Roseburg's Drew Dawson (right) shut out Bragen Anderson of La Grande to win Reser's at 106 pounds (Jon Olson)
Roseburg's Drew Dawson (right) shut out Bragen Anderson of La Grande to win Reser's at 106 pounds (Jon Olson)

Repeats and a threepeat at Reser’s TOC

The 22nd Reser’s Tournament of Champions, staged at Liberty High School over the weekend, was replete with fascinating storylines.

Newberg won the event for the third straight year, matching Crook County, which achieved the feat from 2014-2016.

Twelve separate schools had individual champions among the 14 who took home gold eagle trophies and red jackets for winning a bracket. Only Mountain View and West Linn had multiple champions.

Of the six returning champions, only two repeated in 2024.

One of the defeated returning champions, Roseburg’s Gage Singleton, was denied a third straight title by the wrestler -- Kyle Sieminski of Sweet Home -- whom he’d defeated in the finals the previous two years. It marked the first time in Reser’s history that the same two opponents had met in a final for three straight years.

Not a single championship match was decided by fall. There were as many matches won in Sudden Victory or in a tiebreaker than victory margins of seven points or more.


Before we get to the specifics of what happened on the mats at Liberty, let’s talk about what Reser’s is. It is a Tournament of Champions featuring 25 Oregon teams, including all of the 2023 classification state champions and most of the 2023 state contenders. The top 2 finishers in 2A/1A attended, two of the top three in 3A (Burns was absent), four of the top six in 4A (No Scappoose or Tillamook), nine of the top 11 in 5A (Crescent Valley and Ridgeview not there) and five of the top six in 6A (Westview did not attend). It is an Oregon Who’s Who of teams, each of which enters no more than one wrestler in every weight class in an all-comer’s event that essentially determines the best of the best in the state.

Reser’s is a lot like California’s state championships. At the state level, California does not have classification state champions. Rather, there is one state-winning team and 14 state-championship wrestlers.

That’s it.

The only significant difference is that the California championships include any wrestler who can qualify for State, whereas Reser’s is limited to wrestlers from the 25 invited teams. As a result, 16 returning state champions did not compete, two from 6A Clackamas, three from 4A schools and five from 3A schools and six from 2A/1A schools. In addition, four returning state champions from participating teams did not compete in the varsity portion: West Linn’s Charles Spinning is injured; Illinois Valley’s Micah Martinho missed for unknown reasons; Elijah Bayne, formerly from Crater, transferred to a school in New Jersey; and Thurston senior Kanoe Kelly competed and won the JV bracket at 113 (Thurston’s wrestler at 113 in the varsity tournament finished sixth).


Let’s look at the order of finish among teams at Reser’s when separated by classification:

6A: Newberg, West Linn, Roseburg, Liberty, Sandy, Sprague, Grants Pass

5A: Crater, Dallas, Mountain View, Canby, Thurston, Bend, Redmond, Silverton, Eagle Point, Hillsboro

4A: La Grande, Sweet Home, Crook County, Cascade

3A: Harrisburg, La Pine

2A/1A: Illinois Valley, Culver

The order of finish begs the question: are the schools listed first the favorites to win their classification state tournaments?

The answer is “maybe yes, maybe no.”

On the one hand, because Reser’s pits the best of the best against one another, it often prevents competitive wrestlers from piling up points they’d otherwise earn at a state tournament where one competes only against wrestlers from the same enrollment classification. This is how West Linn was able to stun Newberg for the 6A title last year even though it lost to Newberg at Reser’s in 2023 by 35 points.

On the other hand, because the Reser’s varsity event only allows one wrestler per team per weight classification, it may understate a team’s overall power. Programs with deep talent may qualify up to two wrestlers for state in every weight division. Both wrestlers can score points for their team.

Case in point: Newberg. The Tigers dominated the JV event and had six finalists and four champions. That kind of depth is almost more important to winning a team title than having multiple individual state champions.


Newberg did, indeed, win the team title for the third year in a row. The Tigers won by 59 points over La Grande, the three-time reigning 4A state champions.

Newberg won despite having just one individual champion, repeat winner Gus Amerson, who won his final at 150 pounds by majority decision.

As a point of comparison, Newberg scored 34 fewer points in 2023 but had five individual champions.

Three of those 2023 Reser’s champions, besides Amerson, competed again this year. Senior Isaac Hampton, a three-time state champion, was pinned in the semifinals at 126 by eventual champion Jose Romero of Dallas. Hampton finished third. Sophomore Gavin Rangel lost by a point in the 132-pound final. Trae Frederick lost by the same margin at 157 pounds.

