by: SUBMITTED PHOTO Ellis Eaton puts a lock on his opponent. Eaton won his first varsity dual meet in the heavyweight division last week.

West Linn's wrestling team got an early glance at what some of its toughest competition in the region and perhaps the state will look like this year when it took on David Douglas in a dual meet last week.

The Lions, who are still slowly sliding wrestlers into their optimal weight classes, lost 56-17 but still had some standout performances.

"They're a trophy team this year for sure and we learned a lot which was good for some of our kids," coach Doug Samarron said.

At one point in the dual meet, West Linn wrestlers faced five consecutive opponents who placed at the state tournament last year.

"It's tough when you're outsized in a lot of matches but our kids will bound back fine. The good news is it doesn't get much tougher than this," Samarron said.

David Douglas has one forfeit, giving up a match to West Linn's Tyler Chay and the Lions had three other wrestlers pick up victories.

At heavyweight, sophomore Ellis Eaton picked up his first varsity dual meet victory in impressive fashion.

"I told him he's already ahead of (former heavyweight state champion) Mitch Gaulke," Samarron joked.

Eaton's brother Elijah also won his match at 182 pounds, handling his opponent in a 6-1 win.

Perhaps the most convincing victory of the day for the Lions was Ryan Harman who was wrestling up at 195 pounds.

Harman scored takedown after takedown in a 21-5 pounding of his opponent.

Harman's brother Tim was also a bright spot for West Linn, taking on one of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state and holding his own in an 11-2 loss.

"We're in really good shape which was one thing we were really pleased with," Samarron said.

West Linn will actually see David Douglas again this weekend at the Canby Tournament along with Roseburg, one of the best teams in the state.

"It's a meat-grinder of a tournament but we've got some more kids dropping down and should give those teams a little different look," Samarron said.

The Lions will also wrestle regional opponents Reynolds and Centennial this week.

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