Half the battle of competing in Cowapa League wrestling is numbers and filling all the weights — a battle usually won by the likes of Banks, Scappoose and Tillamook.
It’s tough to compete with the Portland-area schools, and the traditional powers of the Cowapa.
The battle is no different for the Astoria Fishermen as they enter a new season. While head coach Roy Sanchez is still scouring the halls for more wrestlers, he’s happy with the group of athletes he has on the mat.
Astoria had just 10 wrestlers competing at seven different weights the first week of practice. While team points may be hard to come by in dual meets, the Fishermen have some postseason hopes for a few wrestlers.
It starts with the seniors.
“We’re excited for this season with our returning three seniors, Trey (Hageman), Jeff (Stutznegger) and Juan (Jimenez),” Sanchez said. “Trey made it to state two seasons ago and is a great athlete. Jeff was one of our only regional placers last season. Juan was a locked-hands penalty from qualifying for state two seasons ago.”
In addition, “We also have a couple first-year wrestlers on the team,” Sanchez said. “Axel Pineda and Landon Law are excellent athletes. Freshmen Marcos (Elena), and Jed (Smith) are looking to compete for varsity spots. Cassidy (Kendrick) has a lot of experience wrestling in youth clubs.”
Other returners include sophomores Riley Ashton and Dalton Somers, “who are both looking to place at regionals this season,” Sanchez said.
“We’re low on numbers, but we’re looking forward to focusing more on quality. Our team is very athletic, and we have plenty of upperclassmen.”
106: Juan Jimenez, Sr.
126: Axel Pineda, Fr.
132: Riley Ashton, So.
132: Marcos Elena, Fr.
138: Dalton Somers, So.
138: Jed Smith, Fr.
152: Cassidy Kendrick, So.
160: Landon Law, Sr.
160: Trey Hageman, Sr.
220: Jeff Stutznegger, Sr.