Indeed, 11 of Newberg’s 14 varsity wrestlers made the podium – quite an impressive feat! – but only three won their placing matches on Saturday.

Newberg coach Neil Russo emailed after the event that he was “Pleased...but not satisfied.”

“As always, there are takeaways and things that we'll get back to the room and continue to work on,” he continued. “We felt like we competed very well and wrestled fairly well, too. We weren't really happy with our final round results, other than a couple of matches, but any time you can put 11 on the podium in that tournament you've done a pretty good job. 

“Our second varsity was equally impressive with nine place-winners, six finalists and four individual champions en route to winning the team title as well. I think winning both tournaments speaks to our depth and we like having that going into February. We will continue to work on the little things as we approach the post-season but we're not really about changing what we do day in and day out.”

Russo emphasized that success at Reser’s did not mean Newberg was a cinch to win the 6A team title for the third time over the past four state meets.

 “I think that the state tournament is an interesting animal, especially at the 6A level,” he said. “There are so many variables that come into play - most of which people don't realize. The bottom line is that we are aiming to be just a little better version of ourselves when we get there. We know that we have a target on our backs and we know that we are going to get tested - we are looking forward to that. We like our depth and we like the people we've got in our room...all of them.”


West Linn, wrestling without Spinning, finished eighth overall, but second among 6A teams. The Lions were second at Reser’s a year ago before shocking Newberg in the state tournament.

The Lions this year entered just nine wrestlers in the varsity event and produced two champions, junior Oscar Doces at 138 and senior Henry Dillingham at 157. West Linn also put two more on the podium, Lucas Gray, a junior who finished second at 165; and senior Colby Cook, who came in third at 120.

West Linn coach Kevin Keeney was asked whether his team’s performance at Reser’s shut the door on a 6A state repeat.

“Nothing is safe or a lock at the state tournament,” he said. “Newberg has proved throughout this season they are the favorite. We will have to wrestle our best tournament and they will have to get upset in some places for us to have a chance.”

Keeney also said that his team was not a lock to finish no worse than second at the Coliseum.

“Second, third and fourth are up in the air,” he explained. “Roseburg, Westview, Sandy, Mountainside, and probably a few other teams I'm not mentioning along with us will be in the hunt for a trophy. The order will depend on who performs the best at the tournament as well as who gets the most numbers at the tournament.”


Crater finished first among 5A school and fourth overall. The Comets were ranked fifth in the midseason OSAAtoday Coaches Polls, but outpointed the top four at Reser’s, beating No. 2 Dallas by 11 points and No. 1 Redmond, No. 4 Thurston and No. 5 Mountain View each by 25 or more points.

Freshman Jeremiah Oliva won Crater’s only individual title at 113 pounds. The Comets placed four more on the podium: freshman Aiden Godley, who was second at 126; sophomore Jaxon Godley, who finished second at 144; sophomore Kutter Christensen, who came in second at 150 pounds; and junior Joey Hutchins, who placed third at 132.

The future is bright indeed down at Central Point.

But is the future now? Head coach Gregory Haga was noncommittal.

“We have 2.5 weeks to get ready for the regional meet,” he said. “Trying to get better each time out.”

As for Reser’s, Haga had this to say:

“I thought our kids did a good job staying focused on the task at hand. Sometimes Reser’s can be a bit overwhelming. It is always fun to be fighting to be in the top 5 at Reser’s.”


La Grande was the top finishing 4A school and placed second overall. Second place is the best finish ever for the Tigers at the TOC

Sophomore Tommy Belding won his bracket at 144.

“It was a break through weekend for him,” said coach Klel Carson. “He has put in a lot of extra time to become a great wrestler. It was nice for that outcome to happen so he could get the fruit of his hard work! He's a great kid!”

Six more Tigers made the podium, including freshman Bragen Anderson, who came in second at 106; junior Kenai Huff, the heavyweight runner up (lost to Silverton’s undefeated Brash Henderson in SV); and senior Kai Carson, a returning state champion, who was sixth at 132. Carson’s been injured most of the season, but is making his way back to the mat and hopefully will be healthy enough to contend for another state title.

Coach Carson was thrilled with how his team performed at Liberty.

“Our young kids really stepped up and won matches too that helped our team placing,” he said “Those early bonus points help a lot down the stretch. We had a freshman with two wins by pin. That equaled 9 team points. There were only a few points separating us from other teams. Wrestling really can become a team sport.”


Sweet Home finished second among 4A schools and third overall. La Grande and the Huskies were separated by just 2.5 points.

