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Pioneer matmen take OC Invitational

Eleven Oregon City wrestlers place in a team win


OREGON CITY — Oregon City High School wrestlers showed up big-time on Saturday and claimed first place in their own 12-team invitational tournament.

The Pioneers scored 208.5 team points, to finish just ahead of Hood River (199). Lebanon (190.5), Pendleton (180), Cleveland (169.5) and Hermiston (155.5) rounded out the top six.

“It was a great performance by both our varsity and second varsity, the kind of performance we are going to need if we’re going to trophy at the regional and state tournaments,” said Oregon City coach Roger Rolen. “Across the board, everybody scored points throughout and every guy that placed scored bonus points, with pins, technical falls or major decisions.... We had a pigtail bracket, for guys that lost their first match. And we had eight or nine guys come back and win championships in the pigtail bracket.”

The Pioneers had five wrestlers make the championship-bracket finals and six other Pioneers placed in the championship bracket.

Seniors Devin Poppen (120), Tanner Fischer (170) and Michael Griffin (182) all won their weight divisions, and Fischer was named the tournament’s “outstanding wrestler” for the upper weights.

Fischer won two matches by fall and two by technical fall. He beat classmate Gabe Ellicott by second-round fall in the 170-pound final, after winning by 18-2 technical fall over Lebanon’s Colton Sallee in the semifinals.

Ellicott won a heart-stopping 1-0 decision over Pendleton senior standout Pyper McCallum in his semifinal.

“Gabe is right there,” said Rolen. “I’m really proud of him. He’s wrestling really well.”

Poppen won three of his four matches by fall. He defeated Matthew Johnson of Forest Grove 16-5 in his final, after pinning Jeb Powell of West Salem in 3:06 of their semifinal.

Griffin also had three falls. He defeated Estacada’s Nick Ledbury 8-2 in the 182-pound final, after pinning Jesse Wynn of Lebanon in the third round of their semi-final.

Oregon City had another finalist in senior Alex Canchola (145). Canchola won three matches by fall, before losing to Hood River’s Chas Peterson in the finals.

Other Oregon City championship-bracket placers included: sophomore Mack Civil (220) and senior Keith Arnold (285), fourth; sophomore Ethan Holt (160), fifth; and freshman Devon Lucas (106), senior Dennis Podloujnyi (126), and senior Andrew Moore (132), sixth.

Pioneers thump LO

The meet had some competitive matches, but four wins by forfeit and three wins by fall helped Oregon City put Lake Oswego away in a Three Rivers League dual meet wrestled at Lake Oswego on Jan. 30.

The Pioneers prevailed 48-21, improving their TRL dual record to 2-2 with the win. Oregon City hosts winless Lakeridge (0-4) this Thursday in its final dual meet of the 2014 TRL dual season. Oregon City hosts Hillsboro in a nonleague dual meet Friday at 7 p.m.

The featured bout in last week’s dual was a showdown between Oregon City senior Devin Poppen and Lake Oswego senior Caleb Gonzales at 120. Poppen and Gonzales entered their match ranked the top two 120-pounders in the state.

Top-ranked Poppen proved himself, defeating Gonzales 9-4.

Leading 3-2, Poppen put the match away in the third round, scoring an escape, a takedown and three-point nearfall, while Gonzales got two points back through a reversal near the end of the match.

With the win, Poppen improved his season record to 26-3. He’s lost to only one opponent from Oregon this year, Crook County’s Kurt Mode.

Oregon City sophomore Ryan Leonard (113) won a 3-2 nailbiter over Lake Oswego junior Max Fox, scoring his winning points on a second-round reversal, and then riding out Fox through the entire third round.

“Ryan wrestled really tough on top,” said Rolen, “He wrestled his heart out.”

Two Oregon City wrestlers dropped super close decisions. Oregon City freshman 106-pounder David Volodko fell 4-3 to Lake Oswego sophomore Hayden Hanson; and Oregon City junior 126-pounder Dennis Podloujnyi dropped a 5-3 decision to Lake Oswego junior Brian Fay, who entered the meet ranked sixth in the state at 132.

Coach Rolen singled out senior Wyatt Griffith for an exceptional performance at 152. Leading 7-0 near the midpoint of the third round, Griffith earned a fall over Lake Oswego junior Ethan Waggoner.

“Wyatt has been wrestling really well,” said Rolen. “I was really impressed with his determination.”

Oregon City also got falls at 160 (Ethan Holt over Marco Young) and at 220 (Mack Civil over Joe Morse).

The Lakers forfeited at 145, 170, 182 and 285.

Lake Oswego (1-3) concludes its TRL dual season tonight, hosting West Linn (3-0).




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