LHS wrestling seniors honored in Modoc meet

Lakeview High School wrestling seniors Kylen Ward and Dylan Julian were honored during a brief recognition ceremony prior to a dual meet with Modoc on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Pictured are Jody Ward, l-r, Anita Ward, Kylen Ward, Tristen Ward, Matt Sutfin, Shelby Sutfin, and Dylan Julian.

Lakeview High School held its final home wrestling meet of the season on Wednesday, Jan. 8, welcoming a Modoc High School team with close familial ties for final non-league tune-ups before the season kicks into high-gear.

Only an hour’s drive apart, the two schools share close bonds among wrestlers and coaches. Lakeview High School head wrestling coach Shannon Ludwig had previously served as an assistant coach to Modoc’s long-tenured head coach, Shaun Woods. According to Woods, not only has he seen Ludwig’s kids grow up in wrestling, Morgan Ludwig now one of Lakeview’s top competitors as a sophomore in the 152-weight class, he even recalls coaching the father of current Lakeview sophomore Wyatt Patzke. While fierce competitors on the mat, many of the wrestlers from both schools are friends off it.

Modoc arrived in Lakeview with superior numbers, duplicating several weights with JV and varsity wrestlers, Lakeview sported only seven active members of their team. What they lacked in quantity they proved in quality, as LHS won six of the seven direct matches held, though forfeits contributed to Modoc’s overall victory in team points, 48-36.

Prior to the action commencing Lakeview honored its two seniors, a rushed senior night ceremony as the result of the final scheduled home meet slated for Jan. 22 being canceled. Seniors Dylan Julian and Kylen Ward were both honored for their four-year efforts in the high school ranks, both advancing to becoming state qualifiers – a feat they intend to repeat again this year.

“I moved her in 2013, and I have been humbled to work with Kylen (Ward) and Dylan (Julian),” said Shannon Ludwig. “They are great young men, hard workers, and excellent leaders. They will be successful in whatever they do – they have shown that through four years and the journey upon which they’ve gone will set them up for life. I am very proud of them and humbled to be their coach.”

Following several forfeits, the first competitive match came in the 126-class, Brayson Granger defeating Modoc’s Cayro Landaverde by pin in the second period. Ward, in his final match in his home gym competing at 132, won by pin over Modoc’s Landon French. In the 138-weight Lakeview’s Nathan Culbertson won by pin in a hard-fought match over Max Blankenship. In the 145-weight class Patzke easily defeated Brien Massey, at one point upending Massey and then dragging him like a ragdoll back into the circle before ending the match by pin.

In one of the most compelling matches of the evening, Ludwig squared off against Modoc’s Caleb Hill, one of the few matches to reach the second period. Ludwig led 5-0 after the first period, but quickly pinned Hill at the start of the second. After a 160-weight forfeit in Modoc’s favor, Julian kept Lakeview’s winning streak going with a first period pin of Logan Lee. Another forfeit by Lakeview in the 182-class preceded the lone Modoc victory of the night, when in the 195-class Modoc’s Alex Olsen pinned Wyatt Julian. Additional forfeits were gained by Modoc at 220 and 285.

“I was very pleased with the performance,” said Shannon Ludwig. “We had seven guys and went 6-1, can’t ask for much more. They controlled what they could, we can’t control forfeits – I was very pleased against a good team like Modoc.”

Lakeview wrestling returned to action on Saturday, Jan. 11 with a dual meet at Rogue River.

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