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Cougar wrestlers looking for return trip to state

by: WOODBURN INDEPENDENT ARCHIVES - Nikita Kalugin (on top) is in line for a return trip to the state wrestling tournament after qualifying as the No. 3-seed at 152 pounds as a sophomore last year.Coach: Gil Miller

Last year: Gervais sent eight athletes to the 3A state championships, led by 182-pounder Ricky Diaz’s second-place finish.

Key athletes: Ricky Diaz, Carlos Velasco, Roberto Hernandez, Chris Gill, Hector Flores, Nikita Kalugin

Key losses: Anthony Diaz, David Alonzo

First home meet: Cougar Classic, Jan. 25

Outlook: Ricky Diaz returns for his senior season as one of the top 3A wrestlers in the state, but he is not alone. Nikita Kalugin was the No. 3 seed at 152 pounds as a sophomore last year, but failed to place in the state tournament after being upset in the second round. The Cougars feature a skilled senior class that boasts five upperclassmen with experience at the state tournament. Gervais has the talent to contend for a title in Special District 1 this year and should once again send multiple grapplers to state come February.



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