It's not much of a surprise to see freshman Connar Kohn experiencing some early success on the wrestling mat.
After all, the sport appears to be in his DNA with Dad, James, serving as a Philomath High assistant and his brother, Taylor, representing the last Warrior to place at state with a sixth-place medal in the 2016 tournament. Indeed, Connar said he's been wrestling pretty much ever since he could walk.
Kohn's latest victory came Tuesday night with a pin in just 23 seconds over North Eugene freshman Seth Riggs. It was his fourth win in five bouts since moving down to the 170-pound weight division.
"I've just been really focused and into it," Kohn said when asked about his recent string of wins. "It's another level from the eighth grade but it's good and I'm glad to have worked up to it."
Kohn was one of eight Warriors to post victories over their North Eugene counterparts. Competing on senior night, Philomath posted 51-27 victory with four of five seniors that had official bouts getting victories in their final home appearance.
PHS coach Troy Woosley sees a skilled youngster in Kohn, who turned a few heads with his runner-up finish last weekend at the 22-school Cottage Grove Invitational.
"He's one of those kids — if it's close and you make a mistake, you'll get beat," Woosley said.
Kohn was one of the many athletes on the roster that had to work through illness but beyond that challenge, he also has dropped two weight classes. He opened the season competing at 195.
"He actually came out really strong at the beginning but he was at 195 and then we just saw where he probably should be ... and he made the cut all the way 70," Woosley said. "So, he lost a little bit of energy there for a week or so, maybe two, three weeks, on the way down."
Kohn, who is now 18-12 on the season, has a few goals he'd like to accomplish, including bettering his older brother's record and placing this year at regionals. Woosley sees some similarities between the Kohn brothers.
"He's kinda like his older brother except for he's not quite as methodical as Taylor was," Woosley said. "So he's got a little more drive as a freshman as he did. He's going to be a dandy."
Kohn's performance in Cottage Grove was noteworthy with his advancement into the championship bout.
"I was really feeling it. As a team, we did pretty good and I think we were all doing all right," Kohn said. "When we're all doing well, we kinda work together and it goes because it's a team thing."
Thomas LeClaire of Madras pinned Kohn in 3:35 in the 170-pound finale.
"It was a really experienced senior he was wrestling and all of a sudden it was 7-4," Woosley said. "Then he made a freshman move and got pinned. But he's a gamer."
Among the other bouts against North Eugene, senior Tony Rath had one of the closest with an 8-7 decision over Ishmael Blas at 126 pounds. Rath trailed 4-3 after the first period and was tied with Blas 7-7 after the second period. In the third, he pulled off an escape with 27 seconds remaining and then held off his opponent to secure the victory.
Senior Joey Howell recorded his latest win with a pin over Kyle Hendrix at 160. Howell got a takedown 10 seconds into the bout and then overpowered his opponent and made the winning move with 34 seconds remaining in the first period.
Donnell, another senior, picked up a win in 3:52 over Everett Chandler. Wrestling at 152, Donnell was ahead 7-0 on points at the time of his stick. Minter, also a senior, won his bout with a pin in 1:25 at 195 pounds over Kane Ettel.
Junior Hunter McCaskill, freshman Matt Hamlet and junior Kalvin Schunn all won their matches. McCaskill jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Zach Rios Nelson and got the pin in 1:29 at 120. Hamlet took the victory at 138 with a pin in 1:21 over Jake Cramer in a bout that he was leading 2-1 at the time.
Schunn worked for a pin in 4:53 at 182 pounds. He led 2-1 after one period and 7-2 after the second. And in the third, Schunn got a takedown 25 seconds into the period and ended it with the pin.
Keltin Benson, junior, lost on a 10-6 decision to Alec Nolan. Two Warriors lost on pins.
North Eugene won two matches and Philomath one match on forfeits.
In other news involving the team, junior Brooks Stearns appears to be done for the season after suffering a shoulder injury in the Cottage Grove tournament. Stearns is a key returning starter for Philomath's baseball team at catcher and it's unknown yet if the injury will impact the beginning of his season.
The Warriors will head to the Oregon West Duals Saturday at Cascade.
Philomath 51, North Eugene 27
Tuesday at Philomath
106 — Tristen Boyle, NE, won by forfeit
113 — Jason Weiss, NE, won by forfeit
120 — Hunter McCaskill, PHS, p. Zach Rios Nelson, 1:29
126 — Tony Rath, PHS, dec. Ishmael Blas, 8-7
132 — Alec Nolan, NE, dec. Keltin Benson, 10-6
138 — Matt Hamlet, PHS, p. Jake Cramer, 1:21
145 — Ben Patterson, NE, p. Cooper Latz, 1:22
152 — Dylan Donnell, PHS, p. Everett Chandler, 3:52
160 — Joey Howell, PHS, p. Kyle Hendrix, 1:26
170 — Connar Kohn, PHS, p. Seth Riggs, 0:23
182 — Kalvin Schunn, PHS, p. Gage Rehberger, 4:53
195 — Jared Minter, PHS, p. Kane Ettel, 1:25
220 — Luis Vargas-Juarez, PHS, won by forfeit
285 — Logan Gambill, NE, p. Noah Estes, 1:47
285 — Logan Kerr, NE, p. Luis Vargas-Juaraz, 1:56