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Cavalier wrestling on the upswing

Junior Cory Middleton chases his third title

CLACKAMAS - Clackamas High School matmen are looking to be improved over a year ago, when they went 2-5 in league dual meets and placed sixth at district.

'I really think we can take eight kids to state, and maybe even more,' said Clackamas coach Jason Wullbrandt. 'We're hoping to be fighting for the top three at district. It always depends on second kids at district and we've got a number of second kids who are going to be pretty good. We're got eight second kids who have quite a bit of experience.'

Wullbrandt sees West Linn, Oregon City and Milwaukie as his toughest competition in league.

Back to lead the Cavaliers this season are three wrestlers who were state qualifiers a year ago: senior Adam Vinton, junior Cory Middleton and sophomore Matt Callison. All three wrestlers place third at district a year ago.

Vinton moves up from 119 to wrestle at 130.

Middleton, a two-time district champion, has undergone a growth spurt, and he moves up from 130 to wrestle at 160.

Callison returns at 103.

The Cavaliers return three other wrestlers who placed at district a year ago: seniors J.R. Pinedo (119) and Justin Sisney (125), and junior Tim Love (189).

'I expect to see Matt Callison, J.R. Pinedo, Adam Vinton, Kurt Rosenstiel (145), Cory Middleton, Cody Mansur (152), Chris Porterfield (160), Tim Love, and maybe a couple of other kids at state this year,' said Wullbrandt.

Mansur has excelled in youth wrestling. He placed second in the Cadet division of last year's Oregon Classic.

The Cavaliers could have two other freshmen in their varsity lineup. Ben Lewis, a state runner-up in kid wrestling, is battling sophomore Nick Rangel for the starting nod at 135; and Vince Finzer, an eighth grade district champion, is challenging junior Kyle Birmingham and senior Robert Young at heavyweight.

Among others Wullbrandt lists as possible varsity prospects are: senior Daniel Huynh at 112; junior Steven Eck at 125, senior Corey Loke and junior Alex Pearson at 140, and seniors Brad Thompson and Armani Guerrero at 215.

The Cavaliers host McNary this evening in a non-league dual meet. They vie at defending TRL dual-meet champion Oregon City next Wednesday (Dec. 13).

'We've got a real competitive league,' said Wullbrandt. 'I think our league is probably the second-toughest in the state to the Mid-Valley League.'