Thorpe says it would be foolish to think he could do the job on his own.
He also credits Ralph Brown, the director of Sweet Home, Superintendent Tom Yahraes, and sports director Nate Tyler for their help. Math teacher and assistant baseball coach Dan Tow is the school’s new athletic director.
“I get the award, but there are a lot of people I surround myself with who make Sweet Home Wrestling successful and Oregon wrestling successful,” Thorpe said. “For me, a place like Sweet Home with an administration that supports your vision makes my work much more feasible.”
Thorpe was named State Wrestling Coach of the Year “six or seven times,” he says. This includes the last two years, when the Huskies became the 4A state runner-up in 2020 and the state champion in 2021.
Sweet Home won the 4A team title in a tournament hosted by the Oregon Wresting Association in late June.
Led by individual titles from Kyle Sieminski (106 pounds), Jake Sieminski (120), Brayden Newport (145) and Tristan Spencer (152), the Huskies were 95 points better than runner-up La Grande. Sweet Home also finished second in the state’s girls division.
During the pandemic that postponed the usual high school wrestling season from winter to spring, Thorpe kept in touch with his athletes and encouraged them to stay active as competitions would eventually ensue.