Grant County Wrestling Club athletes Taylor Parsons, 10, and Owen Parsons, 8, of John Day won championship titles at the Dec. 22 ORWAY East Cascade Regional tournament in Irrigon.

It was Taylor’s fifth consecutive title, this year beating Kadin Allen of Team Xtreme in the 71-pound weight class 9-10 age division.

Owen, wrestling in the 67-pound 7-8 division, beat Aiden Gerrard of Hermiston Youth Wrestling.

Several other Grant County wrestlers competed well at the regional event.

Placing second were Kale Tremblay, Blake Sandor and Mason Benge. Ginny Clarry also earned second place in the girls division. Zeke Rookstool had a third-place finish for the boys.

The team’s regular season ended with the Dec. 15 Wallowa Mountain Brawl (ORWAY) in Enterprise.

About eight of the local youth wrestlers will continue on to a few more competitions. Mason Benge, 12, was invited to compete on the 12U All-State team, traveling to Utah for competitions. The sixth-grader also plans to finish out the season wrestling in some junior high tournaments with Grant Union.

Wrestlers who place at the Jan. 12 Eastern Oregon Classic Qualifier in La Grande, one of five qualifier events in Oregon, will advance to the Oregon Classic in Redmond, a tournament that includes youth and high school wrestlers.

Next is the Buckle Classic tournament in Burns, scheduled for Jan. 26.

Any youth wrestler who is a part of the USA league can also compete in the Feb. 2-3 Kids Collegiate State Championships in Corvallis.

Grant County Wrestling Club head coach Steve Parsons said his 29 athletes, who range in age from 4 to 14, competed well this season winning 65-75 percent of their matches as a team.

He said several wrestlers are showing improvement.

“Beau Van Cleave did really well this year, and so did Jase Whatley,” he said. “We had a lot of young wrestlers who came along really well, including Hank Giffin, Kale Tremblay and Blake Sandor — they went to the tournaments and competed well.”

He said Van Cleave and Benge, wrestling in the top of their weight class and age range, gained a lot of experience this year.

Coach Parsons said the sport takes dedication, from the athletes and parents, and most of the events require traveling long distances and a $5-10 fee.

“We had a lot of support from the parents,” he said. “Their parents put a lot of effort into this.”

The wrestling group held a “pin-a-thon” fundraiser this year. Over the season, 24 wrestlers earned 194 pins.

In the age divisions, Tremblay had 14 pins in the 5-6 age group, Van Cleave had 19 pins for 7-8, Taylor Parsons had 17 for 9-10 and Mason Benge had 16 for 11-12.

For more information on next season’s enrollment or other questions, contact Jessica Knowles at 541-620-1272 or Heather Rookstool at 541-390-5790.

ORWAY East Cascade Regionals in Irrigon (Dec. 22)

Kale Tremblay: second, 3 wins (2 by pin), 1 loss

Blake Sandor: second, 3 wins (2 by pin), 1 loss

Samuel Stout: sixth, 1 win, 3 losses

Jase Whatley: 1 win by pin, 1 loss

Beau Van Cleave: fifth, 2 wins (1 by pin), 2 losses

Owen Parsons: first, 3 wins by pin

Jerett Wadell: fifth, 2 wins by pin, 2 losses

Taylor Parsons: first, 4 wins (3 by pin)

Zeke Rookstool: third, 1 win, 2 losses

Mason Benge: second, 4 wins (3 by pin), 1 loss

Tristan Clarry: fifth, 1 win by pin, 2 losses

USA Austin Hennessee Memorial Tournament in Knappa, Idaho (Dec. 15)

Owen Parsons: first, 3 wins (2 by pin)

Taylor Parson: first, 2 wins by pin

ORWAY Wallowa Mountain Brawl in Enterprise (Dec. 15)

Samuel Stout: second, 2 wins, 1 loss

Jack Knowles: first, 1 win

Zeke Rookstool: first, 4 wins by pin

Charley Knowles: fourth

ORWAY Eastern Oregon Open in Milton-Freewater (Dec. 8)

Coyle Van Cleave: second, 3 wins

Blake Sandor: first, 3 wins (2 by pin)

Jase Whatley: 4 wins (3 by pin) 1 loss

Beau Van Cleave: first, 5 wins (4 by pin)

Jarett Waddell: fifth, 1 win, 3 losses

Mason Benge: first, 5 wins (3 by pin)

USA La Pine Hawk Challenge (Dec. 8)

Owen Parsons, third, 4 wins by pin, 1 loss

Taylor Parsons, third, 3 wins (1 by pins), 1 loss

ORWAY Northeast Oregon Classic in Union (Dec. 1)

Beau Van Cleave: first, 3 pins

Coyle Van Cleave: first, 2 pins

Jase Whatley: second, 2 wins by pin, 1 loss

Blake Sandor: second, 2 wins (by pin), 1 loss

Mason Benge: second, 3 wins by pin, 1 loss

Zeke Rookstool: second, 2 wins (1 by pin), 1 loss

Taylor Parsons: first, 4 wins (3 by pin)

Owen Parsons: third, 2 wins by pin, 2 losses

Brogan Rookstool: first, 3 wins by pin

Ritter Rookstool: third, 1 win by pin, 2 losses

Angel Carpenter is a reporter for the Blue Mountain Eagle. She can be contacted at or 541-575-0710.

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