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The Canby Cougar wrestling team put the final touches on its finest competitive season in over a decade this weekend, earning a pair of third-place finishes and coming away in seventh place overall at the OSAA 6A State Wrestling Championships Saturday and Sunday at Sandy High School.
The Cougs’ top performers were no real surprise, as senior Ty Ewers at 126 pounds and junior Ethan Ensrud (152) have been among the team’s most consistent and standout grapplers all year.
Ewers earned his spot on the podium by winning four straight matches in the consolation bracket, including pinning Mountain View’s Brady Johns two and a half minutes into the third-place match at Sandy. It was an (almost) perfect end for Ewers’ masterful senior campaign, in which he finished with a team-best regular-season record of 19-1.
Ensrud, who had led the squad with 23 regular-season wins against only four losses, breezed through three straight matches to get into the semifinals, where he lost by a 13-7 decision. But he bounced back quickly, winning two straight matches, including the third-place contest by a 12-6 decision over Tigard’s Chase Dennis.
In all, the Cougs sent 11 grapplers to the state meet.
Freshman Matthew Young (106) made a splash in his first trip to states, winning his first two matches before dropping into the consolation bracket. He made it to the fifth round where he lost by fall. Sophomore Craig Williams (120) went 2-2 en route to being knocked out of the tournament in the third round of the consolation bracket.
Junior Landon Sprague (132) compiled a 3-2 record at the tournament, losing in the fifth consolation by fall. Freshman James Keinonen (152) and junior Wyatt Samarin (160) both went 1-2 at the state meet.
Another first-year, Jackson Doman (160), bounced back from an opening-round loss by rattling off two straight wins. He was ultimately bounced on a 10-4 decision in the third consolation round.
Senior Cash Montgomery (170) went 2-2 in his last trip to states, falling in the third round of the consolation bracket. Fellow seniors Matthew Hagen (220) and Colin Kennedy (285) both started strong with two straight wins, then lost the next two to fall out of the tournament.
Lexli Lopez-Zuriaga, the squad’s only female team member to qualify for states, finished sixth in the February 24 tournament — the first placer in the history of the school’s girls wrestling program.
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