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Only in his second season of high school varsity wrestling, Philomath High School senior Brooks Stearns wouldn't mind wrapping up the experience with a medal hanging around his next come February in Portland.

Last year, Stearns missed a chance at competing in the state tournament thanks to a season-ending shoulder injury at Cottage Grove. But before any talk about medals can get too serious, Stearns will need to qualify out of a tough district. And one of the big questions will be in what weight division will he be competing.

"I've been wrestling 220 up until the last tournament," Stearns said Wednesday after winning his only two matches in a four-team meet at PHS. "I've been weighing no more than 196 pounds and in these last couple of ones, I've done pretty good."

Indeed, Stearns is unbeaten at 195 pounds so far this season with a 5-0 record. In his most competitive match in the home quadrangular, Stearns held on to beat Central's Corbin Sedlacek on an 8-6 decision.

"He's in the middle of cutting down a weight (class) or two," PHS coach Troy Woosley said. "Him and Connar (Kohn) were at 195, but to help the team, Brooks-y went to 220 and now he's on the cut-down. We're not sure if he's going to make 182 but he thinks he is. We'll see how that goes and how his strength is and everything, but he thinks he can do it."

Philomath has a crowded room in the upper weights, which Stearns said has created a fun, competitive atmosphere.

"All the weights are real competitive right now," Stearns said. "Like at 195, I think there's four of us honestly in the 190, 180 range and we're all pretty solid, so we definitely compete."

Stearns opened the season with a third-place showing in the Perry Burlison Wrestling Classic at Cascade but he's reached the finals of every tournament since. He took first place at Scio and Pleasant Hill and takes a 19-4 overall record into Saturday's Screamin' Eagle at Santiam Christian.

"I have a little trouble finishing at the tournaments," Stearns said. "But I at least get there, so that's nice."

Stearns, a catcher on the PHS baseball team, said his right shoulder has completely healed.

"I'm pretty excited to be back at 100 percent and hopefully I'll roll right into baseball season," Stearns said. "I hope to have a good year for that, too."

Philomath won two of its three duals in Wednesday's action but those came down to forfeit victories with the Warriors able to enter wrestlers in every weight division. Out of the 27 varsity matches that came off during the evening, Philomath won just seven.

"We made them look a little better," Woosley said in reference to the 59-12 dual loss to Central. "We looked tired and I'm not sure why. We had a couple of kids wrestling new weights and we also have nine of our 14 starters that are freshmen or sophomores. I think it's just the team trying to get their feet underneath them."

With wrestling season hitting the halfway point, Woosley knows the younger athletes on the roster are trying to battle through.

"Most of them haven't done this before and so I think once they get that, we'll be fine," Woosley said. "Hopefully, we get up for next week. Next week's the Oregon Classic when we're doing nothing but duals."

Although Philomath had a decisive 56-18 dual victory over Gladstone, the Warriors actually only won two matches that came off.

Hunter Kaumanns pinned his opponent with just 4 seconds left in the first period in a 132-pound bout and then at 160, Matthew Hamlet won a close one on a 5-3 decision.

Philomath was awarded 42 points on forfeits in the 54-30 victory over Corbett. In the matches that materialized, Corbin outscored the Warriors, 30-12.

Besides the two wins by Stearns, the Warriors also saw Kaumanns defeat two opponents. In addition to that pin against Gladstone, he also defeated a Central wrestler on a thrilling 13-12 decision.

The other two wins were by Austin Murphree against Corbett and Jayden Jensen against Central.

"It's all about our young kids and getting experience at the varsity level and that's where we're at right now with this team," Woosley said. "We'll have some growing pains before we get there."

Kohn didn't wrestle Wednesday night because of a health issue but he's expected to be back Saturday for the Santiam Christian meet.

Although freshman Blaise Pindell lost his only contested match of the evening, a 9-4 decision to Central's Ty Pearson, the appearance represented a moral victory.

Pearson had beaten Pindell on a technical fall, 18-3, earlier this season in the Central Invitational's championship match.

"The kid's a state qualifier and for Blaise, being a freshman, he's been in the finals of every tournament we've gone to except the first one. He's doing really well and I really like the way he moved."

As far as Stearns's season goes, there's no talk of winning medals just yet. He wants to focus just on qualifying.

"Going to state would be pretty nice just because I wasn't able to go last year to regionals," Stearns said. "Obviously, to place would be really cool but going is definitely my first goal."


PHS Four-Team Meet


Wednesday at Philomath

Philomath 56, Gladstone 18

106 — Blake Niemann, PHS, won by forfeit

113 — Michael Godin, PHS, won by forfeit

120 — Ben Gary, PHS, won by forfeit

126 — Blaise Pindell, PHS, won by forfeit

132 — Hunter Kaumanns, PHS, pinned Kevin Orozco, 1:56

138 — Hunter McCaskill, PHS, won by forfeit

145 — Morgan French, PHS, won by forfeit

152 — Hunter Lehman, GLD, pinned Jayden Jensen, 3:44

160 — Matthew Hamlet, PHS, dec. Carlos Rodriguez, 5-3

170 — Chael Williams, GLD, dec. Austin Murphree, 12-5

182 — Shadrach Porter, GLD, dec. Issiah Blackburn, 4-2

195 — Brooks Stearns, PHS, won by forfeit

220 — Maxwell Meyer, GLD, pinned Noah Estes, 1:29

285 — Taylor Tally, PHS, won by forfeit

Note: One point deducted from Philomath's point total for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Philomath 54, Corbett 30

106 — Blake Niemann, PHS, won by forfeit

113 — Trey Conner, CRB, pinned Michael Godin, 1:15

120 — Ben Gary, PHS, won by forfeit

126 — Blaise Pindell, PHS, won by forfeit

132 — Hunter Kaumanns, PHS, won by forfeit

138 — Hunter McCaskill, PHS, won by forfeit

145 — Glen Leith-Ross, CRB, pinned Morgan French, 3:44

152 — Jayden Jensen, PHS, won by forfeit

160 — Matthew Hamlet, PHS, won by forfeit

170 — Austin Murphree, PHS, pinned Conner Peek, 2:18

182 — Robert Plympton, CRB, pinned Issiah Blackburn, 5:51

195 — Brooks Stearns, PHS, pinned Ian Brown, Corbett, 0:39

220 — Matthew Krieger, CRB, pinned Noah Estes, 1:32

285 — Aidan Brown, CRB, pinned Taylor Tally, 1:49

Central 59, Philomath 12

106 — Adrian Martinez, CEN, maj. dec. Blake Niemann, 12-3

113 — Cesar Rodriguez, CEN, pinned Michael Godin, 1:48

120 — Luis Martinez, CEN, pinned Ben Gary, 3:01

126 — Ty Pearson, CEN, dec. Blaise Pindell, 9-4

132 — Hunter Kaumanns, PHS, dec. Isaac Ostrom, 13-12

138 — Gerardo Acevedo, CEN, pinned Hunter McCaskill, 3:08

145 — Joseph Pearson, CEN, pinned Morgan French, 0:46

152 — Jayden Jensen, PHS, pinned Javier Vargas, 5:18

160 — Brock Pierce, CEN, pinned Matt Hamlet, 2:46

170 — Nathan Bliss, CEN, maj. dec. Austin Murphree, 16-4

182 — Gabe Cervantes, CEN, pinned Issiah Blackburn, 3:41

195 — Brooks Stearns, PHS, dec. Corbin Sedlacek, 8-6

220 — Jordyn Montano, CEN, pinned Noah Estes, 3:33

285 — Miguel Sandoval, CEN, pinned Taylor Tally, 0:26

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