LAKEVIEW -- Mazama emerged victorious in team points through sheer strength in numbers, but Lakeview High School held its own in matches during a dual wrestling meet held in Lakeview Wednesday evening.
Won on team points 48-24 by the Vikings thanks in part to four forfeits by Lakeview, the dual meet was a non-league measurement of two of the top wrestling programs in Southern Oregon early in the high school wrestling season.
Both district champions last year -- Mazama at the 4A level and Lakeview at 2A -- saw this meet as a renewal of a familiar rivalry to measure progress at this early stage of the season. While Mazama has 40 wrestlers on the roster this year, Lakeview has only 10 on its team, and two of those are competing at the junior varsity level.
Regardless of quantity, the quality was evident for two teams destined to return numerous state qualifiers by season’s end.
“We have wrestled Lakeview for a long time. I like this dual; they’re not a rival per se, but a close team that always has a tough program so it’s fun for our kids to get these matches in,” said Mazama Head Coach Matt Penrod.
“We know that no matter how many kids they’ve got that some of these matches are going to be tough, and we saw that out there. A couple of our guys got pinned pretty quick, and some of those were really good wrestlers.”
Mazama’s Bailey Rogers defeated William Goeres by pin in the 106-weight class to open the meet, while both teams forfeited at 113 and 120. Lakeview also forfeited to Treyce Horton at 126.
The 132-weight match was a surprise for Penrod, as Lakeview’s Brayson Granger quickly got the best of Mazama’s Tanner Wood via pin. Mazama’s Justin Ivy defeated Lakeview senior Kylen Ward by pin in the 138-class.
Lakeview’s Wyatt Patzke did the same to Brycen Loder at 145, and in the best match of the night Lakeview’s Morgan Ludwig eventually pinned Taylor Casey in the 152-class.
Ludwig, an accomplished wrestler in youth programs prior to entering the high school ranks and son of Lakeview wrestling coach Shannon Ludwig, necessitated a brief interlude for a bloody nose mid-match, but in the second period eventually found an advantage for a brutally hard-fought winning pin.
Mazama’s Christian Lewis won by forfeit at 160, Lakeview’s Dylan Julian defeated Dominic Schreiber by pin in the 170-class, Mazama’s Cade Wynne won at 182 via forfeit, and Mazama’s Ethan Richards defeated Wyatt Julian at 195.
Among the heavyweights, Mazama’s Dominic Henkins defeated Rylan Knight by pin at 220, and Mazama’s Isaac Pena won by forfeit at 285.
“For this part of the season I think they’re at a good spot, I think the wrestlers that won tonight really worked for that, they trained hard and put high expectations upon themselves,” Ludwig said.
“Only putting eight wrestlers out there and scoring 24 points on a team like Mazama – they’re well-coached, won districts last year – I’m proud of our team for fighting against a good school like that.”
Penrod, though surprised by some of the results, saw teachable moments from the dual meet, particularly noting the need to practice wrestling from the bottom after seeing several of his wrestlers pinned.
For a team that sent 11 wrestlers to the state tournament last year, he hopes to have at least 10 qualifiers again this year and, by season’s end, to have two kids competing at varsity level at every weight class.
For Ludwig, the meet was a chance to compete against higher-tiered competition as a challenge to every wrestler to improve.
“I want them to compete at that higher level of competition as often as possible, it really brings up their level as well," he said. "Our kids work hard and put high expectations on themselves to compete with anybody in the state.”
Both schools return to action on Friday and Saturday, Mazama at the Culver Invitational, and Lakeview at the Northeast Classic hosted by Modoc High School in Alturas.