Sterling career: Crawford moves to law-enforcement after OSU wrestling

May, 2018 Posted in Columnists & Opinion, School, Sports & Recreation

Cody Crawford at OSU Karl Maasdam

James DayFormer Cascade High three-sport standout Cody Crawford won 89 wrestling matches at Oregon State University and scored points on three Pac-12 Conference championship squads.

The four-time district champion and three-time state high school winner under coach Jason Lovell at Cascade won one Pac-12 title, also took a second and a third in the Pac-12 and wrestled three times in the NCAA tournament.

Yet when interviewed at the end of his five years at OSU he told Our Town that his first goal always was “to get my degree.”

“Without an athletic scholarship I probably wouldn’t have been able to go to college and get a degree,” said Crawford, who received his OSU degree in human development and family planning.

“He did a great job in the classroom,” Beavers coach Jim Zalesky told Our Town. “I never had to worry about him. He was always good at time management and did great things on and off the mat.”

The challenge for Crawford in the wrestling room was that as his body matured he grew out of the 197 weight class. And unlike high school wrestling, which has a 220-pound division, Crawford only could move to heavyweight as a college athlete.

“In my third year at 197 it took a toll on by body,” Crawford said. “I’m naturally about 245 to 250 and my body wound up depleted from the weight cut.”

In his fourth year Crawford got down to 201 and then, after consulting with Zalesky decided to move up to heavyweight.

“It was the right decision,” Crawford said and the results showed it. The 6-3 redshirt junior was 24-9 in the 2016-17 season, took second at the Pac-12s and was 2-2 in the NCAA tournament.

In his final campaign Crawford faced another challenge, and it came from teammate Amarveer Dhesi, who had missed the 16-17 season with a knee injury. Dhesi was 18-3 this season and Crawford 14-6, but it was Dhesi who won the wrestle-off to earn the team’s spot in the Pac-12 meet (teams can only enter one athlete per weight class).

“I made him better and he made me better,” Crawford said of his battles with Dhesi. “I gave it everything I had and hopefully I helped lead the team in the right direction.”

Off the mat Crawford has been hired by the Corvallis Police Department and is now enmeshed in the months-long training process that is required before a sworn officer is ready to work the streets.

“I want to give back to the community that has given me so much,” Crawford said. “It’s a great profession and my skill set works well with it. Plus I’ll be close to home and Corvallis has a great department.”

Here is a look at how other athletes with Santiam Canyon ties fared in college during the winter season:

Julian Downey, Silverton/Santiam: Downey, who played for Silverton its 2015 Class 5A state championship team and also led Santiam to a Class 2A title in 2017, averaged 4.5 points per game as a freshman at Warner Pacific in Portland. The 5-10 Downey averaged 47.1 percent shooting on 3-pointers. The Knights were 24-10 and advanced to the NAIA Division II national tournament, where they turned in a 1-1 record.

Sadie Mak, Stayton: The freshman freestyle specialist at Pacific University in Forest Grove participated on the 800 free relay squad that finished eighth in 8:32.92 at the Northwest Conference championships in Federal Way, Washington. Mak also took 20th in the 1,650 free (19:41.41), 28th in the 500 free (5:47.33) and 31st in the 200 free (2:08.49).

Alix Biddington, Cascade: The junior guard at Oregon Tech played in all 32 games for the Owls, starting 21 times. Biddington averaged 3.7 points, 1.5 rebounds and totaled 38 assists for OIT, which finished 20-12 overall and 12-8 in the Cascade Collegiate Conference. The Owls lost to Eastern Oregon 77-65 in the semifinals of the conference tournament.

Casey Bunn-Wilson, Stayton: The former Oregon State University and international player just finished her third year as the coach of the Linfield College women’s basketball team. The Wildcats were 11-14 overall and 5-11 in the Northwest Conference

Tess Hendricks, Stayton, and Mariah Hollenbeck, Cascade: Hendricks started 26 games for the Chemeketa women’s basketball team, averaging 10.5 points per game, third on the squad, while adding 3.4 rebounds per game. She was second on the Storm with 29.4 minutes per game. Hollenbeck played in all 26 games for Chemeketa, 9-18, while starting once. She averaged 3.1 points per game.

Stepan Zavydovskyy, Cascade: The 6-7 sophomore averaged 7.8 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.0 blocks for the Chemeketa men’s basketball team, which finished 18-11 overall and 9-7 in the NWAC South. Zavydovskyy led the Storm in blocks and was second in rebounding.

Hospital fun run: It’s not too soon to start planning for Santiam Hospital’s Fun Runs, which are Saturday, June 2. There three runs on the schedule, a 3-kilometer, a 5K and a 10k, with a 5K walk also on the agenda. All races cost $10, with registration available through May 31 at

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