Tribal Government & News
Hofenbredl heading to NJCAA wrestling nationals in Iowa
By Dean Rhodes
Smoke Signals editor
COOS BAY – Tribal member Matt Hofenbredl, 23, is heading to the National Junior College Athletic Association nationals in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on March 6-7 after winning the Western Region Wrestling Championship held in Coos Bay on Sunday, Feb. 16.
Hofenbredl, 23, wrestles for the Southwestern Oregon Community College Lakers. He entered the western region tournament ranked No. 3 nationally in the 141-pound weight class and defeated the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the country, Marckis Branford of Clackamas Community College, 5-4.
“So I went out and just wrestled my match,” Hofenbredl was quoted as saying in the Coos Bay World. “He went out and took me down at the beginning and then I ended up getting away and getting a reversal and finishing the period on top. I just kept my pace going and he started slowing down and got in on that last shot.”
Coach Adam Whitlatch said Hofenbredl is 14-5 this season. He wrestled a previous season for the Lakers, but injured his knee and could not finish the year. He then sat out a year to concentrate on his studies, recuperate from his injury and become a better wrestler.
“We are in a very competitive region,” Whitlatch said about sending seven of his wrestlers, including Hofenbredl, to nationals. “Clackamas is ranked No. 1 in the country and North Idaho College is ranked No. 3, and those are two teams we are competing against.”
Hofenbredl is studying forest engineering at Southwestern Oregon with an eye of transferring to Oregon State University next year after attaining his associate degree.
He said his goal is to hopefully return to the Tribe and work for Natural Resources.
Hofenbredl wrestled for Dallas High School, winning state championships in 2012, ’13 and ’15. In 2014, he finished second. He was only the second Dallas High wrestler to win three state titles.