Cougars roll past Nation's best to capture 2011 Cliff Keen JC Championship
January 9, 2011
Clackamas team poses proudly for a photo with the championship trophy.
Cedar Falls, IA -- Clackamas CC entered the tournament with a NJCAA #7 ranking, but are sure to move up considerably as they posted three convincing wins over highly ranked teams including double-digit defeats of top-ranked Harper College and defending NJCAA national Champion Iowa Central CC.
Impressive showing considering the Cougars are not at full strength and did not receive many bonus points from top-ranked Terrence Williams and Tyrell Fortune in the first two matches. 2nd-ranked 165 lber Derrick Mestrovich was missing from the line up and is currently nursing an injury.
The Cougars rolled past perennial power Iowa Central in the opener 27-13 Saturday, gaining 18 valuable points on pins by Kegan Handlovic (125), Cody Randall (141) and Matt Melendrez (157). "This was a huge win to get us started and our guys believing in our chances," said head coach Josh Rhoden.
The Cougars then stunned 2010 NJCAA non-scholarship champion Harper in Sunday morning's semifinals to the tune of a 24-9 beat down to advance to the championship match. "We got a great start from our lower weights and our guys were fired up," exclaimed Rhoden on the semifinal victory. "We knew who we were up against and we showed up big time."
The Cougars got huge wins over several highly-ranked Harper opponents including Handlovic's dec over #2 Eduardo Dominguez, Melendrez's fall over #1 Phillip Starnes, Williams (#1 174) dec over top-ranked 165 lber Luke Roth and Fortune's dec over #3 Adam Chalphant.
The other semifinalist, Labette CC easily dispatched Cougar Region 18 rival SW Oregon CC 34-4 to set up the title match.
Matt Melendrez is named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler on the heels of his three consecutive wins by fall.
Clackamas began the championship match with a fall by Handlovic and a decision by Martin Gonzalez (133) over 7th-ranked Ty Fittje to kick off the contest with a 9-0 CCC lead. Labette quickly retaliated with a pair of wins to draw close at 9-7 before Melendrez pinned his third victim in just over four minutes to make it 15-7 CCC.
Clackamas put the dagger in deeper as CCC won the next three bouts including a huge technical fall by Williams (165), who is wrestling down a weight class in place of Mestrovich, to give Clackamas all it needed in the 30-10 rout.
"In this final match we just kept talking about finishing the tournament with a big one and our guys stepped up huge to take this win back home to Clackamas, added Rhoden. "Our kids really wanted to deliver the program's first National Dual Championship to the college."
Melendrez, with his three falls, was selected the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler. "Matty wrestled an incredible tournament for us. He is wrestling exactly as we hoped he would when we signed him a year ago," said Rhoden. "Our coaches are so happy for him because his commitment level is matching his talent level."
The Cougars are back in action at home on January 14th for alumni night as they host a three-way dual meet with Montana State-Northern University and NJCAA #2-ranked North Idaho [schedule].
#7 Clackamas 27 #8 Iowa Central 13
125 Kegan Handlovic (CCC) FALL Joshua Heinzer (IC) 4:50
133 #4 Brandon Wright (IC) DEC Martin Gonzalez (CCC) 4 - 2
141 #12 Cody Randall (CCC) FALL Jose Flores-Diaz (IC) 4:29
149 Ryan Davis (IC) C DEC Billy Goldsberry (CCC) 7 - 4
157 Matthew Melendrez (CCC) FALL Kenneth Chacon (IC) 1:20
165 #1 Tarrence Williams (CCC) DEC Jason Trushcheff (IC) 10 - 3
174 Justin Martin (CCC) DEC #9 Austin Gelbach (IC) 4 - 0
184 Kolton Kersten (IC) DEC Brett Sanchez (CCC) 10 - 4
197 #3 Dominic Pica (IC) MD Jordan Krich (CCC) 16 - 7
HWT #1 Tyrell Fortune (CCC) DEC #5 Seth McGregor (IC) 6 - 4
#7 Clackamas 24 #1 Harper 9
125 Kegan Handlovic (CCC) DEC #2 Eduardo Dominguez (HC) 9 - 7
133 Martin Gonzalez (CCC) DEC Tim Schewilgel (HC) 9 - 3
141 Cody Randall (CCC) DEC Brandon Schyndel (HC) 3 - 1
149 #10 Mike Ryan (HC) DEC Billy Goldsberry (CCC) 4 - 3
157 Matthew Melendrez (CCC) FALL #1 Phillip Starnes (HC) 3:39
165 #1 Tarrence Williams (CCC) DEC #1 Luke Roth (HC) 5 - 3
174 Josh Ronne (HC) DEC Justin Martin (CCC) 11 - 4
184 Brett Sanchez (CCC) DEC #5 Arber Bebo (HC) 7 - 2
197 Joe Patricelli (HC) DEC Brett Fredericksen (CCC) 7 - 0
HWT #1 Tyrell Fortune (CCC) DEC #3 Adam Chalphant (HC) 4 - 3
#7 Clackamas 30 #5 Labette 10
125 Kegan Handlovic (CCC) FALL Garrett Jones (LCC) 2:12
133 Martin Gonzalez (CCC) DEC #7 Ty Fittje (LCC) 7 - 6
141 #9 Jordan Basks (LCC) MD #12 Cody Randall (CCC) 11 - 2
149 Michael Perez (LCC) DEC Billy Goldsberry (CCC) 4 - 3
157 Matthew Melendrez (CCC) FALL #8 Kayton Marshall (LCC) 4:06
165 #1 Tarrence Williams (CCC) TF5 #8 John Hambleton (LCC) 21 - 5 (6:41)
174 Justin Martin (CCC) DEC #8 Gage Martin (LCC) 9 - 4
184 Brett Sanchez (CCC) DEC Kyle Buckley (LCC) 9 - 3
197 #1 Walker Clarke (LCC) DEC Jordan Krich (CCC) 6 - 3
HWT #1 Tyrell Fortune (CCC) MD Reno RedLeaf (LCC) 10 - 2