Competing against some of the top-ranked wrestling teams in the nation, Northwest College’s Trappers won two out of three matches over the weekend in Clackamas, Oregon.
At the Clackamas Duals tournament, three of the four teams were ranked in the NJCAA’s top 10 — including Northwest at No. 9, Clackamas at No. 6 and Southwestern Oregon at No. 7.
Joined by Highline Community College, each of the four schools dueled each other on Saturday.
The Trappers beat Southwestern Oregon 27-17, winning six of the 10 matches.
Winning matches were Matthew Barfuss at 125 pounds by a 5-1 decision, Taylor Jeffries at 133 pounds by 6-5 decision, Riley Loveless at 141 pounds by pin, Garrett Wood by forfeit at 149 pounds, Justin Polkowske at 157 pounds by pin and Heber Shepherd at 184 pounds by a 3-1 sudden victory.
Northwest lost to No. 6 Clackamas, 31-11.
NWC head coach Jim Zeigler said Clackamas has a good wrestling program, but feels Northwest is not far behind. As the season progresses, some of the lost matches could become victories, he said.
Northwest won three matches in the dual, while the other seven matches were close.
The Trappers’ trio of winning matches against Clackamas included 141-pound Loveless by a 3-2 decision, 165-pound Andrew VonRein by 8-1 decision over a No. 7-ranked wrestler and Shepherd at 184 pounds by a 18-2 technical fall.
Finally, NWC dominated Highline Community College, 38-3.
NWC won all of the matches but one, including a huge win for Loveless beating the No. 5-ranked wrestler in the nation.
With the first semester concluded for the wrestlers, Zeigler said that the team focused well on both athletics and academics.
“I think we are set up to really accelerate once we come back,” the coach said.
After the holiday break, NWC wrestling will resume its season at the National Wrestling Coaches Association (NWCA) National Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on Jan. 5 and 6.
All of the NJCAA teams will compete at the event.
A bracket will be set up that’s similar to individual weight class brackets, but instead featuring entire teams. The team as whole either advances or goes into the consolation bracket based on the team’s win or loss in a dual — not the individual wrestler.
The No. 1 team in the nation last year takes the top spot in the bracket and will wrestle the last place team. The No. 2 team will wrestle the second-to-last team and so on.