The Tigard wrestlers hope to step up against the competition

by: DAN BROOD - POWERHOUSE -- Tigard High School senior Victor Ceja (right) should provide the Tigers with power in the 285-pound weight class this season. Ceja wrestled at the Class 6A state tourney last year. TIGARD — It’s said that practice makes perfect.

The Tigard High School wrestling team is hoping that there’s some truth to that.

The Tigers, according to coach Geoff Jarman, have turned in impressive performances on the practice mats. But, that hasn’t quite carried over to early-season competition.

“We’re a funny team,” Jarman said. “We’re an enigma. We look great in practice. We don’t make mistakes in practice. But, in the matches, we do questionable things. It’s confusing. But, as soon as we get that part to click, we should be pretty good.”

Tigard, which had a young team a year ago, when it placed ninth at the Special District 3 regional tournament, does have some key wrestlers back from that squad.

Among those is senior Victor Ceja, who will wrestle at 285 pounds. Ceja was the runner-up at that weight at the regional tourney last year. And he’s off to a strong start to his senior campaign.

“Victor is putting together quite a good season,” Jarman said.

Tigard has another key returnee at 285 pounds in senior Justin Jackson, who placed fourth at that weight at regionals last year.

The Tigers have another returning regional placer in senior Alex Anohkin, who will compete at 195 pounds. Anohkin placed sixth at regionals in that weight last year.

Also for Tigard this season, freshman Tarin Schneider should be at 106 pounds. Junior returnee Omar Duran-Vega will be at 113. Another junior, Jason Alton, will be at 120

At 126 pounds, Tigard will have junior Colin O’Connor. Junior Kali Pabro will be at 132. Sophomore Jordan Landstrom will likely be at 138. Junior Joey Steffani will compete at 145.

At 152 pounds, Tigard has a pair of talented grapplers in seniors Trevor Ellenson and Zack Vollstedt.

“We’re pretty solid there with those two guys,” Jarman said.

Vollstedt competed for Tigard as a freshman and a sophomore, but didn’t wrestle a year ago. This year, he’s trying to come back from a broken nose he suffered in an early-season match.

Tigard also has a duo of competitors at 160 pounds in seniors Justin Campbell and Phil Engel.

Junior Bryan Baker will be at 182 pounds and junior Austin Goodhouse will be at 220.

Tigard has another wrestler, junior Branden Baker, who will be in the mix somewhere between 152 and 170 after he returns to action after recovering from a broken hand.

“This is a good group and they’re working hard,” Jarman said. “We want them to go out there and wrestle with a chip on their shoulder.”

On Friday, Tigard competed at the Scappoose tournament. At the tourney, which was held in a dual meet format, the Tigers bested Astoria 48-23 while falling 40-36 to Corvallis and 58-24 to Scappoose.

Duran-Vega and Ceja both went 3-0 at the event.

The Tigers will be back in action tonight (Thursday) when they host North Salem in a Special District 3 dual match set to start at 7:30 p.m.

Tigard will wrestle at the Aloha Tournament on Friday.

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