Forest Grove will have home-mat advantage this weekend when the Vikings suit up for the Class 6A Special District 1 regional wrestling tournament.
The tournament, which will feature teams from the Pacific Conference and Metro League and will determine who advances to the upcoming 6A state wrestling championships, is being held Friday and Saturday at Forest Grove High School. It will be the first major sporting event held at the schools new Basinski Center.
The top four finishers from each weight class will advance to the state meet, and Forest Grove enters the regional touranment with a glut of talent at the lower weight classes.
Leading the way is sophomore Matthew Johnson, who has compiled a 27-7 record this season and a No. 8 state ranking at 120 pounds. That has all been preparation for these final two tournaments, however, where Johnson will return to his normal weight of 113 pounds.
Standing in his way will be a pair of top-notch wrestlers from Glencoe both Nate Johnson and Max McGee will wrestle at 113 this year, making it perhaps the toughest bracket at regionals.
Elsewhere, Forest Grove has two talented 106-pounders in senior Christian Guerra, who owns a 27-7 record this season, and freshman Lucas Higginbotham, who is 19-10 overall. Both wrestlers could win up in the top-four, thus earning a trip to the state tournament.
Brothers Chad and Cody Smith also have a good shot of landing on the podium at regionals and potentially qualifying for state. Chad Smith is 28-9 this year at 132 pounds, and Cody Smith is 29-10 at 138.
If we dont qualify four guys for state, well be disappointed, Forest Grove head coach Frank Johnson said. We didnt come this far just to come this far. Now that were here, we want to place.
The regional touranment begins Friday at 11 a.m. Semifinal matches will start at 9 a.m. on Saturday, with consolation bracket action to follow.
Championship matches will start at 6 p.m. on Saturday.