Pioneers take care of business with Clackamas, as they take a giant step towards their first undefeated league dual season since 2010

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City senior Jacob Hagler capped off Oregon Citys decisive win over Clackamas with a third-round fall over Cavalier junior Cole Johnson at heavyweight.Oregon City High School wrestlers were all business on Jan. 16, as they dispatched with league rival Clackamas 49-21, all but assuring themselves of their first undefeated Three Rivers League dual season since 2010, when they went 6-0 in the then seven-team TRL.

Last year the Pioneers went 3-2, with losses to league dual champion Canby and Clackamas; two years ago the Pioneers went 4-1, losing only to Clackamas and tying the Cavaliers and the Canby Cougars for the league dual crown.

Last week’s win put the Pioneers at 3-0 in league duals, with wins over their three toughest league opponents — Canby, West Linn and Clackamas. Their remaining league dual meets are with a Lake Oswego team that Clackamas defeated 46-24 and a Lakeridge team that the Cavaliers upended 67-6.

“This is really exciting!” said Oregon City senior co-captain Kyle Sether. “Especially since it’s my senior year. Clackamas has always been a tough matchup for us. To finally get that dual win and the league title all to ourselves, it’s pretty awesome!”

“It’s super important to me to do this my senior year,” said Oregon City senior co-captain Michael McCoy. “It’s nice to have that role — Top Dog in the league.”

McCoy added, “I thought it was going to be a lot closer [dual meet]. But we had a lot of guys step up. We blew them out of the water compared to our last two dual meets with them.”

The Pioneers had a take-no-hostages mentality. Every Oregon City wrestler left it all on the mat and the Pioneers prevailed in eight of the 12 matches contested on the mat, four of them by fall. Three matches were very hotly contested and the Pioneers won all three.

“It was a team win,” said Oregon City coach Roger Rolen. “We knew we had to win the close ones. Ethan Holt’s and Gabe Ellicott’s matches were pivotal. They got our momentum going, and once you get momentum going, it’s hard to stop it.”

With Oregon City nursing a 22-17 lead, Holt stepped in for Oregon City first-varsity wrestler Carter Marshall (knee injury) at 152 and won a 5-4 barnburner from Clackamas junior Grant Gage.

“To have a freshman step up and beat a junior while filling in for an injured teammate says a lot about our team,” Sether said. “We’ve been having kids like Ethan do that all year. Ethan’s win was huge. I think that match summed up the dual. It was definitely a team win.”

Gage took Holt down with just 27 seconds remaining to tie their match at 4-4. But Holt escaped in the closing seconds to earn the win.

by: JONATHAN HOUSE - Oregon City junior Alex Canchola did everything but pin Clackamas senior Sam Riley en route to a technical fall at 145.Ellicott kept the momentum going for the Pioneers at 160, where he upset Clackamas junior Brad Pfeifer, who entered the meet ranked fifth in the state.

Ellicott, who is also a junior, escaped for the only scoring of the second round to go up 4-3. He then rode Pfeifer tough through the entire third round to earn the 4-3 favorable decision.

“Gabe beat a really tough kid,” Sether said. “He’s just been improving and getting better and better all season. It’s very exciting! Hopefully he’ll score some points for us at state and help us win a state championship. He’s been really tough our last two dual meets in a row.”

“Gabe did what we asked him to do and I’m extremely proud of him,” Rolen said.

The Pioneers also had a huge win at 182, where junior Tanner Fischer earned a third-round fall over Clackamas senior Tyler Godfrey. Heading into the meet, Fischer was ranked sixth in the state at 170 and Godfrey was ranked sixth in the state at 182.

Godfrey led 2-1 at the end of the first round, scoring through an early takedown and giving up an escape.

Fischer escaped early in the second round and took Godfrey down late in the round for a 4-2 lead.

Fischer then turned Godfrey for the fall near the midpoint of the final round.

“We always have Tanner wrestle our toughest opponent,” Sether said. “He knows he’s a huge part of our team and he’s willing to be thrown into the fire. He’s going to do great things this year and next year as well. We’re looking for him to be a big scorer for us at state.”

