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Wrestling: North Marion gets a boost from its youth in home tournaments

Several underclassmen make key contributions for the Huskies, who go 6-1-1 combined in two recent competitions.


by: PHIL HAWKINS / PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP - Juan Tarula won four of his five matches in the North Marion wrestling team's two recent home tournaments. The sophomore is one of several key underclassmen on the roster this season.After completing a busy week of competition Saturday, the North Marion wrestling team is in full stride after coming out on the winning end of a pair of home events.

The Huskies played host to teams on Wednesday and Saturday and finished a combined 6-1-1 as a team. North Marion went 2-1 at its home four-way on Wednesday, beating Yamhill-Carlton 72-12 and Newport 45-30 while falling 39-36 in a close contest against Culver.

Three days later, the Huskies welcomed six teams to Aurora for the North Marion Wrestling Classic, where they finished in second place despite going undefeated in five matches.

The Huskies won head-to-head matches against Douglas (48-21), Banks (42-30), Stevenson (59-12) and Rainier (47-19) and finished in a 36-36 tie against the Dayton Pirates. By official rules, Dayton won the tiebreaker and took home first place due to a 7-6 edge in individual matches against North Marion.

The victories put the Huskies in a good place as the team heads into the second half of the wrestling season.

“I’m feeling really good about the spot that we’re in at this point in the season,” first-year head coach Jared Wilson said. “I feel like the kids are picking up on things and we’re heading in the right direction.”

Of the many individual success stories on the Huskies, the brightest belongs to freshman Lane Stigall. The 145-pounder won all eight of his matches by pin or technical fall last week and is 16-0 on the season.

“He works hard. He’s a dedicated kid — real goal-oriented and he wants to win a state championship, and he’s working really hard on that goal,” said Wilson, who is looking forward to seeing how Stigall competes against some of the more experienced kids in his weight class over the next few weeks. “He trains harder than anybody that I’ve ever been around in high school wrestling. He just flat outworks people.”

Stigall comes from a family of dedicated wrestlers. His brothers Jake and Tyler accounted for three state titles in 2011 and 2012, and his father Ford – who stepped down as coach this year, but remains on staff as an assistant, won a state championship in 1991.

“(Lane is) proud and well-aware of that legacy, and he wants to carry it on,” said Wilson, who has not yet determined what weight class Lane will wrestle in at the end of the season. “Right now he’s at 145. I think we might get him down to 138 before the season is over, but we haven’t made a for-sure decision on that yet.”

Lane’s cousin, Levi Wing, is another young athlete that is waiting to make an impact on the team this season. Wing has been battling injury through the first month of the season, but Wilson hopes he makes a return to the mat soon.

“He’s just now coming back, so he’ll start wrestling hopefully this week,” Wilson said before last week’s home matches. “We might hold him out until next week, but he’s a super-tough kid who is going to do some good things for us if he can get healthy.”

The youth movement continues with sophomores Casey Roberts, who went 8-0 last week, and Damian Chavez, who finished 6-2.

“(Chavez is) a great athlete and picking up on how to be a wrestler,” said Wilson. “He’s a pretty young kid, just a sophomore and starting to get some experience, and he’s wrestling really well.”

The Huskies also boast several talented wrestlers returning from last year’s team. Brennan Patterson went 6-1 last week, and his only loss came in a 2-1 tie-breaker match against Culver’s Joshua Hendrix.

“He’s looking really tough, and he’s been working really hard,” Wilson said. Patterson was held out of competition through the first month due to academic issues, but he returned to action this month. “We’ve got the classroom stuff taken care of, and he’s looking forward to seeing what he can do the rest of the year.”

Senior Adam Vega went 4-1 on Saturday, as did junior Tyler Saucedo and sophomore Juan Tarula. Altogether, Wilson has been impressed with his team’s dedication and work ethic in his first full season as head coach at North Marion.

“I’ve been a head coach before at other schools, and this group of kids works really hard, and they’re starting to pick up on things,” Wilson said. “They’re buying into our philosophy in the program, and they’re dedicating themselves and picking up on the techniques we teach in the program.”

The team has a few days of rest between competitions before it heads to Redmond this weekend to take part in the Oregon Classic on Friday and Saturday. North Marion is slated to start Friday morning against Banks and will also face Sutherlin and Crook County in their group field. For a full schedule of the event, go to www.oregonwrestle.com.



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