“I was very proud of our team,” said coach Steve Thorpe. “This is an incredible tournament and we put a lot of focus on it but it is not state. It is a great event to tighten things up before regionals and state. And we found that we need to win matches we should win. We lost too many 1-2 point matches. We will need to fix that.

One match Sweet Home did not lose was the 120-pound final, where Sieminski, a three-time state champion, defeated two-time Reser’s champion and 2022 state champion Singleton of Roseburg. Indeed, Singleton had bested Sieminski in two previous Reser’s finals but not this time, as Sieminski prevailed, 10-6.

“It was just a great match,” Thorpe said. “Kyle ended up scoring a couple of counters that made the difference.“

Sieminski’s win was his first in the long history he has with Singleton. It earned him Most Outstanding Wrestler honors at the tournament.

“Both of these guys have competed together on middle school teams and National teams,” Thorpe said. “They have wrestled multiple times over the years and have trained together at the Santiam Camp and extra workouts for years. Both are quality wrestlers and quality people.”


Mountain View joined West Linn as the only two schools with individual champions. The 5A Cougars saw seniors Scout Santos (132) and Jackson Potts (175). Potts won for the second year in a row.

“Scout had an awesome tournament,” said head coach Dan Potts. “He was able to put together some complete matches against some top-level opponents. It's great to see him step up and perform in those tough matches because those types of situations help to prepare him for state. I know he was really excited to get a title at Reser's as that was a goal of his throughout his high school career.”

“Jackson had a very workmanlike performance in securing his second TOC title,” Potts added. “He is very confident in his skills and preparation and now it's just a matter of going out and performing. We have built a very competitive schedule for our wrestlers this season to help prepare our kids for tournaments like Reser's. It's amazing to have a wrestler come away with two titles in their career from Reser's and just a little more special to me with Jackson being my son. I'm so proud of all he has accomplished. Now it's on to finishing his season strong.”

Mountain View finished seventh overall and third among 5A schools. The Cougars put two more on the podium: sophomore Aiden Nelmes, who was fourth at 106; and senior Brady Johns, who finished fourth at 157.

I was happy with the way our team competed at Reser's,” Potts said. “We had some great moments where we closed some gaps on kids that had beaten us, and we also were able to flip the results of some matches against kids that we had lost to earlier in the season. We also got to see areas that we still need to improve in as they are highlighted in a tournament like Reser's with so many great competitors. We use Reser's, along with all the other competitive tournaments throughout the season, to prepare our athletes for the end goal of performing our best at the state tournament.”


Roseburg finished third among 6A schools and had an individual champion at 106 pounds in sophomore Drew Dawson, a transfer from Glide.

“Drew Dawson has had an outstanding season for us and has been very consistent with his performances,” said coach Steve Lander. “He really controlled his opponents, scored first and managed the matches. Reser’s is such good competition and Drew was up to the challenge.”


Canby junior Jackson Doman remained unbeaten on the season by capturing the 215-pound bracket in a 5-1 decision over Dallas senior Cole Langford.

“He wanted to challenge himself at Reser's by entering the 215-pound bracket after beating returning state champ (and this year's 190-pound Reser's champ) Preston Echevarria (Hillsboro) at 190 two weeks before at our league dual,” noted Canby coach Brandon Harms. “He was up for the challenge picking up three falls on his way to the finals as the No. 3 seed. There he met the No. 1 seed, a very tough Dallas kid Cole Langford, who placed 4th at state last year. He wrestled a smart and tough match to pick up a decisive 5-1 win. The combination of Jackson's unique size and athleticism with his drive to succeed has fueled a dominant season so far for Doman and that just continued this weekend at the TOC.”


Leif Larwin’s first varsity campaign continued in impressive fashion when the Bend freshman won the 165-pound bracket, blanking his championship opponent, 7-0. Larwin, who improved to 39-4 on the year, did not give an offensive point throughout the tournament.

Bend finished 11th overall, with two additional place finishers.

“This is an exciting time for Bend High as we are putting ourselves in position to place in the top four at the 5A OSAA tournament and trophy (in wrestling) for the first time in school history,” said coach Luke Larwin.


Harrisburg finished 12thh overall and first among 3A schools, besting defending 3A state champion La Pine by 15 points.

Sophomore Brody Buzzard, second at 175, was the school’s top finisher, followed by freshman Trayson Truesdell, who finished fifth at 132. Jackson Peterman lost in the blood round at 126 pounds.

“These three guys competed great the entire tournament,” said coach Desmond Bennett.

“We believe our team had a solid performance at Reser’s,” Bennett added. “We’re not satisfied with it and believe we could and should have had a better performance by most of our athletes.”

