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Rangers wrestlers crush competition


Squad dominates Banks during dual meet

When the winter sports season started, Estacada High School wrestling coach Jimmy Grochowsky decided to focus his team's efforts on ensuring that it would peak toward the end of the season.

If the past couple of weeks are any indication, Grochowsky's strategy seems to be paying off well for the Rangers grapplers, with strong performances during recent meets.

The Weisbrodt invitational took place at Lebanon High School the weekend of Friday, Dec. 21, and the EHS squad rose to the occasion.

“We took eight of our varsity guys down to the invitational, all of which found success throughout the two-day tournament,” Grochowsky said.

Junior Luke Youngberg had a standout performance, despite wrestling up a weight class. He lost only one match and went 5-1 overall.

“His one loss was to a tough Crook County kid who he really should have beaten,” Grochowsky said. “He just made a little mistake that cost him the match.”

Also wrestling well were Ranger seniors Jake Davidson and Travis Cole, junior Donny Wenlund and freshman Nick Ledbury. Grochowsky said they “all had different successes on the weekend, but none of them were satisfied with their matches.”

“It was a real eye opener for these guys; they know where they are now and know what they need to do to take it to the next level,” Grochowsky said. “We wrestled the some of the best wrestlers in the state of Oregon, on all divisions, and we had some great matches. I just would have liked to seen our guys win more of the close ones.”

The squad took it up a notch during a Thursday, Jan. 3, dual meet at Banks High School, beating the home team by a whopping 48-27 margin.

“We dominated them,” Grochowsky said. “It was pin, pin, pin. We went right through them. It was a quick dual.”

Grochowsky credits Wenlund with having the best performance of the night.

“He was in control of the match the whole time,” he said.

Up next for EHS is the Pac Rim Invitational in Seaside the weekend of Friday, Jan. 11. Around 18 teams are set to compete, and Grochowsky said he is optimistic about his team's chances of finishing in the top three.

“We have a pretty good shot at winning,” Grochowsky said.

Grochowsky expects North Marion, Scappoose and Vernonia to provide the toughest competition. But he thinks that the Rangers will continue their streak of mat dominance.

“We've cranked up the intensity,” he said.