It was a very promising start to the 2007-08 season for the Wood River High School wrestling team last week.
Wood River defeated Century of Pocatello 36-30 Friday on the Hailey mat to go with the 47-36 Wolverine road win over the combined Oakley/Raft River team last Tuesday.
Senior 215-pounder Collin Hand recorded a decisive pin and put Wood River over the hump against Century Friday to go with pins by sophomore Nick Chase at 125 pounds and senior Jon Diem at 135 pounds.
Wood River also captured forfeit wins over Century by Tyler Bartlett at 103, Ricky Maxwell at 140 and Tanner Orchard at 145 pounds.
Coach Tyson Young said, "There was a lot of pride in this dual! Last year Century came to our place and beat us easily, but this year we pulled together to get some redemption. The guys battled in every match."
In Friday's junior varsity matches, 152-pounder Tyler Jaramillo (1-1) picked up Wood River's only win with a pin over Patrick Discascib of Challis. Also wrestling were Kasey Barker (0-2), Brandon Condon (0-2) and Sam Schwab (0-1).
Last Tuesday's 47-36 dual meet win at Oakley was equally successful. Coach Young said, "What a great way to open the season! The guys came to wrestle and were rewarded with a great win over a team that beat us up last year. Every guy fought for every point."
Hand was a leader again with a 13-1 major decision at 215, sophomore Juve Ruiz grabbed a pin at 189 and freshman Andrew Orr pinned at 160. Winning by forfeit were Orchard at 145, Cody Chandler at 171, J.J. Thomson at 285, Bartlett at 103 and Chase at 130.
Chase collected a pair of exhibition match wins at Oakley, both by fall. Others wrestling were Willie Dugger, Barker. Diem and Maxwell.
Wood River also clashed with 2007 State 2A runner-up Challis in the other dual during Friday's season opening triangular in Hailey. But Challis (5 pins, 2 decisions, 3 forfeits) was too tough, winning 61-16.
Orchard pinned at 145 and Hand added another major decision at 215 to go along with Bartlett's forfeit win at 103.
Young said, "I knew Challis was going to be tough in all areas. I was very pleased with how aggressive we performed on our feet, but I felt we gave them a lot when the action went on the mat.
"In order to win as a team, the individual effort must be extreme. The guys fought like dogs, but had a tendency to give up some easy points."
Wood River travels to Jerome tonight, Wednesday for a Great Basin Conference West dual meet and then goes to the Bear Cat Invitational meet Friday and Saturday, Dec. 14-15 in Jerome and Twin Falls.
Middle school tournament
Wood River Middle School wrestlers coached by Josh Alstrom, Dereck Ruhter and Young enjoyed Saturday's conference tournament staged on the high school mat in Hailey.
The Hailey eighth graders finished sixth in the overall standings led by first-place Auden Ruhter, third-place Robbie Trautwein and fourth-place Christian Gravenmier.
Hailey's seventh graders were second in the final standings topped by first-placers Tommy Bailey, Tim Boyle, Jared Anderson, Storm Anderson and Ben Williams along with fourth-place David Maxwell.
Some of the WRMS wrestlers are now getting ready for the first-ever Idaho Middle School Wrestling Tournament Dec. 14-15 at The Idaho Center in Nampa. They are also looking forward to summer wrestling.
"We had a great time coaching the kids and watching them progress through the year," said coach Alstrom.
XMas trees fundraiser
Once again the Wood River wrestling team is conducting a Christmas tree fundraiser.
Prices for the freshly cut Oregon Noble firs range from $23 for a four-foot tree to $58 for an eight-footer. They are sold daily through Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Cowboy Coffee parking lot in Bellevue.