Crescent Valley High wrestling is on an OSAA 5A state championship run that doesn’t look to be ending any time soon.
The Raiders were so dominant at the 2020 state tournament that they had their second straight team title wrapped up before the finals, where they had 10 competitors in the 14 weight classes.
CV won nine individual titles and finished with 303 points, 76.5 better than runner-up Crook County. The Raiders knew going in they were a heavy favorite and made the all-time tournament points record their motivation. They tied the mark set by Hermiston 11 years earlier.
“I knew we could get 10 guys in the finals, but the way they performed in the finals was kind of beyond what I thought they could really do,” Raiders coach Chad Lamer said.
Daschle Lamer (120), Chance Lamer (126), James Rowley (160) and Santos Cantu (195) all won their championship matches by fall.
Gabe Whisenhunt (113), Jackson Rosado (170) and Hayden Walters (182) earned major decisions. DJ Gillett (106) and Hunter Eveland (132) won by decision. Tyson Resko (152) was second.
Cantu, headed for Indiana University, won his fourth state title after transferring from Salem’s Sprague High in the offseason. Rosado (Aloha) and Resko (Wilsonville) were also first-year transfers.
Among CV’s finalists, only Cantu was a senior. Chance Lamer, a junior, won his third title, while sophomores Whisenhunt and Rowley each claimed their second. All nine non-seniors are expected to return to the team this coming season.
Setting up their state tournament run, the Raiders won 10 individual district titles to grab the program’s first championship at that level in 43 years. CV scored 462.5 points and second-place Silverton 259.
A year earlier, Kaimana “Bubba” Wa’a’s pin in the 2019 285-pound heavyweight match gave the Raiders the 5A team title by 1.5 points over Crook County, which won five 4A titles in the previous six years.
Crescent Valley went five for five in the finals and had seven placers in all. The Raiders needed every single point to claim the program’s first state championship.
Whisenhunt (pin, 106), Chance Lamer (technical fall, 113), Rowley (decision, 145) and Legend Lamer (major decision, 152) all won in the finals to set up Wa’a, who admitted he was nervous after seeing Crook County’s final wrestler of the evening get a pin to put the Cowboys ahead of the Raiders.
“I saw that guy got a pin and I was like, ‘shoot, if I’m going to win this for my team I have to get a pin.’ It was really scary for me,” he said.
Wa’a wasted no time, getting a quick takedown and pinning conference rival Ashten Brecht of Dallas in 41 seconds. Wa’a now plays football at the University of Hawaii.
Legend Lamer, the older brother of Chance and Daschle and son of coach Lamer, claimed his fourth individual title. He’s now competing at Cal Poly with his older brother Brawley.