The numbers keep going up for Warrenton wrestling. The tournament placings, the rankings, the number of wrestlers.
Head coach Corey Conant and the Warriors hope to continue that trend in 2019-20. After just one week, they were off to a good start.
The Warrenton roster included 36 wrestlers after just three days of practice, with a good mix of youth and experience.
“Our teams are super excited to start competing,” Conant said. “We have a packed and competitive schedule, but a lot of stuff to learn. We will work straight through the last day of the season, February 29th. The calendar gave us an extra day this year, so we are happy to use it.”
Warrenton finished fifth in the team standings of last year's district meet, behind Willamina/Falls City (358.5 points), Dayton (232), Taft (225) and Rainier (184).
However, “fifth place did not tell the whole story,” Conant said at the time. “We ended up with 13 placers. We are in a tough league and we did not look afraid in any of our matches.”
Sophomore Nic Pior was 3-0 at 132 in the district meet to qualify for state, where he was a No. 4 seed.
Triston Scott had to wrestle four times to finish third in his weight class at 285, then went 1-2 in the state tournament.
Warrenton added two fourth place finishes at district, Thomas Atwood at 120 and Parker Greenawald at 126.
All of the above — Pior, Scott, Atwood and Greenawald — all return for 2019-20.
“We return almost all of our boys team that finished eighth at the 2019 Oregon Classic, the dual meet state championships, and look to make big improvements,” Conant said. “We also return a large section of our girls team that competed in the first ever girls dual meet state championships at the classic.”
Already a tough district, the District 2/3A just got a little tougher.
“Our league grew to add Yamhill-Carlton,” Conant said, “a tough team with good wrestlers, to throw in with other quality teams like Willamina, Dayton, Rainier and Taft. Qualifying for and placing at state will be even tougher, but that has been our focus since the end of last year.”
Twenty of the 36 Warrior wrestlers are freshmen or sophomores, but Conant said, “I'm proud of the way our experienced wrestlers have stepped in to lift up our beginners. We will have the most competitive room that we have had in a while, and we can't wait to get out and start wrestling matches.”
There's plenty of experience, too.
“Our boys team will be led by juniors Nic Pior, Triston Scott and Sam Irwin, and seniors Thomas Atwood, Leo Thompson and Armin Rodriguez,” Conant said.
He added, “The girls will receive leadership from seniors Bella Carr, Jade Freniere and Anna Schenbeck. Juniors Divine Godwin and Marlie Annat also bring back experience.
“We are looking forward to hosting our second annual girls tournament and our longstanding annual boys tournament (Dec. 13-14).”