Lions wrestling will shoot for Class 5A championships
Allen, Beisley and Olmedo are all-state seniors
It's no stretch of the imagination to believe that the Lions could win their next individual Class 5A state championship this winter.
Haidon Allen, Colton Beisley, Miguel Olmedo, Colton Albertson and Elias Fields are seniors back to improve on St. Helens' 10th-place run, its best in a decade.
Allen came back from a broken leg suffered in football last year and went all the way to fourth in the state at 132 pounds.
"I'm looking forward to being part of the team again, getting out there on the mat and finally being healthy to start on time," said Allen, who's back at 138 this time around.
Beisley (the reigning Northwest Oregon Conference 145-pound champion) and Olmedo (heavyweight) were both fifth at state, and Beisley is up to 182.
Fields made the trip at 126 and is back at the same weight. Albertson reached state at 220 last year and returns as a heavyweight.
Allen, Beisley, Olmedo and Albertson were all vital to the Lions' first football state semifinal run in 20 years this fall.
Zach Gadbois (160), Chase Nelson, Nick Richardson, Vladik Morai (all 152) and Dylan Lane (142) can also graduate on a high note.
Cole Benshoof (195), Cody Leanna and Robert Landreth (both 170), William Webb and Kara Smith (both 152) are juniors.
Daniel Suon and Benjamin Torres (both 285), Shawn Lee (170), Jazmin DeWitt (160), Gavin Meredith (145), Casey Harrington (132) Trevor Johnson and Haroldo Salvador (both 120) and Joe Austin (113) are sophomores.
Jayden Smith (220), Gordon Gortler (182), Waylan Webb (170), Ryan Burri (152), Justin Garcia (138) and Ethan Hubbs (132) are freshmen.
Myles Terry, who won the Lions' first state championship in 21 years as a 182-pound sophomore in 2015, missed last season with an injury and will forgo this season after recovering from a labrum tear this fall.
The Lions are set to open at the Tillamook Smoker against Class 4A ninth-place Tillamook and Class 6A Roosevelt at noon on Friday.
Hermiston is eager to win its 10th state title in 11 years while St. Helens aspires for its first.
St. Helens Lions
Coach: Joe Mauck (Second year)
Classification: Class 5A, Northwest Oregon Conference
2015-16 finish: Fifth in conference, 10th at state
Returning state qualifiers: Elias Fields, sr. (126); Haidon Allen, sr. (Fourth at 132); Colton Beisley, sr. (Fifth at 145); Colton Albertson, sr. (220); Miguel Olmedo, sr. (Fifth at 285).
Key returners: Miguel Olmedo, sr., 285; Colton Albertson, sr., 285; Cole Benshoof, jr., 195; Colton Beisley, sr., 182; Cody Leanna, jr., 170; Zach Gadbois, sr., 160; Chase Nelson, sr., 152; William Webb, jr., 152; Nick Richardson, sr., 152; Dylan Lane, sr., 142; Haidon Allen, sr., 138; Elias Fields, sr., 126; Trevor Johnson, so., 120; Joe Austin, so., 113;
Key newcomers: Daniel Suon, so., 285; Benjamin Torres, so., 285; Jayden Smith, fr., 220; Gordon Gortler, fr., 182; Robert Landreth, jr., 170; Shawn Lee, so., 170; Waylan Webb, fr., 170; Jazmin DeWitt, so., 160; Vladik Morai, sr., 152; Kara Smith, jr., 152; Ryan Burri, fr., 152; Gavin Meredith, so., 145; Justin Garcia, fr., 138; Cory Harrington, so., 132; Ethan Hubbs, fr., 132; Haroldo Salvador, so., 120.
Dec. 2 St. Helens at Tillamook Smoker Tournament, noon
Dec. 7 St. Helens at Hood River Valley, in Hood River
Dec. 14 St. Helens at Hillsboro, 7 p.m.
Dec. 17 St. Helens at Oregon National Guard Tournament, 8 a.m., Liberty High School, Hillsboro
Dec. 29-30 St. Helens at Northwest Duals, Linn County Fair and Expo Center, Albany
Jan. 5 Parkrose at St. Helens, 7 p.m.
Jan. 6-7 St. Helens at Pac-Rim Tournament, 8 a.m., in Seaside
Jan. 11 St. Helens at Sandy, 7 p.m.
Jan. 13-14 St. Helens at Oregon Wrestling Champoinships, in Redmond
Jan. 19 Milwaukie at St. Helens, 7 p.m.
Jan. 21 St. Helens at Tigard Invitational, 8 a.m.
Jan. 26 St. Helens at Wilsonville, 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 Putnam at St. Helens, 7 p.m.
Feb. 10-11 St. Helens at Northwest Oregon Conference Championships, in Milwaukie