Wrestling update: Foxes have star power, JFK starts from scratch

January 2018 Posted in School, Sports

James DayAs the new year begins and the competition gets stiffer the Silverton High wrestling team seems locked and loaded for a strong season.

The Foxes feature returning state champion
Kaden Kuenzi, who is just a sophomore, senior silv-kuenzi-mug
Jacob Whitehead, a state runner-up a year ago and sophomore Matthew Guenther who placed sixth at state in 2017. The Foxes also return junior Madison Shockley, who took third at 113 pounds in the state girls competition.

Kuenzi, Whitehead and Guenther all took first in their weight classes at the Dec. 30 Carey Larson Memorial Tournament at Sandy High.

“January is full of competition, which will help us see how our wrestlers match up against other district wrestlers,” Foxes coach Keegan Davis told Our Town. “Until we see them compete it’s hard to say how they will do. However, I am pleased with the positivity and hard work that this team has shown so far.”

Davis has more than 40 wrestlers on this year’s squad. Many are new to wrestling but Davis said “it has been great to have a young and excited squad. Although many are inexperienced they work hard and are eager to learn.”

Among the youngsters making contributions are freshman Owen Magill at 170 and sophomore Hayden Roth.

“Owen has stepped into the varsity lineup and has been competing very well,” Davis said. “He has been an awesome addition to the team and has a great partner in Roth around the same size.”

Giving the Foxes a boost this season is that they are hosting the Mid-Willamette Conference district meet Feb. 9-10.

“This is awesome for our wrestlers because they will get an opportunity to showcase their hard work in front of a home crowd in their own gym,” Davis said.

The Kennedy wrestling program has nine wrestlers competing in its first season offering the sport.

The squad is a “little smaller than I would have liked,”  coach Dewey Enos told Our Town. “But the nine we got are tough and committed, which I love to see.”

Top performers so far have been 106-pound freshman Mateo Morrow and 170-pound junior Bryce Vandervort. Both athletes are ranked seventh in the state in Class 2A-1A.

The Trojans are competing in Special District 1, which includes teams as far north as Vernonia and Knappa and as far south as North Douglas and Waldport. Monroe hosts the district meet Feb. 2-3.

Hoops: The Kennedy girls continue to reign No. 1 in Class 2A. The Trojans came into the week 14-1 overall and 3-0 in the Tri-River Conference. Kennedy’s lone loss was at Dayton, which is ranked No. 1 in Class 3A.

Kennedy, which has finished fifth, first and third in the past three state tournaments, has a deep and balanced roster. In the Trojans’ 47-40 league win Jan. 5 against No. 8 Central Linn, Kaylee Brown led the squad with 11 points, while Kaylin Cantu and Sophia Carley added ten apiece and Hannah Arritola and Ibeth Gomez contributed six apiece. Brown and Gomez came off the bench in the Central Linn game.

The Trojans have senior leadership with Brown, Cantu, Arritola, Molly Jaeger and Abby Frey, and 6-foot sophomore Carley is strong and athletic in the post.

Another run to Pendleton might be in
the cards.

The Trojans’ boys squad also was 3-0 in the Tri-River heading into the week and ranked No. 2. Kennedy is 8-7 overall but faced a challenging nonleague scheduled that included five Class 3A squads and one in Class 4A. Kennedy is likely to battle with No. 3 Western Mennonite and No. 8 Santiam, last year’s 2A champions, as the conference race heats up.

Silverton, meanwhile, started Mid-Willamette Conference play this week. The Foxes’ boys squad is off to a flying start with an 8-1 record and the No. 1 ranking in Class 5A. Competition in league is expected to come from Central, South Albany and defending champion Crescent Valley. Silverton’s girls are 7-3 and ranked No. 8. Three other MWC teams are in the top nine: No. 1 Central, No. 5 Lebanon and No. 9 Crescent Valley.

Fun run: Registration is open for the Wurst Run, which will be held in conjunction with the 10th anniversary of Wurstfest at the Festhalle in Mt. Angel. Race day is Feb. 10, and online signups are available at www.racenorthwest.com. Included are 5K and 10K races, Adult entrants will receive a pint glass and a beverage ticket for the festival.

Follow me on Twitter.com @jameshday. Email me at jamesday590@gmail.com.

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