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While the West Linn Lions may have given Canby a run for their money, the dominant Canby wrestling season continued as the Cougars racked up another accolade: Three Rivers League champions.
The ever-impressive Canby squad edged their league rivals on the day, outscoring the Lions 371.5 to 362 to capture the Cougars’ first league wrestling title since 2012.
Overall, the Cougars won 38 matches by fall and nine by decision en route to the district tournament win. West Linn placed second, while Tigard, Tualatin, and Oregon City rounded out the top five.
Four Cougars won their respective weight classes. Matthew Young defeated Tripp Moussavi of West Linn by a 2-0 decision in his first-place match to take the title of the 106 class. Ty Ewers won the 126 class with a victory over the Lions’ Henry Dillingham due to disqualification.
The Cougar winners were rounded out by Matthew Hagen (220) and Colin Kennedy (285). Hagen took down West Linn’s Liam Armstrong after five minutes, while Kennedy beat Charlie Freadman of Tualatin with a pin one and a half minutes in.
Several other Cougars also appeared in the first-place match but were unable to come away with a win. Craig Williams (120), Ethan Ensurd (152), Wyatt Samarin (160), and Cash Montgomery (170) all placed second in their weight classes in the tourney.
Landon Sprague defeated Carson Stahl of Oregon City to be one of three Cougars to win the third-place match. Sprague, along with James Keinonen (152) and Jackson Doman (160) were the other Cougars who finished top three — thereby punching their ticket to the state finals next week.
Other placers included Austin Matthews (113), fourth; Brady Froyd (113), sixth; Nico Yazzolino (120), fifth; Benjamin Young (132), fifth; Thomas Marquez (138), fifth; Peter Sansone (138), sixth; Zach Netter (145), fifth; Isaiah Parsons (170), fifth; Lexli Lopez-Zuriaga (170), third; and Luke Harms (182), sixth.
The excellent showing ensured that many of the Cougs’ top wrestlers would qualify for the state meet at Sandy High School. In total, 11 made the cut: Matthew Young, Craig Williams, Ty Ewers, James Keinonen, Landon Sprague, Ethan Ensrud, Wyatt Samarin, Jackson Doman, Cash Montgomery, Matthew Hagen and Colin Kennedy.
The OSAA tournament is scheduled for two days, February 28 and 29 at Sandy High. With the second day being on a Sunday, some wrestlers will not be able to compete due to religious restrictions.
While Canby and other schools requested a change to the 27th and 28th, the OSAA has confirmed that the tourney will take place for its regularly scheduled dates.
While this means some Cougars may not be able to participate, the resilient Canby bunch has relied on their extreme depth to push through adversity. With the state tourney the final obstacle, next week will be time to see what the Canby wrestlers are all about.
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