The pandemic adjusted and shorted high school sports seasons are over and Columbia County student athletes and coaches are looking to next year to return with in-person practices and competition.
Rainier Jr/Sr High School Wrestling Coach Matt Hendricks said the squad finished the season undefeated in league duals and 9-3 overall in dual action.
"We placed second at the district tournament in Clatskanie qualifying six wrestlers for the state tournament that was held at Redmond high school on the 26th," he said. "District champs included Hunter Hendricks 106, Christian Roberts 132, Brandon Isaacson 152 and Korbin Howell 220. Sterling Bruce was district runner up at 285 also. Damon LaRue 113, qualified for state placing fourth. Derek Katon 138 and Gavin Fortelney 145 we’re also state alternates, placing fourth."
Hendricks said at the state tournament, the Rainier wrestlers placed third as a team and had four finalists, two state champs and two runner ups.
"Finalists Hunter Hendricks, Brandon Isaacson, Korbin Howell, and Sterling Bruce pinned every opponent on their way to the finals, he said. "Brandon Isaacson and Korbin Howell finished their senior years as state champs while senior Sterling Bruce finished as the 285 pound runner up. Sophomore Hunter Hendricks also finished as the 106 pound state runner up. Christian Roberts and Damon LaRue we’re also participants both going 0-2 in the tournament and though they competed hard!"
Hendricks said it was the best finish for Rainier since placing third in 2014 and the school's first state champions since 2015.
"So it’s been long overdue," Hendricks said.