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The regional tourney will be held at McNary High School

by: DAN BROOD - READY TO RUMBLE-- Tualatin senior Franklin Giannone (left) and Tigard junior Bryan Baker are both among the seeded wrestlers set to compete at this week's Special District 3 regional tournament. KEIZER — The Timberwolves say they’re ready.

So do the Tigers.

Now, they’re look to prove just how ready they are when they take to the mats later this week.

The Tigard and Tualatin high school wrestling teams are hoping for a lot of success when they take part in the Special District 3 Regional Tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at McNary High School.

“It could be good for us,” Tualatin coach Matt Hamilton said. “But it takes 28 guys. The young guys are going to step up and contribute. We were fourth last year. We want to get there again, or higher, this year.”

“We’re looking forward to the tournament,” Tigard coach Geoff Jarman said. “If we wrestle really well, it could be pretty good.”

Action at the regional tournament starts Friday at 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, the opening session will begin at 10 a.m., with championship semifinal matches. The championship finals are tentatively set to start at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The top four placers in each weight class at the regional tournament will advance to compete at the Class 6A state tournament, which will be held Feb. 28-March 1 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

“If we wrestle how we’re capable, I think we can take at least five kids to state,” Jarman said.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves seem poised to make plenty of noise at the regional tourney, as they have three No. 1 seeds.

Tualatin senior Jeff Whitaker is the No. 1 seed in the 120-pound weight class. He was a regional tourney runner-up last year.

In the 138-pound weight class, Timberwolf senior Blake Reser is the top seed.

Another Tualatin senior John Whitaker is seeded No. 1 at 145 pounds. Like his brother, John Whitaker was a tourney runner-up last year.

Tualatin also has a pair of No. 2 seeds in senior Franklin Giannone, who will compete in the 170-pound weight class, and in senior Luke Goessens, who will wrestle at 182 pounds.

Timberwolf junior Kellen Poti is the No. 4 seed at 195 pounds and senior Bryan Sobranis-Perez is the No. 4 seed at 220.

Tualatin senior Ace Leben is the No. 5 seed at 285 pounds. Tualatin sophomore Griffin Young is the No. 6 seed at 138 and sophomore Oliver Price is the No. 6 seed at 160.

“It’s going to be interesting,” Hamilton said.

Tigard definitely looks to be at its strongest in the 285-pound weight class going into the regional tourney.

Not only to the Tigers have the No. 1 seed in that bracket in senior Victor Ceja, who was the tourney runner-up at that weight last year, but they also boast the No. 2 seed in senior Justin Jackson.

Tigard junior Bryan Baker is the No. 3 seed at 182 pounds. Tigard senior Zack Vollstedt is the No. 4 seed at 152 pounds.

Another Tigard senior, Phil Engel, is the No. 5 seed at 160 pounds. Earning No. 6 seeds for Tigard for the tournament are junior Jason Alton at 120 pounds and junior Omar Duran-Vega at 113 pounds.

Tiger junior Joey Stefani is the No. 7 seed at 145 and senior Alex Anohkin is the No. 8 seed at 195 pounds.

“I think he’s going to be wrestling with a chip on his shoulder,” Jarman said of Anohkin.

As for the team favorite in the regional tourney, Hamilton isn’t sure who that nod should go to.

“Sprague has some good guys and McMinnville is tough,” he said. “It could be anybody.”

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