Clackamas has only two seniors in this years varsity lineup
A year ago, a senior-dominated Clackamas High wrestling team knocked off Class 6A wrestling power Oregon City for the second year in a row in a Three Rivers League dual meet, and the Cavaliers went on to finish in front of Oregon City at the regional tournament.
This year, the Cavaliers have a youthful lineup, and its highly unlikely theyll be the team that they were last year. Still, Clackamas coach Jayson Wullbrandt believes hes got some wrestlers who can make an impact at the Three Rivers League/Mt. Hood Conference Regional and at state.
We graduated 13 seniors, which is the most weve had in a long time, Wullbrandt said. So our numbers are down, and were young. We have five or six kids who are really tough, and how we do in duals will depend on how the new kids answer the challenge....
Our emphasis at regionals will be to qualify as many kids to state as we can. On paper Id say weve got seven or eight kids that could qualify.
Wullbrandt says his varsity lineup for this Thursdays TRL dual opener with Lake Oswego will likely include only two seniors Sam Riley (145) and Tyler Godfrey (182). Rounding out the varsity lineup will be six juniors, five sophomores and a freshman.
The top prospects returning from last year are Godfrey (182) and sophomores Austin Davis (170) and Kyle Anderegg (195).
Godfrey placed second to Canby senior Jacob McKinnon at 182 at the regional championships last year and qualified for the state tournament; Anderegg placed fifth at regionals at 195, coming within a match of advancing to state.
Davis placed sixth at regionals at 170 last year and is the only returning regional placer at that weight. Hes been having some health issues, but Wullbrandt says he expects big things from Davis, if he can get healthy.
Godfrey, Anderegg and Davis have ambitious goals.
My goals are to win district and place at state, Godfrey said.
I got a late start and missed most of last year because of an injury from a car accident, Anderegg said. Im healthy now, and my goal is to win state.
Right now Im only allowed to do conditioning, Davis said. I hope I get cleared to wrestle. Before [the health issue], my goals were to place top-two at district and place at state.
Wullbrandt says that hes got five wrestlers besides Godfrey, Davis and Anderegg who have the potential to advance to the state tournament: juniors Brad Pfeifer (160) and Cole Johnson (285), and sophomores Will Greer (106), Austin Brittle (113) and Johnny Nguyen (120).
Pfeifer, Johnson, Brittle and Nguyen all saw varsity action last year, as did junior Dane Maben (132).
Rounding out this years varsity lineup are: juniors Travis Whitaker (126) and Matt Miller (138), sophomore Grant Gage (152), and freshman Zach Jett (220).
Several Clackamas wrestlers have had success in preseason. Anderegg, Godfrey and Johnson placed second, third and sixth respectively at the Adrian Irwin Invitational, held Dec. 14-15 in Bend.
Anderegg and Brittle placed fourth and sixth respectively at the 33-team Coast Classic.
Greer, Pfeifer and Anderegg went 2-0 in a double-dual with Barlow and Centennial on Dec. 12. The Cavaliers lost to Centennial 45-27 and to Barlow 54-17.
Greer, Brittle, Nguyen, Whitaker, Pfeifer and Anderegg went 2-0 in a Dec. 5 double-dual with Reynolds and Gresham. The Cavaliers defeated Reynolds 57-18 and lost to Gresham 48-35.
Godfrey had only one loss to a defending state placer from Cleveland through competition heading into the Christmas break.
Clackamas had four wrestlers ranked among the best in the state in the mid-December Oregon Grappler rankings: Godfrey, fourth; Anderegg, fifth; Greer, sixth; and Brittle, eighth.