The Astoria wrestling program is under new direction, as the Fishermen open the 2018-19 season.
Nick Roberts has stepped in to fill the spot vacated by Roy Sanchez, and the new coach is busy trying to build up the numbers for Astoria, which has struggled in recent years with low turnouts.
Currently, “We don’t have enough to fill a whole team, but we’re close,” said Roberts, a former state champion wrestler in Washington. “We just need to have everybody start reaching their goal weight so we can stretch the lineup a little, and not have three wrestlers at 138 pounds.”
In the meantime, “I’m just trying to keep the kids busy in the wrestling room, and hopefully word of mouth will get around,” he said.
The Fishermen are still ahead of where they were last year at this time, when they entered last season with just 10 wrestlers on the roster.
Astoria had 14 to start the third week of practice, with freshmen taking up over half the roster.
The list includes just two varsity returners — sophomore Marcos Elena and junior Dalton Somers.
Elena is slated to wrestle at 132 pounds, with Somers at 145. Somers will also serve as a co-captain with junior Skyler Smith.
The Fishermen lost their only state qualifier (Trey Hageman) to graduation, along with Landon Law and Jeff Stutznegger.
District 1 just got a little easier, as Crook County — the district and Class 4A state champion — has moved from District 1/4A to the 5A level.
The district also lost Scappoose (moved to 5A), along with Corbett, Gladstone and Madras, while Woodburn moves from 5A to 4A wrestling, and will compete in District 1.
The second, third, fourth and fifth-place teams in the district (Tillamook, Molalla, Estacada and Banks) are all back, and will be among the teams to beat.
106-Emma King, Fr.
106-Jack Phillips, Fr.
126-William Eddy, Jr.
132-Kyle Moody, Fr.
132-Marcos Elena, So.
138-Tristan Boyle, Jr.,
138-Daniel Messing, Jr., Fr.
138-Brandon Paul, Fr.
145-Dalton Somers, Jr.
170-James Byers, Fr.
170-Stephanie Merritt, Fr.
195-Marcus Rasmussen, Jr.
220-Wesley Ellison, Fr.
285-Skyler Smith, Jr.