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PREP FOCUS: Trojans have some star power in wrestling

by: TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO: NICK FOCHTMAN - As a sophomore in 2012, Wilson High's Austin Wallace-Lister got to raise his arms as a Class 5A state champion at 120 pounds.The Wilson Trojans might not have as much wrestling depth as they have had, but they continue to have quality.

The list of state contenders at Wilson starts with Austin Wallace-Lister, who could be back at 126 pounds, where he placed second in Class 5A last season, after winning the 120-pound title in 2012.

Wallace-Lister has made it back ahead of projections after suffering an arm injury on the mat. He's 2-0, with victories by pin and technical fall in a recent three-way meet against Franklin and Madison.

At heavyweight, the Trojans return Bobby Powers, also a football and track and field athlete who is on his way to earning 12 varsity letters and even bigger things after that.

"He just got his Eagle Scout," Wilson coach kent Dorsey says, "and the U.S. Naval Academy flew him out and gave him the tour. He wants to be an engineer, and he's got the smarts to do it."

Powers, an all-PIL defensive lineman, is at about 260 pounds for wrestling, his coach says. Last season, he went 35-4 but didn't make it to the state tournament.

"That blew me away," Dorsey says.

But Powers had two of the state's top heavyweights in his region, and two of his losses came at the regional meet, one of them to Roosevelt's Semise Kofe, the state champion, the other from Hermiston, which won the 5A title and had the Nos. 2 and 3 heavyweights at state.

The Trojans' 2013 wrestling squad might get back the services of Tyler Lunceford, their all-PIL running back whose football season was cut short by a broken leg.

"He's out of his cast, off crutches and starting to do some jogging," Dorsey says. "We're not sure if he'll make it back. He'd probably be at 152 or 160."

Wilson has Dimitri Brown at 160. Last season, as a freshman, he placed third in the city at 152.

Another key returnee for the Trojans is 120-pound junior Shepol Meman.

"Overall, we're thin in numbers," Dorsey says. "We usually have 50-60 kids out for wrestling, but we have less than 40 this year.

"But we've got a good, strong team."

The Trojans lost a couple of meets in December to inclement weather, but they hope to make them up. One of those is scheduled for Wilson on Jan. 6 -- a four-way meet with Lincoln, Hood River Valley and The Dalles-Wahtonka.