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Goal for the Cowboys is to qualify as many wrestlers as possible for the state championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28-29 in Portland

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kyle Knudtson turns Austin Carter of Redmond on his back during the Cowboys' dual with the Panthers earlier this year. Knudtson, who is the defending district champion at 182 pounds is one of several Cowboys looking to repeat as conference champions.The Crook County Cowboys have ruled the Intermountain Conference since moving up a classification from Class 4A to Class 5A three seasons ago.

The Cowboys should once again easily win the conference championship as Crook County head's into Saturday's district tournament as the overwhelming favorites.

Instead of the usual two-day tournament, this year's event will be held on Saturday only, at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.

With the entire tournament running on one day, there will be fewer breaks in the action than normal, which should favor the Cowboys because of how many major tournaments they have competed in this year

With entries not yet completed as of press time, there are bound to be some surprises as a handful of wrestlers will choose to compete at different weights than they have competed in all season.

That makes any preview of the meet a bit of a guess. However, the one constant is that the depth of the Cowboys should eventually overcome any potential challenge from other teams in the IMC.

The Cowboys enter Saturday's meet ranked second in the state, while Redmond and Ridgeview are also both ranked in the top 10.

Wrestling is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. On Saturday and continue throughout the day with team awards expected to be presented at approximately 8 p.m. Saturday night.

Below is a preview of each team's potential entries into the tournament, including individual records and rankings.

Crook County — The Cowboys are one of the few teams in the district that will field a complete squad of 28 wrestlers. As of Monday, the Cowboy lineup was not yet finalized because a handful of wrestlers was still competing in wrestle-offs for spots at the district meet. The Cowboys return 12 district placers, including five champions, and have 20 state-ranked wrestlers competing at the district meet.

At 106 pounds, the Cowboys are expected to enter Tucker Bonner and Mitch Warren.

Bonner is ranked second in the state in both the Oregon Wrestling Forum and polls with a season record of 29-11. Meanwhile, Warren is unranked in the OWF poll and is ranked 17th in the poll at 113 pounds. Warren has a 14-6 record. Both wrestlers are sophomores, with Bonner placing second at 106 pounds in last year's district meet, while Warren placed sixth at 113 pounds.

At 113 pounds, Crook County is expected to enter Steven Ware and Cash Wells. Ware is ranked first on one poll and third in the other and sports a 28-9 record, while Wells is third in the OWF poll and eighth in the Oregonwrestling poll with a 24-7 record. Ware, a junior, finished second at 113 pounds a year ago, while this is the first district tournament for Wells, a junior.

The 120-pound weight class may not yet be decided for the Cowboys. Tannon Joyner, who is ranked fifth in one poll and eighth in the other with a 13-12 season record, is expected to be one of the team's entries in the weight class, with either Ross McKinney or Cutter Marsh expected to be the other. McKinney is ranked 14th at 113 pounds by Oregonwrestling and has a 13-6 record, while Marsh is unranked and has a 12-9 record.

Joyner, a senior, won the district championship at 106 pounds a year ago, while McKinney and Marsh are both freshmen.

At 126 pounds, the Cowboys are expected to enter Zach Mauras, third in both polls with a 33-7 record, and Trentyn Maryanski, 11th in the Oregonwrestling poll with a 13-9 record. Mauras, a senior, won last year's district tournament at 132 pounds, while Maryanski, a sophomore, was the district champion at 120 pounds a year ago.

The Cowboys are expected to enter Jace England and Brad McLean at 132 pounds. England is ranked 14th on one poll and 15th in the other. England, a senior, finished third at 120 pounds a year ago and currently has a 5-11 record. McLean, a freshman, sports an 8-6 record.

In the 145-pound weight class, the Cowboys' lineup may still be undecided. Sophomore Brayden Duke, who won the district title at 145 pounds a year ago, will attempt to defend his title. Duke currently has a 25-11 record and is ranked second in both polls. Also at 145 pounds, the Cowboys could enter either Alex Vail or Gage Hanson. Vail, a junior, has a 14-13 record so far this year, wrestling mostly at 152 pounds. He is ranked 13th in one poll and 18th in the other.

Meanwhile, Hanson, a sophomore, has a 4-3 record and is ranked 14th on the poll.

Defending district champion Ben Sather is expected to compete at 152 pounds for the Cowboys. The junior is ranked fifth in the OWF poll and third in the Oregonwrestling poll with a 29-14 record.

Either Vail or Hanson will likely be the second Cowboy wrestler at 145 pounds, although Ray Solis, who spent most of the season wrestling at 170 pounds, could also drop down to 152 pounds.

The Cowboys will be represented by sophomore Gavin McLean at 160 pounds. McLean placed third at 160 a year ago and currently has a 22-14 record. He is ranked fourth in the OWF ranking.

Solis could choose to remain at 170 pounds, where he has competed all year, or he could compete at 160 for the Cowboys.

