Warriors compete at districts

Both Reggie Butler Jr. and Darin Rilatos work with their wrestlers before, during and after a wrestling match. Their commitment to the team is well-known among the community. (Photos by Chris Barnes)

SILETZ — There are always a few matches that the coaches and wrestlers wish they could get back, but for Siletz head coach Reggie Butler Jr., he really enjoyed what he saw.

“I am really proud of them and their performances,” Butler Jr. said. “I was just talking to the guys at practice about the meets over the weekend, and I’m happy with all of my wrestlers. They did a great job and represented Siletz well.”

Six different warriors placed, including two district champions in Joshley Howell and Kenneth Johnson.

Tanner Clark and Jon Duarte both brought home third-place finishes, along with Kenny Olsen’s fourth place and Harry Smith’s fifth.

“It was big for us, our team,” Butler Jr. said. “This might be the first time in our school’s history that we took all of our kids to district and they all came out and placed. Just a really good day of wrestling for Siletz.”

Now, Howell and Johnson will be headed off to the state tournament, but Tanner and Jon have a chance, as well. The team will know in the coming days since the brackets for state are based on seeding.

But either way, the Warriors will be ready to face anyone. It’s not easy for 1A schools to go toe-to-toe with bigger, more experienced schools, but the heart and grit of each Warrior can match up with the strength of numbers some schools utilize.

 “We were happy that we started out with seven and ended up with six wrestlers this year,” Butler Jr. said. “Sometimes teams lose a lot of players over the season, and the only one who couldn't wrestle wasn’t cleared from an injury during football season, so it was a good year for us, and we hope to grow.”

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