Football tie-in – Gridiron talent gives Fox wrestling a boost

January 2023 Posted in sports

James Day

Turnout is up for the Silverton High wrestling program and third-year coach Jared Wilson credits the football program and new coach Dan Lever for helping give wrestling a boost.

“We had over 50 register for wrestling, which is about ten more than last year,” Wilson told Our Town. “Coach Lever is a big advocate for the sport of wrestling and how it can help his athletes improve at football. His enthusiastic support has been a big help.”

Success in football, particularly for linemen and linebackers, often carries over into wrestling and some of the skills required – one-on-one challenges, strength and leverage – dovetail nicely. And Wilson knows the football talent because he serves as an assistant on the JV team.

Three of Wilson’s top athletes played on the Mid-Willamette Conference co-champion Foxes, sophomore Brash Henderson, senior Steven King and junior Xavier Orozco. Henderson took third at state last year, King is a two-time state placer and Orozco “has had a great start to the season as well. Especially considering this is his first year wrestling.” Wilson said.

Foxes wrestling coach Jared Wilson observes a match during a five-way dual competition at Corvallis High. Submitted photo

Foxes wrestling coach Jared Wilson observes a match during a five-way dual competition at Corvallis High. Submitted photo

Other top returners for the Foxes include Joshua Jones, Oscar Marks and Bo Zurcher, while Wilson has high hopes for freshman newcomer Kingston Meadors at 106 pounds.

“Our district is very competitive,” Wilson said, “and we look forward to having the opportunity to compete against some of the best teams in the state. Our goal every year is to be a top 10 team in the state.”

The Foxes were sixth at districts last year and ninth at state, with perennial Mid-Willamette powers Crescent Valley (first at state) and Dallas (fifth at state) always posing a challenge.

Wilson’s squad also features five female wrestlers, led by returnees Lilly Kamstra, Bella Moore and McKayla Bonham and newcomers Jasmine Myers and Yuli Bautista Lopez.

“Our girls wrestling program is coming along,” Wilson said. “I am extremely proud of their toughness, work ethic, and improvement throughout the season. The growth of women’s wrestling has been awesome for the sport. And we need to continue to work hard to grow women’s wrestling in our community. These girls are trail blazers!”

Coach Lucky Rogers Northwest Sports Photograpny

Coach Lucky Rogers Northwest Sports Photograpny

Swimming: Veteran Aqua Foxes coach Lucky Rogers has about 50 swimmers on the roster and said “we are off to a good start. We are working hard with our goal of being the best that we can be in February.”

Rogers, whose teams usually rely on depth and relay strength, thinks his squads should finish in the top 4 in the Mid-Willamette district meet, with the girls perhaps having a shot at second.

Rogers has eight, four-year swimminers in the pool this year:  Catherine Hyde, Lucy Fronza, Cece Petrik, Sarissa Schindler, and Kimberley Smith on the girls side and Nathan Barnes, Landon Miller, and Cade Mantie on the boys side.

Other top returners include Cordelia Bay, Joey Walker, Evie Smith, Emali Allen, Ella Mantie, and Erik Hayter. Promising newcomers include Nolan Horner, Lilli Miller, Chloe Griffin, Brody Hollis, Sawyer Beckman and Khylee Howell.

Football: Silverton placed six athletes on the Class 5A all-state team selected by a statewide panel of coaches. Running back Jackson Pfeifer and defensive lineman Xavier Orozco were first-team choices from the Foxes, who finished 7-4 and advanced to the state quarterfinals before falling to Wilsonville.

Cohen Mulick was placed on the second team as a defensive back and received honorable mention as a wide receiver. Also honored were offensive linemen Sam Clements and Sam Schaffers, both of whom made the second team.

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