Ready To Rumble: Oregon’s Top Squads Hit The Mat To Begin The Winter Season

Wrestling is back ladies! Tournaments will be kicking off in Salem, Portland, Central Oregon, and Turner this week, bringing more pins, body slamming, and battles to the mat. Let’s dive deep into the first week of action, taking a look at the opening tournaments and the athletes involved with each one.

David Douglas Tournament

Teams: Aloha, Barlow, Centennial, Clackamas, David Douglas, Grant, Gresham, Mountain View (WA), Nelson, Parkrose, Reynolds, Sandy

Athletes To Watch: Rose Williams (Centennial), Emma Johnson (Centennial), Kaili Herrera (Parkrose), Zainab Ibrahim (Reynolds), Abigail Trayhorn (Barlow), Aniele Erbe (Clackamas), Keyanna Brown (Benson)

Quick Preview: The opening meet of the year looks to be dictated by Centennial, who return three state wrestlers to their roster this winter. Keyanna Brown qualified in the 105 class for Benson at state last season, and Zainab Ibrahim rounds out the list of state qualifiers in this meet. Abigail Trayhorn, Kaili Herrera, and Aniele Erbe all placed in the North Regionals, falling short of state but are looking at the opportunity to improve this season. Host David Douglas shed three seniors from their spring roster including state qualifier Fatuma Hussein, presenting an interesting challenge for the Scots as they open the new season. Parkrose returns five wrestlers this season, an opportunity for them to show growth and competitiveness from the get go of things.

Battle For The Capital

Teams: Beaverton, Benson, Canby, Centennial, Canby, Century, Corvallis, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Wells, Lebanon, McKay, Mountainside, North Salem, South Albany, South Salem, Taft, West Albany, Westview

Athletes to Watch: Ayana Medina (Hillsboro), Ariana Martinez (West Albany), Richi Campbell (West Albany), Alice Rickett (Hillsboro), Makaila Takahashi (Forest Grove), Bella Amaro (Oregon City), Jasmine Hopkins (Forest Grove), Ella Taplin (Forest Grove)

Quick Preview: The stars will shine bright on Friday at McKay, as nationally ranked wrestlers alongside their star state counterparts will hit the mats for double elimination, 12 hour madness in Salem. There were more names I could put on the watchlist, but the ones I do have are simply cream of the crop for this meet. Ayana Medina ranks #15 nationally in the 117 pound class, alongside being the defending state champion for the 130 weight class from the spring. Makaila Takahashi and Bella Amaro are defending state champions in their respective classes, bringing in even more star power to this meet. West Albany lost nationally ranked Emily Alvis to graduation, but they return a junior-senior combo that took third and fourth place at state last season.

Alice Rickett also serves as a solid #2 behind Medina for Hillsboro, finishing state runner-up in the spring. North Salem and McKay suffered heavy losses from their studded rosters, but both return promising athletes in Arionnah Duff (McKay), Sharnell Gonzalez (McKay), and Mariko Sonis (North Salem). Hillsboro returns every state qualifier from last season, Century, South Albany, and Taft also return a state qualifier from last season to the roster. This one will be a showdown between Forest Grove and Hillsboro for the team title, with West Albany sitting with an outside shot.

Central Oregon Officials Tournament

Teams: Bend, Burns, Caldera, Crane, Crook County, Culver, Gilchrist, Henley, La Pine, Madras, McLoughlin/Weston-McEwen, Mountain View, North Lake, Ridgeview, Sisters, South Albany, Summit

Athletes To Watch: Analise Smith (Bend), Kira Kerr (La Pine), MaKenna Duran (Crook County), Julietta Gomez-Leal (La Pine), Reine Bissember (La Pine), Emilee Williamson (Mountain View), Georgia Buehler (South Albany)

Quick Preview: La Pine looks to have a huge meet on Saturday in Sisters, easily the most loaded team on the docket, and Bend isn’t too far behind with Analise Smith and Jessie McIver headlining their team from last season. Ridgeview shed a bunch of talent from the spring, but return a couple promising ladies in Arionna Day and Kira Gregory. Crook County, Mountain View, and South Albany have state qualifiers returning this season, and the rest of the bunch are wild cards on how they’ll look in the opening meet.

Perry Burlison

Teams: Cottage Grove, McNary, Philomath/Alsea, Siuslaw, Sweet Home, Thurston

Athletes To Watch: Kaylee Annis (Thurston), Paige Chafin (Sweet Home), Averie Stockwell (Thurston), Hayden Muller (Siuslaw), Kami Hart (Sweet Home), Leah Schiewe (Cottage Grove)

Quick Preview: Cascade High School will arguably host the most studded meet this week, with three of the top seven teams from the spring participating in the meet. Thurston returns stars Kaylee Annis and Averie Stockwell, who are supported by state qualifier Gabi Gilbert. Paige Chafin and Kami Hart headline the Huskies, who shed talent like their counterparts from Thurston but still look strong for the winter. McNary, Siuslaw, and Cottage Grove look to vie behind the two star teams, all sporting interesting looks that will fun to keep an eye on this season. Philomath/Alsea is a huge question mark, so we’ll learn a lot about them from Saturday.

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