Harrisburg’s showing at Reser’s came just days after it defeated Sweet Home in an epic dual.

“With our solid performance at Reser's and going into Sweet Home and getting that win, we believe that we have the top end wrestlers and the depth this season to give ourselves a great chance to win a state championship,” Bennett said.

News and notes

Siuslaw junior Macali Lade was 32-0 before last Thursday’s home duals, where she ran into Oakridge freshman Emmalee Brissette. Tied at the end of three periods, Brissette scored in Sudden Victory on a double leg takedown to defeat the returning 4A/3A/2A/1A state champion at 110 pounds.

Brissette led 2-1 after one period but fell behind, 6-4, after Lade scored a reversal and three-point near fall in Round 2. Brissette tied things up with a scramble takedown in the final period, then scored in the Sudden Victory period to pull off the stunner.

“The match was high level wrestling at its best,” said Oakridge coach Dan Nibblett. “I could watch these two wrestle every week, and neither has a clear advantage. Emmalee had this match circled and felt her training sessions and focus were all validated in SV overtime.” 

Brissette improved to 29-3 on the season, with tough losses to 6A wrestlers and one loss that she already avenged.

“Emmalee has a near-vision focus,” Nibblett said. “Getting to State is #1 of her goals. Winning State is on her Stretch Goal list, and after the season she will reset those goals. As her coach, I don’t see her limits, I see a young girl who works hard, has a thirst for life and loves her family. Emmalee is that student athlete we all want and is an exceptional person for the mat club kids to look up to.”

For Brissette to win state, she will probably have to go through Lade once more. Nibblett thinks it will be another epic battle.

“I have the utmost respect and admiration for Macali Lade, her family, her coach and her wrestling family,” Nibblett said. “Macali is an exceptional athlete whose skills are very advanced.” 


Lade wasn’t the only superstar wrestler to fall from the unbeaten ranks last week. Dallas junior Polly Olliff was 28-0 when she took on Corvallis junior Jennifer Russell in the 110-pound final at the Girls Tod Surmon/Mid-Valley Classic on Saturday. Russell edged the returning 6A/5A state champion at 105 pounds by a 4-3 score. Russell was fourth at the 6A/5A state tournament a year ago at 110 pounds.


West Linn freshman Delilah Leusch, wrestling at 115 pounds, pinned her way through the Tod Surmon/Mid-Valley Classic. She defeated the top two seeds.

Dallas won the team event and had an individual champion, Ah Pymm McDaniel, at 105 pounds.


Harrisburg senior Hannah Henderson pinned her way through the Hood River Girl’s Tournament this past weekend. Henderson won her seventh tournament and fourth Outstanding Wrestler award this year. She is 45-2 on the season, with 38 falls.


3A Harrisburg defeated 4A Sweet Home, 34-19, in a boys dual last Thursday.

“This was a huge win for our program,” Bennett said. “To beat a program like Sweet Home, with them having one of the best high school coaches in Oregon high school history with coach Steve Thorpe, was a great accomplishment. All our kids competed with great effort and focus the entire meet. We’ve been told that we are only the fourth team in the last 23 years to beat Sweet Home in a dual meet in their gym.”

Harrisburg highlights included Jackson Peterman avenging an earlier loss to Jace Miller with a win at 126 pounds, Nephi Heakin pinning Jacob Landtroop at 150 and decisions for Parker Hughes (190) and Cooper Clark (215).


Marshfield’s boys won the 23-team Cottage Grove Invite with 285.5 points, almost 100 points better than second place Madras.

The victorious Pirates had three individual champions, Garron Castro (106), Haydn Widdicombe (113), and Aryan Wright (175), with five more placing fourth or better.

Madras’ second-place finish included an all-Madras final at 126 pounds, where Jayden Esquiro edged Fabian Cruz, 6-4. 

“This was a great team effort,” said Madras coach Travis Ralls. “Our team is young and showing improvement. The CGI is a very well run tournament and gives the wrestlers a great opportunity with some great competition we normally don't see. We finished the tournament with eight placers overall. All but one of them were underclassmen. Wrestling in our community continues to grow and we are starting to see some results. I was proud of the way the team wrestled, but we still have work to do. I'm thankful for the opportunity to coach this team. It was great to see them bring home some hardware.” 


Marshfield’s girls finished fourth at the CGI, with runner up finishes from Elyssa Diego and Rowan Hampton.


McNary’s boys wrestled at the Joe Stewart Invitational at Rex Putnam HS. Derek Jones won his second consecutive tournament at 113 lbs. Luis Martinez, Leo Gonzalez, Rafael Mosqueda, and Jesse Mendoza Falcon all reached the tournament final in their respective weight classes as well.

