OSU Signs Five Wrestlers

June 14, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Five wrestlers who combined to win eight high school state championship have signed letters of intent with Oregon State, OSU head coach Joe Wells announced Friday. The five high school products figure to cover weight classes from 125 pounds through heavyweight.

Joining the Beavers next fall will be Tony Hook, from Sandpoint, Idaho (Sandpoint HS), who will likely wrestle at 157 pounds; Bryan Medelez, from Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS), likely a 133-pounder; 125-pounder Bobby Pfennings, from Great Falls, Mont. (C.M. Russell HS); heavyweight Jamie Rakevich, from Elma, Wash. (Elma HS); and heavyweight Ty Watterson, from Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw HS).

'This is an outstanding group,' Wells said of the five, who will join OSU's program next fall. 'Some of these guys will be competing for starting spots right away, and all of them are going to increase the quality of competition within our program.'

Wells said OSU may announce additional signings later this summer.

Hook won the state title at 145 pounds as a sophomore and junior and at 152 pounds as a senior for Sandpoint; he also placed fourth at 135 as a freshman and was a four-time league champion. He had a 149-14 career record, including a 36-0 mark with 20 pins as a senior.

'He's one of the outstanding kids in the country at that particular weight class,' Wells said. 'He's an explosive, powerful, exciting wrestler and he's a pinner.'

Hook, who placed fourth twice in Junior Nationals Greco-Roman competition and was a U.S. Cadet World Team member, was also recruited by Boise State, Indiana and Northern Iowa before choosing OSU.

'It's close to home and it's in the Pac-10, and I always wanted to wrestle in the Pac-10,' said Hook, who is considering majoring in Health and Human Performance. 'It's a good school, and they've got a lot of support there for wrestling.'

Medelez won the Oregon state title at 125 pounds as a junior and placed fourth in the state at 130 pounds as a senior for Hermiston. He had a career record of 110-33, including 75-14 over his junior and senior seasons, and also won a district title as a senior.

'He's aggressive and he's tough on top,' Wells said of Medelez. 'He had a couple of close matches at the state tournament this year. He'll be a great addition at Oregon State as the latest in a long line of Hermiston kids who have wrestled for OSU; the Berger boys (Cliff and Curt, former OSU wrestlers now coaching at Hermiston) make 'em tough and they like it that way. We're real excited about Bryan coming in next year.'

Medelez, who won the Western Regional freestyle title at 135 pounds this year, said familiarity with the school and its wrestling program helped him choose OSU.

'I've got some friends there and it's a good program - and it's not too far from home,' said Medelez, who is thinking of studying Accounting.

Pfennings was the Montana 125-pound state champion this season, going 38-0 with 21 pins. He also placed fourth in the state as a junior and second at 98 as a freshman; he was hurt during the state tournament his sophomore season.

'He's from the same club team as (former Iowa wrestlers) Billy and Michael Zadick,' Wells said of Pfennings. 'He wrestles hard, he works hard and he's very aggressive on his feet. He wants to come in and try to start, so he's going to be fighting for the starting spot right away.'

Pfennings, a three-time Eastern Division champion, placed seventh at the Cadet Nationals in 2000. He was also recruited by Portland State, William Penn and several other schools before choosing OSU.

'I really liked it there when I went on the recruiting trip, and I kind of wanted to go there anyway,' said Pfennings, who is considering studying Health and Human Performance.

Rakevich won the Washington state title in the 275-pound weight class this season after taking the title at 215 pounds as a junior; he placed second in the state at 215 as a sophomore. This year, he went 27-0 with 25 pins to cap a career that saw him post a 107-8 record with 80 pins.

'He's a bright, smart wrestler,' Wells said of Rakevich. 'He knows how to win a wrestling match; he manages things very well. He's very sharp, he knows how to wrestle. I'm impressed with the amount of wrestling he's done and the way he's developed, and he's a great student.'

Rakevich, also a high school academic All-American, won three league championships and placed third at Senior Nationals this year. Among the schools recruiting him were Boise State and Cornell.

'I chose Oregon State for its academics, and because I liked the team there,' said Rakevich, who has not decided on a major but is thinking of studying an Engineering-related field.

Watterson won the state title at 215 pounds as a senior, going 44-0 with 28 pins, and added a title at the National High School Coaches Association national meet. He was the state runner-up at 215 as a junior and placed eighth as a sophomore en route to a 113-10 career record, winning league titles as a junior and senior.

'He's young and he's very intense on the mat,' Wells said of Watterson. 'He's a pinner, as well. His best wrestling is ahead of him, and at 6-foot-3 he's got that big frame.'

Watterson, who will study Business or Construction Management, said he chose OSU for the quality of its wrestling program and coaches.

OREGON STATE WRESTLING SIGNEES - Spring, 2002

Tony Hook - 157 pounds - Sandpoint, Idaho (Sandpoint HS)

Bryan Medelez - 133 pounds - Hermiston, Ore. (Hermiston HS)

Bobby Pfennings - 125 pounds - Great Falls, Mont. (C.M. Russell HS)

Jamie Rakevich - Heavyweight - Elma, Wash. (Elma HS)

Ty Watterson - Heavyweight - Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw HS)

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