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Johnson becomes two-time champ

Forest Grove senior Josh Johnson makes good on his goal of winning a second state championship

Moments after losing in the state wrestling finals a year ago, Josh Johnson set a goal to regain his place as a state champion.

Almost exactly a year later, Johnson was climbing to the top of the medal stand at Portland's Memorial Coliseum to accept his hard-earned state championship hardware.

Johnson became only the second repeat state champion in Forest Grove history, tying Hall of Famer Gary Regier by winning a 112-pound state title at the OSAA Class 6A Wrestling Tournament in February.

Johnson, a senior, completed a year-long quest to get back to the top of the medal stand. After winning a 103-pound state title as a sophomore, Johnson failed in his quest to repeat last season and set his sights on nothing less than a championship in 2011.

Facing a stacked 112-pound bracket that included nine returning state place-winners, Johnson drew the No. 1 seed and went to work proving that he deserved it. After easy wins over his first two opponents, Johnson beat Zach McKenna of Aloha in the semifinals and John Vara of Hillsboro in the finals.

'In the end,' Forest Grove head coach Frank Johnson said, 'it came down to being the better wrestler.'