Tigard does have some key returnees that could step up

by: DAN BROOD - ON THE MARK -- Tigard High School senior Mark Hall (right), shown here in match from last year, looks to be one of the top grapplers for the Tigers this season. TIGARD — They’re young.

That may be an understatement.

They’re really, really, really young.

But the Tigers are ready to work hard, ready to improve and ready to keep things positive.

With that in mind, the youthful Tigard High School wrestling team is taking an optimistic attitude into the 2012-2013 season.

“We are babies,” Tigard coach Geoff Jarman said. “Even those kids who aren’t young are way inexperienced. But we work hard and pay attention to detail. And we’ll try hard to keep things positive.”

Tigard has only two seniors back from last year’s team that had a 2-7 record in Special District 3 dual matches and went on to finish in seventh place at the regional tournament.

But, while they’re young, the Tigers to have some key returnees.

Among them is senior Mark Hall, who will likely wrestle at 152 pounds this year, but may end up at 145.

“He’s going to be tough,” Jarman said. “He’s had one of those careers. We’ll be looking to get him to state this year, and then get him to place at state.”

Last year, Hall placed fifth at 145 pounds at the regional tournament.

Tigard returns two other regional tournament placers in juniors Alex Anohkin and Victor Ceja.

Anohkin placed fifth at 195 pounds at the regional event last year. He’ll be at that weight again this year.

“He’s the highest returning placer out of that weight,” Jarman said. “He could be a state placer this year.”

Ceja placed sixth at 285 pounds at regionals last year, despite not wrestling at the varsity level for the Tigers for most of the season. He’ll be at 285 again this year.

Tigard has another key returnee in sophomore Kalimen Pabro, who will be at 132. Pabro, a second-year wrestler, was at 120 last year.

At 106 pounds this year, Tigard will have sophomore Brad Williams, who is a first-year wrestler.

Sophomore Omar Duran-Vega, who wrestled at the junior varsity level last year, will be at 113. Junior Eric Durano, a first-year wrestler, will be at 120. In his first-ever match, Durano faced a defending state runner-up and scored a takedown to grab a 2-0 lead.

At 126, Tigard will have sophomore Paul Nguyen, who also is a first-year wrestler. Sophomore Colin O’Connor, in his second year in the program, will be at 138.

Junior Trevor Ellinson will be at 145 pounds. This will be his first year competing at the varsity level.

At 160 pounds, Tigard will have either senior Brittain Schneider or sophomore Eli Neely.

Junior Phil Engle will be at 170 pounds and sophomore Dan Sacks will be at 182.

Sophomore Austin Goodhouse will be at 220 pounds.

“It’s going to be a fun year,” Jarman said. “We’re so young and inexperienced, but we’re going to work hard to get Mark and some others to state. I think we’ll be a better tournament team than a dual meet team.”

Tigard opened its season last Thursday with a 54-30 loss to West Salem in a District 3 dual match held at West Salem High School.

On Friday, Tigard finished in fifth place in the team standings at the Tyler Smyres Invitational held at Glencoe High School.

The Tigers will be back in action today (Thursday) when it hosts a Special District 3 double dual meet at Tigard High School. The Tigers will face Sprague at 5 p.m. and then wrestle rival Tualatin at 7 p.m.

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