OC matmen make their best-ever showing at the 2013 Class 6A State Tournament

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City High School wrestlers did their wrestling family and the Oregon City community proud at last weekends Class 6A State High School Wrestling Championships, placing second in the team scoring. Its the highest finish ever by an Oregon City High School wrestling team.PORTLAND — Oregon City High School wrestlers made an amazing run at last weekend’s Class 6A State High School Wrestling Championships.

Competing with just a seven-man team, the Pioneers had six wrestlers place in the top three, and they scored 126-1/2 team points and finished second only to regional rival David Douglas (146 points) in the tournament team scoring.

Roseburg, which brought 17 wrestlers to the tournament, scored 120, and placed third.

It was the highest team placing by an Oregon City High School wrestling team in the 65 years that the Oregon School Activities Association has held a state tournament. Oregon City’s previous highest finish was third place, in 1972 and in 2002.

“[The reason we did so well is] they all know how to compete,” said Oregon City coach Roger Rolen. “All I had to do was remind them of their goals, to be champions and finish top two....

“They’ve been trained very well, by my coaching staff and by their club coaches. I’ve got to give credit to [club coaches] Marc Sprague, Roy Pittman and Kevin Keeney....”

The Pioneers had three wrestlers in the finals and three Oregon City wrestlers placed third.

Oregon City senior Kyle Sether closed out a phenomenal career, dominating all of his opponents en route to a state championship at 126.

Sether, who was third at 120 last year, after winning state at 103 as a sophomore, was the aggressor from the get-go, as he handled Barlow senior Tim Tsukanov in his final, winning by 7-1 decision. Sether scored takedowns in all three rounds and had a shutout going until the final seconds of his championship match.

Sether advanced to the final with a 9-0 major decision over Century junior Amari Sengsavanh, after winning earlier matches by third-round fall over South Medford senior Luis Ayala and by third-round fall over McKay junior Jose Franco.

“I didn’t feel I wrestled my best at regionals, so I was more focussed and better prepared for state,” Sether said. “I wrestle my best when I just wrestle like I know I can wrestle and not worry about my opponent, and that’s what I did.”

Sether said he was elated, both by the high team finish and by his individual success.

“I didn’t lose a match against an opponent from Oregon this year, which was one of my goals,” Sether said. “And I didn’t give up an offensive point in Oregon. I never gave up a takedown.”

Kyle Sether goes

45-0 in Oregon

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City senior Kyle Sether (right) goes to work in his match with Barlows Tim Tsukanov during Saturdays championship finals of the Class 6A State High School Tournament, held at Memorial Coliseum. Sether (126) dominated his opponents at the state tournament and capped off his high school career with his second state title.“Kyle set his goal to be undefeated and lost two matches in the extremely tough Tri-State Tournament before Christmas,” Rolen said. “After the losses, he set a new goal to be undefeated in Oregon the rest of the season, which he did....

“Kyle loves the sport and it shows in his passion. It will continue to show as he has success in his college career and in his life.”

Sether said, “I feel blessed to have this opportunity to wrestle to the best of my ability and compete with the best in Oregon, and I thank the Lord for the opportunity. But it’s not me and my teammates that have made this team successful. It’s our coaches. We’ve got the best coaches in Oregon, and we owe it all to them.”

Sether finished his senior year with an overall record of 45-2, and a 45-0 record against Oregon opponents.

“It’s unbelievable,” Sether said of Oregon City’s history-making second place finish in the state meet team standings. “Seven guys in the tournament and six of us place in the top three. It’s just amazing. I don’t think there’s another team out there that could take this many kids and place in the top two. People were saying, ‘Without double digit numbers, there’s no way Oregon City’s going to win a trophy.’ We proved them wrong.”

A 3.85 student, Sether has had scholarship offers from a number of top programs, but he says he’s narrowed it down to two schools.

“It’s going to be the University of Buffalo, a Division I program in New York, or Notre Dame College of Idaho. They’re ranked No. 1 in Division II. I’ll make a decision within the next couple of months.”

Sether says he’s turned down an offer from the Naval Academy.


in the finals

Oregon City’s two other state finalists had heartbreak in their finals matches.

