White River High was well-represented at the tough Tri-State Wrestling Tournament, with one Hornet taking championship honors and two others battling their way to the finals.
Hosted by North Idaho College in picturesque Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Tri-State event bills itself as the longest continually-running invitational tourney in the Pacific Northwest. Having just completed its 36th season, Tri-State traditionally attracts some of the top varsity wrestlers from Idaho, Washington, Montana and Oregon.
This year’s tournament was staged Dec. 15 and 16 on the NIC campus.
In all, 56 schools were represented and White River placed 11th in the overall field. More notable, the Hornets took the “small school” championship, a competition limited to those schools with just seven wrestlers competing.
Taking part from White River were junior Ryan Redford at 170 pounds; sophomores Max Wheeler at 120, Nate Moore at 145 and Jack Ervien at 152; and freshmen Gabe Hawthorne at 113, Jarod Rodarte at 132 and Weston Lyver at 138.
Hawthorne captured the tournament title in most impressive fashion. He defeated No. 1 seed William Edelblute in overtime in the semifinal match, then wrestled his way to a 10-3 decision over Ryan Stewart of Havre, Mont., for the championship. Edelblute is Idaho’s defending 4A state champion.
Before squaring off against Edelblute, Hawthorne registered a technical fall over Ethan Ericksen of Castle Rock, Wash., pinned Tim Westbrook of Spokane’s University High and posted a major decision over Chandler Axtel of Lakeland, Idaho.
Moore received an opening-round bye, then pinned Regan Callahan of Royal City, Wash., and Cameron Bowerman of Spokane’s North Central High. Decisions over Braedon Orrino of Central Valley (Spokane) and Braydon Huber of Post Falls, Idaho, sent Moore into the championship round, where he was pinned by Parker Filius of Havre.
Ervien also opened with a bye, then won by technical fall over Isaac Stone of Moscow, Idaho, and earned a 5-0 decision against Preston Bunty of Sandpoint, Idaho. He reached the 152 finals with a 4-2 victory over Izaiah Duran of Battle Ground, Wash., and a 5-0 win against Max Hill of Lewiston, Idaho. Wrestling for the title, he fell 9-1 to Hunter Cruz of Moses Lake, Wash.
Lyver opened with a bye, then won three of his five matches. Both Wheeler and Rodarte won twice in four attempts. Redford received a bye to start, then defeated two of his four opponents.