Three Lions win individual titles as West Linn continues its strong start

by: TRACIE KRELLWITZ - Cam Schmitz was one of three West Linn wrestlers to win his bracket at the Westview tournament last week. Schmitz went unbeaten at 195 pounds. The West Linn wrestling team continued its early season roll last week with an impressive victory at the Westview Tournament.

The Lions beat 17 teams from Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho, edging out Nampa, Idaho, with 233.5 points.

Eight different wrestlers placed for West Linn and three won their brackets while four other competitors came one match away from placing.

“I think we're probably going to be a better tournament team than a dual meet team because we have a lot of guys who can battle and score for us,” coach Doug Samarron said.

Nearly all 22 entrants contributed to the Lions' tally in an impressive overall performance.

The Lions could have placed even higher but were missing one of their top wrestlers in Ethan Staley and Ryan Anderson had to withdraw after his first match at 170 pounds with a hamstring injury.

West Linn received a strong performance at 120 from Ian Snapp who finished just one match out of the finals and took third.

“He's a really tough guy and he could be even tougher when he drops a weight class,” Samarron said.

The Lions then racked up place-winners in the middle of the lineup. Tim Harman rolled through his bracket at 152 pounds en route to the championship.

At 160, Jacob Taylor continued his strong start to the year, taking fourth place in his bracket.

“Jacob's probably one of the most athletic guys I've coached,” Samarron said.

Also making it to the semifinals was Tyler Self at 170 pounds, narrowly missing a shot at the championship.

Roland Lester took fourth for the Lions at 182 and, at 195 pounds, Cam Schmitz put together one of the more dominant performances of the weekend and rolled to the title.

“Cam was a guy who was groomed behind Tyler Chay last year and he's had a really strong start,” Samarron said.

West Linn was particularly impressive at 285 pounds. Both Ellis Eaton and Noah Bagley battled through the bracket and wound up facing each other in the championship match.

In an even bout, Ellis ground out a win when Bagley was called for an illegal lock.

“That was a match that really could have gone either way,” Samarron said.

It's been a stellar start to the year for the wrestling team and the Lions will see Barlow Thursday night before getting a brief respite.

West Linn will then gear up for the Pac Coast Championships the first week of January to kick off an extremely busy month.

“We're seeing overall improvement in their wrestling from week to week and we're still not really in shape yet,” Samarron said.

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