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City junior Devin Poppen (left) squares off with Sprague senior Kaleb Raber in the 113-pound final Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum. Poppen lost a close match and finished second in the state for the second year in a row.Oregon City junior Devin Poppen dropped a 12-7 decision to Sprague senior Kaleb Raber in his final at 113, and Oregon City senior Michael McCoy dropped a 3-2 decision to Lake Oswego senior Austin Faunce at 220.

Poppen battled to a 6-6 standoff with Raber until the final seconds of the second round, when he got taken down to his back and fell behind 10-6.

by: PHOTO BY JOHN LARIVIERE -       Oregon City senior Michael McCoy (left) and Lake Oswego senior Austin Faunce do battle in the 220-pound final at last weekends state tournament. McCoy lost in a 3-2 heartbreaker.McCoy’s match with Faunce was tied at 2-2 when McCoy sprung Faunce as the third round was getting underway. Faunce scored the match’s only offensive points through a takedown just past the midpoint of the second round.

Poppen pinned his way to the finals, dispatching with South Medford freshman Anthony Neuenschwander in the second round, Glencoe junior Max McGee in the second round, and Grants Pass junior Casey Coulter in the third round.

McCoy also pinned his way to his final, dispatching with West Salem sophomore Sala Manu in the second round, Century senior Aaron Beadle in the second round, and McNary senior Mason Ross in just 36 seconds.

Both Poppen and McCoy were also state runners-up a year ago, Poppen at 103 and McCoy at 220. Coulter beat Poppen in the 2012 state final, 5-2; McCoy lost by fall to Barlow standout Mick Dougharity.

“Devin has grown in leaps and bounds, both technically and emotionally, this year,” Rolen said. “I couldn’t be more proud of that. I wish I could bottle his competitiveness and have it to share with some other kids. He hates to lose....

“He’s had a lot of pins over his career and I’m betting he’s going to beat Jared Groner’s all-time pin record before he’s finished.”

Despite falling one match away from his goal of a state championship, McCoy was jubilant about being a part of a history-making Oregon City team.

“I feel fantastic about it,” McCoy said. “The reason we did it was because of the guys who battled back, after losing — working their way back through consolation, getting pins, and placing.”

McCoy added, “We may not have the best talent, but we have heart. Where guys were lacking a little on talent, they made up for it with a huge amount of heart.”

“Michael’s refreshing to watch,” Rolen said. “He enjoys the competition and he respects the sport and his opponent. It’s refreshing to coach him because he enjoys it so much and he doesn’t let it eat him up.”

OC’s first four-time

placer in a decade

by: JOHN LARIVIERE - Oregon City senior Parker Folliard (left) stands on the victory stand next to 132-pound state champion Jered Sublet of McMinnville. Folliard went on to earn third place, after dropping an overtime decision to Sublet in the semifinals. Folliard had a phenomenal wrestling career as a Pioneer, placing at state all four years.Oregon City senior Parker Folliard capped off a stellar high school career, earning third place at one of the tougher weights, 132. Folliard finished his high school career as a four-time state placer, earning fourth place at 112 as a freshman, fifth place at 112 as a sophomore and fifth place at 126 last year.

Folliard came very close to winning it all last weekend. His only loss was by 5-3 decision in overtime to McMinnville senior Jared Sublet in the semifinals. Sublet went on to win by 7-3 decision over Gresham senior David Nelson in the finals.

Folliard bounced back from the semifinal loss to defeat Barlow’s Chandler Michael, 3-1, and Hillsboro’s Andy Downer by 5-3 decision in overtime in the third-place finals. Folliard had advanced to his semifinal with Sublet through two falls.

“It’s a nice feeling to be able to place all four years,” Folliard said. “It feels like all the hard work pays offs.”

Folliard explained why this year’s team was so successful at state:

“We’re more than a team. We’re family. We all push each other to go hard in practice, we support one another, and we’re more than teammates. We’re best friends.”

Asked if he had any regrets, Folliard said, “Not at all. Wrestling is a lot of hard work, and sometimes it gets tiring. But it’s all worth it when you get to come to state. I don’t regret anything.”

