Godinho’s rally keeps Union on top

Titans capture their fifth straight Clark County crown

By Paul Valencia, Columbian High School Sports Reporter



Junior Godinho was in a battle.

He was fighting for himself, and he was fighting for his Union teammates Saturday night at the Clark County Wrestling Championships at Mountain View High School.

So when he found himself trailing 6-2 in the finals of the 145-pound weight class, he simply kept wrestling.

There was no panic.

“I just kept my head and listened to my coaches,” Godinho said.

Good strategy.

Clearly, the advice worked, too.

Godinho rallied to tie, then he took down Columbia River’s Larry Anderson with roughly 10 seconds left in the first overtime period to win the title 9-7. It is the senior’s second consecutive Clark County championship.

The Union coaches also gave good enough advice throughout the two-day tournament to lead the Titans to the team victory.

“I want my team to win it more than I want me to win it,” Godinho said.

It is the team, after all, that put him in this position to become a multi-year champion at this event.

“I started off as a freshman, not knowing if I would succeed,” Godinho said. “I started training with my teammates. They helped me through everything. It’s been awesome to have everyone alongside with me.”

Union won the team title with 258 points. Mountain View came in second at 221. Battle Ground was third at 149.

Union also had the most champions, going 5-3 in the finals. Host Mountain View had three champions among its five finalists.

Kenji Yamashita of Mountain View became a two-time Clark County champion when he beat Union’s Tommy Strassenberg for the 138-pound title, 8-4.

“I just wanted to help my team close the gap with Union this year. I always want to keep my team involved,” said Yamashita, who was also named the lightweight outstanding wrestler of the tournament. “I never really think that much about myself.”

Benjamin Dixon also won representing the home team. He topped defending county champion Grant Gaspar of Ridgefield at 120 pounds 6-4.

“I had to win it for my senior year, you know,” Dixon said. “I just had to do it.”

Will Taisacan opened the night for Mountain View with a 7-2 win over Ridgefield’s Trevor Newburn at 106 pounds.

Joining Godinho as Union champions were: Carlos Simon, Michael Snediker, Alex Berfanger and Cody Gromes.

Simon topped Damon Thomas of Mountain View 10-3 at 126 pounds. Snediker pinned Zac Seevers of Woodland at 160 pounds. Berfanger was the best at 182, with a 5-2 win over Heritage’s Jacob Cooper. And Gromes got the better of Woodland’s Zach Wardle at 195 pounds, 9-7.

Simon, Berfanger, and Gromes all finished second in this event last year.

Prairie’s Dallas Goodpaster, a sophomore, became the third defending champion to win this year when he took home the 220-pound title with a 1-0 decision over Tristan Bridges of Heritage.

“It’s a lot of pressure, coming in as a freshman winning it and then having to defend it the next year,” Goodpaster said.

Camas’ Bryant Elliott got an emotional victory at 132 pounds. He beat two-time Clark County champion Daniel Rice of Union 15-11, fulfilling a year-long quest. At this event last year, Elliott broke a hand and tore a ligament in his right knee.

“The last couple of years I got my butt whooped,” Elliott said. “You gotta lose to win. This year, I’m really stepping it up.”

Now he’s a champion.

“It makes me feel like I can really compete with the top guys in state,” Elliott said. “It makes me feel like I really belong.”

Isaiah Av of Evergreen won at 113 pounds, pinning Branden Huft of Mountain View. Gunnar Metzgar of Hudson’s Bay beat Jeremiah Reynolds of Union 10-4 in the 152-pound finals. Josh Emmy of Skyview was a 7-5 winner over Javier Martinez of Union at 170 pounds.

Concluding the night, Austin Wright of Evergreen beat Tyler Dady of Battle Ground 7-4 in overtime at 285 pounds. Wright was also named the most outstanding wrestler of the tournament among the bigs.

The top team, though, remains Union. The Titans have won the Clark County team title five years in a row.


at Mountain View High School

Team champion: Union

Team scores

Union 258, Mountain View 221, Battle Ground 149, Heritage 134.5, Prairie 134, Evergreen 99, Camas 98.5, Skyview 96.5, Washougal 94, Ridgefield 86, Hudson’s Bay 78.5, Woodland 72, Columbia River 64, Hockinson 25.5, Fort Vancouver 21, La Center 14, King’s Way Christian 7.

Individual championships matches and placers

106 pounds

Championship: Will Taisacan (MV) d. Trevor Newburn (Rid) 7-2. 3, Jordan Zuniga (Her); 4, Urich Reyes (Was); 5, Quentin Krogstad (U); 6, Doug Chin (Sky).


Championship: Isaiah Av (Eve) p. Branden Huft (MV) in :59. 3, Chris Joner (BG); 4, Rivers Greensky (Pra); 5, Taylor Noland (Rid); 6, Kody Boxberger (Sky).


Championship: Benjamin Dixon (MV) d. Grant Gaspar (Rid) 6-5. 3, J.J. Talavera (U); 4, Darion Green (HB); 5, Robert Gomulkiewics BG); 6, Zach Oster (Was).


Championship: Carlos Simon (U) d. Damon Thomas (MV) 10-3. 3, Jason Cole (BG); 4, Marcus Hartman (Cam); 5, Karell Abdul (Her); 6, Vance Brewer (HB).


Championhip: Bryant Elliott (Cam) d. Daniel Rice (U) 15-11. 3, Jordan Moore (Eve); 4, Emanuel Mendez (MV); 5, Connor Wilson (Her); 6, Jeffrey Mayolo (LC).


Championship: Kenji Yamashita (MV) d. Tommy Strassenberg (U) 8-4. 3, Tye Lommasson (Cam); 4, Conner Thun (CR); 5, Garrett Duey (Was); 6, Eric Creamer (Pra).


Championship: Junior Godinho (U) d. Larry Anderson 9-7, OT. 3, Nathan Spires (MV); 4, Nathan Patterson (Wood); 5, Judah Reynolds (U); 6, Jesse Reagan (Was).


Championship: Gunnar Metzgar (HB) d. Jeremiah Reynolds (U) 10-4. 3, Aaron Canton (Rid); 4, Marcus Hendrickson (Her); 5, Cameron Hutchison (Sky); 6, Abraham Hansen (MV).


Championship: Michael Snediker (U) p. Zac Seevers (Wood) in 4:32. 3, Austin Long (MV); 4, Oleg Korin (FV); 5, Justin Smalley (BG); 6, Stacy Hardy (HB).


Championship: Josh Emmy (Sky) d. Javier Martinez (U) 7-5. 3, Luke Middelstadt (Pra); 4, Billy Oeck (BG); 5, Luke Christensen (U); 6, Nathan Wu (MV).


Championship: Alex Berfanger (U) d. Jacob Cooper (Her) 5-2. 3, Ronnie Evenden (Pra); 4, Zach Berfanger (U); 5, Jessie Valitalo (BG); 6, Nathan Cloud (Wood).


Championship: Cody Gromes (U) d. Zach Wardle (Wood) 9-7. 3, Talon Edmiston (Cam); 4, Tyler Duncan (Pra); 5, Ryan Krause (Eve); 6, Aaron Bork (BG).


Championship: Dallas Goodpaster (Pra) d. Tristan Bridges (Her) 1-0. 3, Joe Garrison (Sky); 4, Sheldon Michalios (BG); 5, Chayse Fletcher (MV); 6, Sean Leheny (Was).


Championship: Austin Wright (Eve) d. Tyler Dady (BG) 7-4 OT. 3, James Niemele (CR); 4, Josiah Jones (Her); 5, Jacob Brown (Was).