By Jeremy McDonald
OREGON CITY, Ore.– Entering Winter Break, the Clackamas Community College Wrestling Team ended the 2015 calendar year with some very tough competition from the NCAA and the NAIA levels.
Refocusing after a tough 45-0 loss to a Top 25 Oregon State University team, the Cougars focused to a 15th-place in the Reno Tournament Of Champions.
Michael Knoblach led Clackamas CC with a fifth-place finish at the 125-pound class in the TOC.
“There were some guys who got out and fought in the dual,” said Cougs Head Coach Josh Rhoden. “But we challenged them with a difficult weekend of wrestling and asked them to fight out there.
At the Tournament of Champions, Clackamas CC were challenged from every angle that the sport had to offer while in Reno.
But Rhoden was happy with how confident his wrestlers were at the event.
“We were challenged on all fronts against the bigger school guys but our task is to have our guys realize that we are the same in many areas as these guys,” said Rhoden. “We have a very solid group and the gap between us and them is not that great but the confidence level was in the Oregon State dual.
“That changed by the time we hit the TOC as guys expected more from themselves in the tournament and knew that they had it in them to achieve more.”
Now enjoying a minor break until December 30 to heal up for the NWCA National Duals in Fort Wayne, Indiana; where the plan is to train hard until their travel day on January 6 for the 8-9 event where the Cougars have been very successful at.
“This is an event that we enjoy quite a bit because our guys get to see a lot of other nationally ranked teams we typically don’t see during the year,” said Rhoden on the event. “We also have the opportunity to win our third consecutive National Dual Meet Championship and fourth over the past six years.”
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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