Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Wrestlers rally to edge Canby


West Linn wins five straight matches to top the Cougars 37-36, advances to quarterfinals in Oregon Classic

The West Linn wrestling team continues to put together one of its best seasons in a handful of years. After a dramatic 37-36 victory over league power Canby last week, the Lions advanced to the quarterfinals of the Oregon Classic, its best showing at the highly competitive tournament in six seasons.

“It was pretty impressive for us with only three seniors. That's a lot of pressure on our underclassmen,” coach Doug Samarron said.

The Lions needed every point they could muster last week against the talented Cougars. As the meet progressed, it appeared that West Linn was in dire straights, falling behind 36-10 through 160 pounds.

West Linn did pick up a key victory earlier with Tim Harman's major decision at 145 pounds.

While the Lions are strong in the upper weights, they could afford even the slightest hiccup if they still wanted to earn a victory.

Cam Schmitz got the rally stated with an impressive fall in the third round at 170 pounds.

Tyler Chay then scored a 7-1 victory at 182 pounds, narrowly missing a major decision.

Canby forfeited to Garrett Harmon at 195 setting up a scenario where West Linn could win the meet with a pair of pins at 220 and 285.

Ellis Eaton did his part with a pin in just over 40 seconds, cutting the lead to 36-31 with one match remaining.

Noah Bagley then out-muscled his opponent and also earned a first-round pin and sealed the narrow victory for the Lions.

“That was exciting. It was definitely a great night for us because we're still so young and are kind of overachieving right now,” Samarron said.

West Linn the continued its strong wrestling at the Oregon Classic over the weekend. West Linn was in a strong pool with Tualatin, Roseburg and Centennial.

The Lions squared off against the Timberwolves first and found themselves in another tight battle.

Once again, the match came down to the final two wrestlers and both Eaton and Bagley scored key victories to lead West Linn to a 31-30 win.

The Lions then acquitted themselves well against Roseburg, one of the state's top teams. West Linn was leading midway through the match but Roseburg won the final four to pull off the 40-24 victory.

West Linn then racked up a solid 39-24 victory over Centennial to move into the quarterfinals.

On Saturday West Linn squared off against David Douglas and had a tough time matching up with the Scotsmen.

“They showed up for a 10 a.m. match and we just didn't,” Samarron said.

The Lions only picked up two victories and fell 57-12. In consolation, West Linn wrestled one more match against McMinnville and Samarron opted to feature a handful of his less experienced wrestlers.

The highlight of the match was Chay's bout at 182 pounds against a wrestler he could very well see late in the state tournament at 170 pounds.

After a scoreless first round, Chay was slammed in the second period but still rallied to tie the match at 3-3.

Chay then dominated the third round, tallying a pair of three-point near falls to win 10-3.

“Tyler really kept his composure and showed a lot of maturity. That's going to help him in his seeding for state,” Samarron said.

Ryan Anderson received West Linn's award for the wrestler of the week. He went 4-1, only losing to the No. 1 ranked wrestler from David Douglas and even wrestled up during multiple matches.

“He really stepped up for us as a sophomore,” Samarron said.

The Lions will take on Clackamas tonight (Thursday) in another league dual and will wrestle in the Tigard tournament this weekend before the season starts to wind down with regionals approaching.