Canby wrestling is (finally) back, and looks to field a deep and competitive team for the forthcoming winter season. The Cougars have 54 wrestlers on the team this year (boys and girls), with strong contenders at many weight classes.
“I believe we will have a very competitive team this season,” Canby head wrestling coach Jeremy Ensrud said.
Junior Ethan Ensrud (160) will be the team’s lone returning district champion, but they will bring back six other state qualifiers, including sophomores Austin Matthews (120), Craig Williams (who posted a 20-1 varsity record as a freshman last year) and Wyatt Samarin (170), junior Thomas Marquez (138), and seniors Zach Netter (145) and Matthew Hagen (220).
Senior Grayson Noss was also a state qualifier last season, but he will not be able to compete this year due to a football injury. His younger brother, Gideon Noss, will be stepping into his spot this year and hoping to fill his shoes.
Additionally, Canby will return three seniors — Ty Ewers (126), Cash Montgomery (182) and Colin Kennedy (285) — and a junior, Landon Sprague (132), who were not able to compete last season due to injury.
“I think those three seniors should have a big impact on our team this year,” Coach Ensrud predicted.
The team will also welcome into the fold a slew of experienced freshmen in Matthew Young (106), Brady Froyd (113), James Keinonen (152), Isaiah Parsons (152), Elijah Fataua (160) and Jackson Doman (170), with a handful of other newcomers who may make the final cut as well.
“Matthew’s going to be tough, and Brady’s really tough, too,” Ensrud told the hosts of the new Canby sports podcast, Cougar Country, on Monday. “so, I think we’re going to start off our dual meets really well with those two guys.”
Ensrud was particularly high on Doman, an imposing physical specimen at 6-5, 170, and one who comes from a long line of talented and hard-working athletes.
“Absolutely. I definitely do,” Ensrud said when asked if he thought Doman had the potential to be a state champion before his high school career is over. “I mean, he’s a 6-foot-5 freshman that can do a standing back tuck. That’s impressive, right? As soon as he hits the weight room, fills into his body a little bit, he’s going to be a force.”
Last but certainly not least, the Canby girls wrestling program, which started just a few years ago, is continuing to grow.
Ensrud said it will boast nine wrestlers this year: seniors Valeria Perez Cabrera, Eslie Cobarrubias and Lexli Lopez-Zuriaga, juniors Nancy Garcia, Marisol Malagon, Mercedes Morales and Hannah Rue, sophomore Miriam Ahlschlager and freshman Natalie Kern.
The Canby wrestling team’s first meet will be a dual Wednesday, December 8, at Woodburn High School. The action kicks off at 4 p.m.
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