By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– The end of the Wrestling season is always an interesting thing to factor in as you don’t know what to expect leading into the District Meet.
For the West Salem wrestling team, they had the injury bug hit them hard entering and during the week of and during the District Meet in 2018 that saw an end to a promising freshman season by Aden Rojas (9-0 in Varsity Matches) and 2017 State Placer in Luke Ferschweller (120-pounder) go down with an collarbone injury during the District Meet that could have helped the Titans possibly send another athlete or two to the State Meet the following week.
But nonetheless, West Salem did qualify five Wrestlers to the State Tournament in Portland as three seniors in Mason Meredith (132), Kaleb Fegles-Jones (138) and Casey Resch (160) were joined by Junior wrestlers in Sebastian De Leon (120 State Qualifier) and Cedric Sinder (106 State Qualifier) return this season along with a healthy Rojas and Ferschweller return to the line-up this upcoming season for a young Titan Squad this season.
“”We got a good number of freshman out and stuff, I think it’ll be ok and it’s nice to have those guys come back as tough wrestlers,” said West Salem Titan Head Coach Mike Baker. “That’s exactly what it’s going to take. We are going to be pretty young, we do have a lot of younger wrestlers but having that returning group in a couple of crucial key positions.
“You take Sebastian and Cedric and you add in Aden and Luke. Kai Holdaway our heavyweight, Jack Livengood who are returning from really good seasons last year and they’re going to take us in the right direction as leadership even with a young team.”
Livengood, who was weighing about 124 pounds last year, found himself as a freshman wrestling up in the 132-pound weight class
“He was wrestling 132 four us for most of last year cause he was a good enough wrestler that he needed to be a Varsity wrestler, but sometimes he has to be in a spot best suits the team,” “It’s kind of weird in that way that at a Duel Meet you’ll be out of weight, but then you get to go to a tournament and have some success at that weight your actually at.
That’s where he was kind of at last year, but he’s in a great spot weight-wise this year, we’ll see where it goes.”
Lance McClung was one-match away from placing at 106 and Baker expects him to be either 106 or 113 as the season kicks off here in a week as McClung looks to build off of that momentum into this 2018-2019.
With 50 kids in during the first week of practice last week and about 30 kids in for practice two days before the Thanksgiving Holiday with the Classic Rock blasting through the Mat Room as next Saturday’s Kirk Morey Invitational kicks off the season at Reynolds High School before they travel to the Coast Classic at North Bend High School the following week.