legends of the fall

In this section, we list wrestlers recording pins this season in under 15 seconds.

13 seconds

Chaya Palomo, Soph., Sprague, 100, Dec. 2

Pin to the end

In this section, we list wrestlers who pinned their way through an event with four or more wins.

Thomas Bischoff Sr., Regis, 215, Culver Tournament Dec 8-9

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 100, Perry Burlison, Dec. 2

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 100, North Bend Coast Classic Dec. 8-9

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 100, Grants Pass Winter Kick-off, Dec. 15-16

Landyn Philpott, Sr., La Pine, 138, Sierra Nevada Classic, Dec. 28-29


In this section, we identify those wrestlers who have made commitments to wrestle in college.

Kai Carson, Sr., La Grande, 138 – Eastern Oregon University

Isaac Hampton, Sr., Newberg, 125/133 -- Navy

If you are a high school varsity wrestling head coach and want to know how you can contribute to future Notebooks, contact John Tawa at [email protected]