The weather has disrupted pretty much every sport at Hood River Valley High School this season, but no sport has seen its competitions pushed back more than the varsity and girls wrestling teams.
The Eagles were supposed to hit the mats early this month, but have struggled the past couple weeks to find opponents due to the wintry conditions that created treacherous travel conditions on more than one occasion in the Gorge. The varsity and girls teams finally got underway this weekend with matches at Canby and Fort Vancouver, but only after the teams’ original competition slated for Friday and Saturday was canceled.
“The weather postponements have been challenging. We scrambled and were able to find competitions this past weekend in Canby and Fort Vancouver. We had been scheduled for the Liberty Tournament, but it was canceled,” said returning Head Coach Trent Kroll, who offered thanks to HRV parents and staff for their patience and help during the chaotic weather events. “…The kids had a phenomenal event and were excited to compete after having five events postponed the past two weeks. We will make those events up in January and February.”
The boys have 35 members on their roster this season and the girls have 12. Key returners for the boys include junior Jason Shaner, who placed third at the 5A state tournament last season, along with sophomore Ryan Zeller (fifth at last year’s Special District 4 meet), junior Adrian Ramirez (fourth at districts), and senior Justin Wilson (sixth at regionals). Kroll also highlighted junior Patrick Estes, who was a second team All-League linebacker for the HRV football team in the fall, as a wrestler to watch for the 2016-17, after he placed first at the Canby tournament last weekend.
For the girls, the team will look for big contributions for returning sophomore Grace Miller, who placed second at the state tournament last year, in addition to junior Monique Verduzco (third at state) and her classmate, Christine Marquez (third at state). Kroll also said to keep on the lookout for Lexie McCafferty junior) and Elena Kroll (frosh), who both placed first at the Fort Vancouver tournament.
The girls will look to repeat their first-place finish at the state qualifier last season, and the boys will aim to build on their middle-of-the-pack finishes at the state and district tournaments during the same campaign. It’s early in the season, of course, especially considering the dearth of competitions this month, but Kroll said both teams “competed fearlessly” in their season debut, adding that he likes the work ethic his athletes have displayed.
“I am super excited about this extraordinary group of student-athletes wrestling for HRVHS this season. They have set high goals for the team and individually,” he said. “I look forward to watching their work ethic get better and better this season. It is a special bunch of kids who would rather take the stairs than the elevator. It will be an exciting season to be a fan and follow along.”
106 pounds: Justin Lane, 1-1, 2nd place (bye, won by fall, loss by fall)
120: Ryan Zeller, 3-0, 1st (WBF, WBF, WBF)
132: Jason Shaner, 1-1, 2nd (bye, win by technical fall, 8-7 loss)
138: Cade Parker, 2-1, 3rd (WBF, 5-2 loss, bye, 4-2 win)
145: Tristan Keely, 2-1, 2nd (WBF, WBF, LBF)
170: Angel Jones, 1-1, 2nd (bye, WBF, 8-6 loss)
182: Patrick Estes, 2-0, 1st (bye, WBF, WBF)
220: Alexander Pedroza, 2-2, 4th (LBF, WBF, WBF, LBF)
285: Justin Wilson, 3-1, 3rd (WBF, LBF, WBF, win by forfeit)
110: Lexie McCafferty, 3-0, 1st
125: Samantha Morley, 2-1, 3rd
130: Elena Kroll, 3-0, 1st
135: Brianna Peterson, 0-3, 4th
140: Grace Miller, 3-0, 1st
155: Emily Mitchell, 1-2, 6th
165: Anna Galbraith, 0-3, 4th
182: Shelbye Carpenter, 1-2, 5th