McNary’s girls wrestled at Hood River Valley and finished second as a team behind La Grande. The Celtics had two champions, freshman Marlina Martinez at 110 pounds and senior Ali Martinez at 190. Marlina Martinez was named Outstanding Wrestler, while Ali Martinez’ win was a state finals rematch. Two other McNary wrestlers, Jessica Cottings at 100 and McKenna Unger at 135, had top-three placings.


Newport’s boys and girls were both at the Tod Surmon/Mid-Valley Classic hosted by South Albany.

“Top to bottom, Newport wrestled one of its more complete days of the year, with very few wrestlers having bad days,” said coach Micheal Bradley. “That’s a very good feeling as we get ready for the district tournament.”

On the boys side, freshman Ivan Wagner (132) and juniors Josue Estrada (120), Victor Perez (126) and Dominic Guenther (285) all placed within the top six.

Freshman Evan Hernandez took 3rd in the JV tournament at 126,

“Hernandez is really starting to put it together and will be a tough out that could surprise some people the next time we wrestle at the district tournament,” Bradley said.

 On the girls side, Camille Keck continued her impressive season by finishing third at 135.

“Keck is demonstrating that she is a very dangerous wrestler who is inches away from becoming a really dominant wrestler,” Bradley said.

Freshman Mysti Ferguson wrestled one of her best weekends of the year at 170, “bear hugging her way to a 5th place finish,” Bradley added.


Ridgeview seniors Braden Overbay (106) and Rylen Castino (215) each surpassed 100 career wins at Tod Surmon. Castino won his three matches by fall to claim his bracket. Junior Ishon Ortiz also took home Gold for the Ravens at 132 pounds.


Tigard’s girls competed at The Colton Holly Girls Invitational last Friday (January 26th). Eleven Tigers started. Natalie Wilhoit won her division at 155. Five others finished in sixth place or better.

“Natalie is wrestling really well as a second year junior, and is starting to find her stride headed into districts in a couple of weeks,” noted coach Kaleb Reese.

Reese also praised freshman Hailey Garcia (170), who got her first non-forfeit win of the season. 

“She has come a long way so far this year,” he said.


In this recurring category, we list wrestlers with 15 or more wins who are currently undefeated on the season.

29-0 – Jackson Doman, Jr., Canby, 5A (190/215)

20-0 – Sarah Gonzales, Jr., North Valley, 4A/3A/2A/1A (105)

17-0 -- Madison Kidwell, Sr., Canby, 6A/5A (235) 

Legends of the fall

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

8 seconds

Colby Rich, Soph., Kennedy, 175, Jan. 25

10 seconds

Scout Santos, Sr., Mountain View, 132, Dec. 15

11 seconds

Abby Daugherty, Jr., North Douglas, 105, Jan. 14

Soraya Pickett, Fr., North Salem, 120, Jan. 25

12 seconds

Reid Abrahamson, Sr., Mountain View, 285, Jan. 11

Max Smith, Jr., Warrenton, 190, Jan. 6

13 seconds

Grant Brunner, Soph., Kennedy, 165, Jan.23

Mason Core, Sr., North Valley, 150, Jan. 13

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

14 seconds

Reid Abrahamson, Sr., Mountain View, 285, Dec. 1

Liam Williams, Sr., Mountain View, 215, Jan. 11

15 seconds

Karly Wilson, Soph., Thurston, 122, Jan. 13

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

Kira Boitano, Sr., Kennedy, 110, Dayton, Jan. 6

Melani Correa Artiaga, Sr., Century, 130, Tyrone Woods, Dec. 3

Hannah Henderson, Sr., Harrisburg, 155, North Bend Coast Classic, Dec. 9-10

Hannah Henderson, Sr., Harrisburg, 155, Pape Linn County Championship, Jan. 4

Hannah Henderson, Sr., Harrisburg, 155, Hood River Girl’s Tournament, Jan. 27

Zorina Johnson, Soph., Ida B. Wells, Braided 64, Jan. 5-6

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 115, Perry Burlison, Dec. 2

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 115, North Bend Coast Classic Dec. 8-9

Macali Lade, Jr., Siuslaw, 115, Grants Pass Winter Kick-off, Dec. 15-16

Delilah Leusch, Fr., West Linn, 115, Tod Surmon/Mid-Valley Classic, Jan. 27

Ali Martinez, Sr., McNary, 190, Lady Dragon Invitational, Jan. 20

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

Jackson Potts, Sr., Mountain View, 175 – Gardner-Webb University

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]