Also winning by fall for the Pioneers were: junior Devin Poppen (113), over Clackamas sophomore Austin Brittle; senior Parker Folliard (138), over junior Matthew Miller; and senior Jacob Hagler (285), over junior Cole Johnson.

It took Poppen just 57 seconds to dispatch with Brittle. Folliard was leading 5-0, when he took Miller down to his back early in the second round.

With the score tied at 1-1, Hagler took Johnson down to his back midway through the third period to earn his fall.

Oregon City junior Alex Canchola did everything but pin Clackamas senior Sam Riley en route to a 14-0 major decision at 145. And McCoy got the job done at 220, earning an early lead en route to a 7-3 decision over Clackamas sophomore Zach Jett.

“I like where we’re at,” McCoy said. “I feel like we’re going to be very competitive [at the regional and state tournaments]. I don’t see any reason why we can’t finish top three in the state. Anything is possible. We might even be able to sneak our way into first.”

Clackamas winners at Oregon City included: sophomore Will Greer (106), by 20-3 technical fall over freshman Ryan Leonard; sophomore Johnny Nguyen (120), by second-round fall over junior Andrew Moore; junior Dane Maben (126), by second-round fall over junior Jake Libby; and sophomore Kyle Anderegg (195), by 9-1 major decision over Oregon City junior Grant Hicks.

Clackamas (2-1) hosts West Linn (2-1) this Thursday, while Oregon City (3-0) entertains Lake Oswego (1-2).

The Oregon City Pioneers held their own at last weekend’s Oregon Wrestling Classic, yielding to Crater 40-30 in Saturday’s quarterfinals, after going 2-1 in preliminary competition, defeating Newberg 48-21 and Lake Oswego 55-11, while yielding to Hillsboro 39-30.

Crater went on to finish runner-up in the Class 6A division of the Classic, defeating Roseburg 36-35 in the semifinals and bowing to David Douglas 33-29 in the championship final.

“We were right there with Crater,” Rolen said. “We flip-flopped six points. We had one of our guys almost pin their guy and then he got pinned in the last five seconds....

“I’m proud of all my guys. They wrestled their hearts out.”

Rolen said that he had seven wrestlers win their matches with Crater: Poppen (113), Sether (126), Folliard (up a weight at 138), Dakota Trumbull (152), Fischer (170), Griffin (182) and McCoy (220).

Sether, Folliard and Fischer all went undefeated in their Classic matches.

Sether continued unbeaten against Oregon opponents. He was dominant and won by decision over Crater senior Morgan Walters, the top-ranked 126-pounder in the state. He also won by major decision over Newberg senior Garrett Rider. Rider was state champion at 113 last year; Sether beat Rider in the state final at 103 two years ago, 4-1. Sether was third in the state at 120 last season.

Among Folliard’s wins was a win by decision over Crater sophomore Dillon Ulrey, who was ranked second in the state at 138.

Fischer was dominant in all of his matches, winning three by fall and a fourth by major decision.

West Linn also lost in the quarterfinals of the Classic, yielding to David Douglas 56-12.

West Linn pulled off a major TRL upset last week, defeating Canby 37-36, in a dual meet wrestled at Canby.

Key West Linn wins in that dual included: sophomore Tim Harman (145), by 10-2 decision over senior Rawley Warren; junior Cam Schmitz (170), by fall over junior Jacob Posey; senior Tyler Chay (182), by 7-1 decision over senior Jacob McKinnon; junior Ellis Eaton (220), by fall over junior Kyle Rademacher; and junior Noah Bagley (285), by fall over junior Alejandro Sandoval.

Heading into the meet, Warren was ranked sixth in the state at 145; McKinnon was ranked fifth at 182; and Sandoval was ranked fourth at 185. Harman was ranked third at 145; Chay was ranked No. 1 at 170; and Eaton was ranked fourth at 220. Schmitz and Bagley were unranked.

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