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A complete squad hopes to be a force at the regional and state level

by: VERN UYETAKE - Cahleb Gonzales is one of Lake Oswego's top returning wrestlers and took fifth in state last year. It seems like every year under coach Brett McDonald's tenure, the Lake Oswego wrestling team takes a step forward to being a legitimate power around the state. And this year could mark the squad's arrival.

Lake Oswego has more than 30 wrestlers out for the team this year, including a strong freshman class of nine athletes.

“We're sick of moral victories. We haven't had our full line-up yet but, on Jan. 8 against Clackamas, I think we're going to be pretty potent,” McDonald said.

The Lakers have been led by a core group of eight returning wrestlers who took it upon themselves to improve and be leaders in the offseason.

The team will feature a complete dual meet line-up without forfeits and expects to be competitive against everyone in the league.

Lake Oswego has a strong group of lighter wrestlers who could some considerable noise at state.

At 106 pounds is Hayden Hanson who McDonald says is giving up close to 20 pounds to some competitors in the class but is still a solid performer.

At 113 pounds is Max Fox who may drop down to 106 by regionals. Riley Tallman, who was the No. 2 seed at regionals last year, will likely stick at 120 pounds for the season where he will be among the top in the state.

Also filling in at 120 pounds by the end of the year will be Cahleb Gonzalez. Gonzalez has been wrestling up so far this year but will likely slide to 120 by the season's end, giving the Lakers a brutal combo in that class.

Brian Fay will compete for the Lakers at 126 pounds. Fay will also wrestle up for the Lakers early this year and is 11-2 with only a pair of close losses this season.

At 132 is an experienced wrestler in Grant Van Hoomissen along with Justin Hanson at 145.

Patrick Conroy will fill in for the Lakers at 152 while a pair of wrestlers in Ethan Wagner and Marco Young will battle it out at 170.

Football players Mac Tennison and Jerry Song should be competitive for the Lakers at 170 and 182 respectively while Paul Carlson, a state qualifier as a sophomore, should be one of the top wrestlers in the region at 220.

Lake Oswego is a little thin at heavyweight but Joe Morris has turned in some solid early matches this season.

The Lakers have been solid in the early season and have one tournament remaining before Clackamas.

The team will battle in the Sandy Tournament and have high hopes when they host the Cavaliers.

“I look at every team in the league and think we should be in it,” McDonald said.

The Lakers should also be competitive at the regional and state level.

“I think we have seven or eight guys who can make it to state and three guys who should be there in the semifinals,” McDonald said.

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