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Oregon City wrestlers drop a tough one at Canby

Keltin Boykin, Alejandro Sandoval pin a 40-31 loss on the Pioneers


CANBY — It came down to the final two matches, but the Oregon City Pioneers came up short in their Jan. 9 Three Rivers League wrestling dual-meet opener with Canby, yielding 40-31.

Nursing a 21-28 lead, the Pioneers lost by fall at 220 and 285, and it cost them the meet. The team loss was especially tough for the Pioneers, because both of the final matches were close when Oregon City’s wrestlers lost by fall.

Oregon City sophomore 220-pounder Mack Civil was trailing Canby senior Keltin Boykin by only a 3-1 margin with 1:07 left in their match when he got pinned. And Oregon City senior 285-pounder Keith Arnold was in a close, low-scoring match with Canby senior Alejandro Sandoval midway through the second round when Sandoval turned him with an arm-bar.

“We wrestled tough, just not tough enough,” said Oregon City coach Roger Rolen. “I wasn’t displeased with effort. It was a team loss.... We gained an awareness of what we need to work on in the practice room.”

The Canby meet was a barnburner. The Cougars accepted a forfeit at 106 and they followed with wins in seven of the 13 matches contested on the mat.

Devin Poppen (126), Alex Canchola (145), Michael Griffin (182) and Grant Hicks (195) were tough for Oregon City, winning by fall.

It took Griffin just 1:48 to dispatch with Canby sophomore Zane Rise. Griffin improved his record to 9-1 on the year, his only loss a loss by injury default.

Poppen improved his record to 14-1 with an early third-round fall over Canby senior Alex Purtzer.

Canchola dispatched with Canby senior Misha Ivanov early in the third round; Hicks earned a fall over Canby sophomore Tanner Monen late in the second round.

Junior Ryan Bergerson helped the Pioneer cause, winning by major decision over Canby junior Moises Chavez at 152; Oregon City senior Gabe Ellicott got the job done at 170, winning by 4-0 decision over Canby senior Jacob Posey. Ellicott boasts a 9-2 record on the season.

The Pioneers were without freshman 106-pounder Devon Lucas (sickness) and senior 170-pounder Tanner Fischer (injury).

Fischer, who boasts a 12-1 record, sat our the meet resting a knee strain.

Fischer made some waves Jan. 3-4 when he was named the tournament’s outstanding wrestler at the 35-team Pacific Coast Tournament, held at Hudson’s Bay High School. The Pioneer standout went 5-0 in the tournament, winning three matches by fall, one by technical fall and the fifth by major decision. He won by 7-4 decision over Washington state standout Bobby Reece of Kingston, Washington.

“Tanner dominated the kid. He’s a three-time state champion and before his match with tanner he’d won over 100 matches and his only loss [in collegiate wrestling] was by disqualification for an illegal hold. Now he has two losses.”

Poppen placed second at 120 at the Pacific Coast Tournament, his only loss by 10-8 decision to Levitcus Arizpe of Decatur.

With Oregon City moving to a new league next year, Rolen said his Pioneers will miss their rivalry with the Cougars.

“We’re going to miss that long tradition of respectful, quality wrestling,” he said. “We had a great crowd [for last week’s dual meet], it was close, and it was exciting!”

Rolen said he was pleased with the progress of his younger wrestlers, who won a jayvee dual-meet tournament at Barlow, defeating Roosevelt, Milwaukie and Barlow.

“The 38-20 win over Barlow avenged an earlier loss,” Rolen said. “It shows our depth.”

The Pioneers face another stiff challenge this evening, when they play host to cross-river rival West Linn.

“We’ll be at full power, and we’ll be ready,” Rolen said.



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