Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Pioneers crush Pacers


Coach Rolen gives his Pioneers an outside chance of winning regionals

Oregon City had an easy time of it in last week’s final dual meet of the Three Rivers League season, accepting no fewer than eight forfeits en route to a 75-6 shellacking of Lakeridge.

Oregon City’s only loss was by injury default at 145, when Alex Canchola defaulted to Jake Oelrich after injuring his shoulder late in the match. Canchola was leading 10-7 with only seconds remaining when he defaulted.

Oregon City coach Roger Rolen says he doesn’t believe that Canchola’s injury is serious and he anticipates that his 145-pounder will be able to wrestle at the upcoming regional meet.

Of the six matches contested on the mat, Oregon City won four of them by fall.

Josh Smith (138), Wyatt Griffith (152), Ethan Holt (160) and Mack Civil (220) all pinned their Pacer counterparts.

Civil was tied with Travis Johnson, at 5-5, late in the second round when he earned his fall.

Oregon City senior Andrew Moore won a 7-6 barnburner from Lakeridge’s Adam Bartkowski at 132, winning with a late match reversal.

Oregon City finished 3-2 in league duals with the win, it’s only losses coming in close matches with TRL dual champion West Linn (37-34) and with Canby (40-31).

West Linn handled Canby 43-15 last week, to finish 5-0 in league and earn its first league dual meet title since 2007.

Rolen commented on Oregon City’s showing for the 2014 league dual season: “We weren’t down to our weights and ready when we wrestled our toughest competition — Canby and West Linn. We had close matches with them that we couldn’t pull out. If we wrestled them again, I think it would be different.”

Rolen sees West Linn and David Douglas as the favorites at the upcoming Mt. Hood Conference/Three Rivers League regional tournament, but he’s not counting his Pioneers out.

“We have an outside chance of winning it, if we have our second guys feel like they have a chance and wrestle hard and wrestle smart, and if our top kids wrestle hard and work for pins,” Rolen said.

The Pioneer mat boss added, “We’ve got 11 seniors on the team and I think they feel that they have something to prove. They’re working hard and I am confident they’re going to come out focussed, and finish strong.”

Oregon City has three returning state placers who will be gunning for regional titles in seniors Devin Poppen, Tanner Fischer and Michael Griffin. Fischer enters the regionals with a 27-1 record, his only loss to an out-of-state opponent.

Poppen has a record of 25-3, with two of his three losses to out-of-state opponents; Griffin is 19-4.

Fischer has 20 wins by fall and Poppen has pinned 17 of his 28 opponents.

Oregon City senior Gabe Ellicott sports a 14-3 record and Pioneer senior Grant Hicks is 14-6.

Looking ahead to state, Rolen said, “I think we could take six to eight kids and five of them have the potential to place.”