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by: PHIL HAWKINS - North Marion sophomore Casey Roberts has been dramatically better in his second season with the Huskies, said coach Jared Wilson. Roberts was among the team leaders with three wins last weekend at the Oregon Wrestling Classic in Redmond.It was an up-and-down weekend for the North Marion wrestling team in the Oregon Wrestling Classic (OWC) in Redmond.

On the one hand, the Huskies opened the tournament with a 42-32 win over Banks and followed with a 47-23 victory against Sutherlin in their first two duals.

But the team ran into 4A powerhouse Crook County – losing 63-3 to end competition Friday – and went on to lose duals against Scappoose (54-12) and Sweet Home (45-30) on Saturday.

Freshman Lane Stigall was the only North Marion athlete to win against the nationally ranked Cowboys, who were the 2013 OWC champions.

“For a 4A team in the state of Oregon to be nationally ranked, that’s pretty amazing,” said Huskies coach Jared Wilson.

Stigall finished the weekend with four victories, extending his unbeaten streak to open his high school wrestling career.

“The kid is a pretty insane talent,” said Wilson. “I’ve never been around a freshman with that much talent.”

Stigall led a number of Husky wrestlers who had great outings over the weekend.

Teammate Brennan Patterson, a senior, led 1-0 over defending 4A state champion Jason Williams of Crook County before Williams countered with a reverse to take a 2-1 and hold on for the win.

“It was a real tough match,” said Wilson. “I thought he was going to get it in the end. I was really impressed with how he wrestled the returning state champion.”

The bout was a rematch of last year’s 285-pound semifinal. Williams managed to pin Patterson in 1:01, but the North Marion senior held his own in Redmond this weekend.

“Our goal for (Patterson) is to compete for a state championship, and I think him coming right to the end there was a big confidence builder for him,” said Wilson.

Patterson went undefeated in his other four matches on the day, matching Stigall with the most individual wins for the Huskies in the tournament.

“Hopefully that gives him the confidence to know that he can go out there and compete with anybody and hopefully win a state championship,” said Wilson.

North Marion also saw a strong performance from freshman Levi Wing, who returned from injury to win three matches.

“I’m not a person who pays much attention to rankings,” said Wilson, “but I think (Wing) wrestled the first, second and fourth-ranked kids in his weight class in his first week back, which is pretty intense.”

Wing picked up victories against Banks, Sutherlin and Sweet Home.

“He wrestled tough kids and he competed hard,” said Wilson. “He got a couple of good wins for us and scored a lot of team points for us in some duals. It was good to have him back as a part of the team this week.”

Casey Roberts also matched Wing with three victories, extending a recent run in which the sophomore has gone 8-2 over the course of the past 10 days.

“He’s really starting to come into his own and develop some confidence,” said Wilson, who thinks Roberts has the tools to compete with some of the best kids in the state at the end of the season.

Roberts didn’t qualify for the state tournament as a freshman, but Wilson thinks he can make a bid to qualify and place within the top six in February.

“He’s a really hard-working kid and a young kid who is really starting to develop some confidence and wrestle really tough for us,” said Wilson. “He came into this year knowing he could do something for us. Hopefully, his goal is to make it to the state tournament, be a state placer and stand at the podium at the end of the year.”

North Marion is scheduled to host Newport and Gladstone on Wednesday before traveling to Independence on Saturday to take part in the Central Invitational.


Oregon Wrestling Classic

Jan. 17-18 at Redmond

Day 1

North Marion 42, Banks 32

North Marion 47, Sutherlin 23

Crook County 63, North Marion 3

Day 2

Scappoose 54, North Marion 12

Sweet Home 45, North Marion 30

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