Tim Harman and Ian Snapp win regional titles and Lions take second as a team

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Ian Snapp gets a lock on his opponent during the championship match at 113 pounds. Snapp won the regional title at that weight with a 5-2 decision. West Linn did just about as well as could have been expected at last week's regional wrestling meet, culminating with 10 individuals qualifying for state, two regional champions and a second-place finish overall at what is perhaps the toughest region in the state.

The Lions finished just shy of first-place David Douglas in the meet and know that, had a few things fallen differently, they may have been champions.

Most notably, West Linn had an early setback when Kane Snapp, while leading his opening match of the tournament 10-0, got his toe stuck in the mat and was turned, resulting in an ankle injury that forced him out of the meet.

“I think Kane easily would have been a qualifier so that was a tough way to start,” coach Doug Samarron said.

For the rest of the tournament, however, the Lions were dominant. At 113 pounds, Snapp's brother, Ian, entered as the No. 2 seed and rolled into the finals with a pair of technical falls and a pin.

In the championship match, Snapp scored a first-round takedown and came up with a late reversal to seal a 5-2 victory.

“I think I wrestled pretty well. I gave up a reversal but other than that it was good. Now my goal is to win state,” Ian Snapp said.

At the state meet, Snapp received the No. 3 seed in his bracket and should be in the hunt for a title.

At 120 pounds, Alex Garcia dropped his first match of the tournament but wrestled back through consolation, losing a tough 5-4 decision and then dropped the fourth-place match, finishing just shy of a berth at state.

Perhaps the surprise of the tournament happened for West Linn at 126 pounds. Senior Joey Donovan, who has been one of the team's hardest workers, won a tough 8-6 match to open the meet and then shut out a strong wrestler from Clackamas 4-0.

He then cruised into the finals and clinched a berth at state with a 15-2 victory and would take second in the bracket.

“Joey was always a guy who was just a little too small for his weight class and he took a beating. He's ending his career on a really positive note and we think he can score some points for us,” Samarron said.

At 145 pounds, Tim Harman entered as the No. 1 seed with an unblemished record this year. He scored two pins in his opening two matches and an 18-5 victory in the semifinals before squaring off against the No. 2 seed from Barlow, who Harman edged out in overtime at the Oregon Classic earlier in the year.

Harman put together a dominant performance in the finals, picking and choosing his scoring chances in a 3-1 victory. He received the No. 1 seed at state as well.

“We expect him to cruise into the finals and to win it. We haven't had anybody run the table and win state undefeated before,” Samarron said.

At 152 pounds, Jacob Taylor came in as the No. 2 seed and rolled in his early matches with a technical fall and a pin. He then won a tough semifinal 5-3 and finished as the regional runner-up.

Tyler Self had the No. 1 seed at 160 pounds and scored two pins in his opening matches, both coming in less than a minute.

He then picked up a narrow 4-3 win in the semifinals before falling to the No. 2 seed from Gresham in the championship match.

Also at 160 pounds, Ryan Anderson advanced to the semifinals and would finish his meet with a 3-1 victory in the third-place match.

At 182 pounds, Roland Lester had a first-round bye and then tallied a pin before being sent to the consolation bracket. He picked up another pin and then won the third-place match 7-0, punching his ticket to state.

At 195 pounds, Cam Schmitz was also the No. 1 seed and scored three consecutive first-round pins to make the finals before dropping a tough decision.

“Cam could face the No. 1 wrestler in the state in the second round, but he beat him last year,” Samarron said.

At 220 pounds, Noah Bagley also took home third place. He won his opening match in 16 seconds but then lost to the No. 1 seed in a close 1-0 match in the semis. Bagley then scored two quick pins in consolation to earn third place.

Finally, at 285, Ellis Eaton bounced back from a loss in the semifinals to take third place.

While the Lions only have two seeded wrestlers at the upcoming state tournament Friday and Saturday at the Memorial Coliseum, the brackets seem to set up well for them.

No West Linn wrestler faces a seeded opponent in the first round as the Lions look to accomplish their final goal of the year, earning a state trophy.

“There's not much I can tell them at this point. It's all just a mental game now,” Samarron said.