“Parker is one of the hardest working, most committed, most well-rounded kids I’ve ever coached,” Rolen said. “Parker deserved the third-place win-out. He’s such a class act....

“Kyle Sether, shoulder-to -shoulder with Parker, they’ve made a formidable one-two punch over the last four years.”

Folliard is Oregon City’s first four-time state placer since 2002 graduate Ryan Snegirev placed four times, earning state titles his freshman and senior years. And Sether is the first athlete to win two state titles for Oregon City since Snegirev.

Folliard, who sports a 4.2 weighted GPA, said he plans to study exercise science, but is undecided as to where he’ll attend college.

He offered this advice to returning Oregon City wrestlers:

“Work your hardest every day and try to keep that family atmosphere going, so you can come back next year and win [a state team championship].”

Fischer, Griffin are

tough in consolation

Oregon City had two juniors, Tanner Fischer (170) and Michael Griffin (182), earn third place at this year’s state tournament. Both had a long road to third place, after losing in the quarterfinals.

Fischer battled back with a 10-6 decision over Southridge senior Matthew McRae, a second-round fall over Southridge senior Ben Young, and a second-round fall over Barlow senior Cole Haggerty, before defeating second-ranked Reid Shipley in the third-place final, 6-4.

After getting pinned by top-ranked John Morin of Hillsboro, Griffin bounced back with a 7-3 decision over Clackamas senior Tyler Godfrey, a 9-3 decision over Hillsboro sophomore T.J. Cavender and an 8-4 decision over David Douglas junior Thomas Ayala, before beating North Medford sophomore Trent Wilson by 7-3 decision in the third-place finals.

“I was so tickled to have Michael battle back and take third,” Rolen said. “He’s a great athlete and he’s improved so much since the middle of the season....

“I was equally proud of Tanner. He always strives to be the best he can be. He wanted to be a state champion and he was devastated when he lost. But he got things back together and wrestled his heart out and took third.”

Griffin said, “It’s awesome being on a team with so much talent.... With the coaching staff and the talent we have coming back, I feel we’ll be right back where we are again next year.”

Griffin said his personal goal for next year is “to come back next year and stand on the first place spot on that podium.”

Looking ahead to next year, Fischer said, “I feel like it’s going to be a fun year. I expect us to dominate and bring home the gold.”

Clackamas, Gladstone

wrestlers place at state

Clackamas and Gladstone both had wrestlers place at last weekend’s state tournaments.

Clackamas sophomore Kyle Anderegg gave David Douglas senior talent Ihoghama Odighizuwa his toughest match of the tournament in the 195-pound final.

Trailing 5-2, Anderegg got taken down to his back and pinned by Odighizuwa with just seven seconds remaining in their match.

Odighizuwa was the only wrestler at the Class 6A State Tournament to win all four of his matches by fall. He pinned his three previous opponents in 1:08 or less.

“He’s just so technically solid,” Anderegg said of Odighizuwa. “He’s got a counter to every move....”

Anderegg advanced to the final through a third-round pin over Thurston junior Maverick Wiseman, a 13-9 decision over McNary junior Cody Ratliff, and a 2-1 decision over Roseburg senior Teran Reedy.

Anderegg said of his future goals, “To win freestyle and Greco [state championships] now and to win state [in collegiate wrestling] next year.”

Gladstone had two wrestlers place at last weekend’s Class 4A State Tournament. Senior Wyatt Finch placed third at 120 and sophomore Blake McNall placed sixth at 113.

Finch’s only loss was by fall to Ronnie Bresser in the quarterfinals. Bresser went on to win his fourth state title.

Finch battled back from the loss with an 8-5 decision over Josh Connor of Newport, a 14-2 major decision over Jarred Dupont of Madras, and he handled McLoughlin’s Cole Skramstad in the third-place finals, winning by 14-5 major decision.

“I achieved my goal this year, top three,” Finch said.

This was Finch’s third year at state but the first time he had won a match at state.

McNall dropped a 14-10 decision in his first match of the tournament and had to wrestle four more matches to get to the fifth-place final, where he dropped an 8-5 decision to North Valley sophomore Luke Valle.

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