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Dont count the Cavs out

Seniors and freshmen are expected to lead the way in a competitive season

Clackamas High School's wrestling program took a giant step towards respectability a year ago when the Cavaliers knocked off Oregon City in a dual meet at Oregon City, ending an Oregon City league win string at 21 matches.

The Cavaliers then went on to tie Oregon City and Canby for the Three Rivers League dual-meet crown.

With pretty good senior leadership and a good turnout, the Cavaliers should fare well in the TRL again this season.

'Last year we had a better dual team,' said Clackamas coach Jayson Wullbrandt. 'This year we've got a better tournament team. Our better kids are better than last year.'

The Cavaliers' top returnees from last year are seniors Nick Eatherton (120), Hunter Egger (152), Taylor Becker (160) and Brandon Ferington (170).

Ferington placed third at 170 at last year's regional tournament. Becker placed fourth at 152; Egger placed fifth at 140 and Eatherton placed sixth at 112.

The Cavaliers also have seniors at 120 (Ryan Musser), 138 (Cameron Henderson), 145 (Tom Baker) and 160 (Evan Hoffart).

Wullbrandt says he'll field a full lineup, with wrestlers experienced in club competition at every weight, 106 to 285.

He says he's got a couple of freshmen who should make an immediate impact in 113-pounder John Nguyen and 195-pounder Kyle Anderegg.

'They should at least qualify, if not place, at state,' Wullbrandt said of the two rookies.

He says he also sees Becker, Egger and Ferington as potential state placers.

Anderegg has gotten a slow start to the season while he recuperates from injuries he suffered in an automobile accident, but Wullbrandt says he should be ready to go in time for the league season.

The Cavaliers would sport an even stronger lineup, except that they experienced misfortune over the summer when senior Anthony Leonardo had his season ended prematurely by a neck injury. Leonardo won a regional title at 119 a year ago.

Leonardo has been the Cavaliers' hard luck wrestler over the past two season. He was unable to compete at state last high school season because of illness.

'He can't wrestle, but he's helping coach the team as a student coach,' said Wullbrandt.

The Cavalier mat boss said he sees Canby as the favorite to finish on top in TRL duals, although he said he expects Oregon City and West Linn to be in contention, along with his Cavaliers.

Wullbrandt says he expects Barlow and David Douglas to once again be among the top teams at the Three Rivers League/Mt. Hood Conference Regional Tournament.

The Cavaliers host Lakeridge in their Jan. 5 TRL dual opener. They clash with Oregon City in a Jan. 11 dual meet at Clackamas.