The sophomore has a 15-11 record and is ranked seventh in the state at 160 pounds by

Assuming that Solis chooses to compete at 160 pounds, Clayton Berman and Jubal Brumble are expected to represent the team at 170 pounds. Both wrestlers are unranked. Berman, a senior, currently has an 8-18 record, while Brumble, a freshman, is 2-16.

Kyle Knudtson will lead the Cowboy lineup at 182 pounds. The senior is the defending district champion and is currently ranked No. 1 in both polls. Knudtson has a 38-3 record.

Also expected to represent the Cowboys at 182 pounds is Aaron Bowen. Bowen, a junior who has competed at 195 pounds all season, has a 14-11 record.

Should Bowen remain at 195 pounds, either Gabe Saenz or Jacob VanLeuven could drop down to 182 pounds. Saenz has been the Cowboys' varsity wrestler at 195 pounds most of the season but could easily make weight at 182 pounds. The junior has a 14-6 record, placed sixth at 170 pounds a year ago, and is ranked ninth at 195 pounds in both polls.

VanLeuven, a sophomore, has a 7-18 record and is unranked.

At 195 pounds will be Saenz, Bowen and/or VanLeuven, whichever wrestlers decide not to drop down to 182 pounds.

At 220 pounds, the Cowboys are likely to be represented by Hayden Hilderbrand and Wyatt Holliday. Hilderbrand, a junior, finished fourth in last year's district meet. He has a 9-17 record and is ranked 10th in one poll and 11th in the other. Holliday, a junior, has an 8-15 record and is unranked.

At 285 pounds, the Cowboys will be represented by sophomore Joey Miller and senior Erick Schmidt. Neither wrestler is ranked. Miller has a 6-16 record, while Schmidt is currently 1-7.

Redmond — The Panthers finished third a year ago and are likely to move up to second this year.

The Panthers return five district placers, including two district champions. In addition, 14 Panthers are currently ranked.

Several of Redmond's entries are unknown, with what weight class other wrestlers compete in also up in the air. However, the Panthers have several wrestlers to watch for.

Junior Kagen Lawrence is the returning district champion at 113 pounds. He has a 35-7 record, is ranked second in both polls, and could wrestle at either 113 or 120.

The Panthers' other returning district champion is Austin Carter, a junior, who won the 170-pound title in 2019. Carter is ranked first in one poll and second in the other and has a 31-8 record. He is expected to once again compete at 170 pounds.

Other returning Redmond placers are Logan Hill, Kole Davis and Kenyth Kettle.

Hill, a sophomore who is expected to wrestle at 113 pounds, placed fourth a year ago at 106. He is ranked fifth in one poll and sixth in the other and has a 15-9 record. Davis, a junior who finished second at 120 pounds a year ago, is expected to move up to 145 pounds. He is ranked ninth in one poll and 10th in the other and has a 19-12 record. Kettle, also a junior, finished fifth in 2019 at 220 pounds. He is ranked 17th in the poll, with a 17-9 record, and is expected to compete at 285 pounds.

The Panthers have several other wrestlers of note.

Freshman Ansen Widing is ranked eighth at 116 pounds and sports a 27-15 record.

Sophomore Junior Downing is expected to compete at 132 pounds and is ranked first in one poll and second in the other, with a 33-7 record.

At 152 pounds, freshman Dylan Lee has a 31-13 record and is ranked sixth in one poll and 10th in the other.

At 285 pounds, junior Jax Cumming is ranked 13th with a 14-15 record.

Other Panthers expected to compete at district include Brandon Osmon (freshman, 7-13, 106 pounds), Julian Gonzalez (freshman, 11-8, 113), Cutter Woolard (freshman, 13-18, 120), Jason Vargas (sophomore, 10-13, 126), Reeden Arsenault (freshman, 10-13, 126), Michaelo DeGross (senior, 19-12, 132), Christian Ketchem (senior, 14-25, 160), Rylan Lynch (junior, 17-15, 170), Wyatt Berkham (junior, 14-20, 170), Logan Willett (sophomore, 5-8, 182), Tyler LeLacheur (junior, 11-18, 195) and Blane Aamodt (junior, 14-10, 220).

Redmond has several other wrestlers on its roster who could also compete at the district meet.

Ridgeview — The host Ridgeview Ravens are expected to battle with the Panthers for second in the IMC.

The Ravens, who were a distant fourth at last year's district championships, have been bolstered by four transfers from Redmond. Ridgeview has six returning placers from last year's district meet, including one champion, as well as boasting 12 ranked wrestlers.

Most notable for the Ravens is Cole Jackson. The junior, who finished second to Knudtson a year ago at 182 pounds, is expected to wrestle at 220 pounds, where he is ranked second in both polls. Jackson currently has a perfect 34-0 record.

In addition, Joseph Martin, who won the district 220-pound title as a freshman a year ago, is the favorite to win the 285-pound championship. He is ranked seventh in both polls and has a 30-12 record.

Danny Comejo finished fifth a year ago at 132 pounds. The senior, who transferred from Redmond, is currently ranked fourth in one poll and sixth in the other at 132 pounds and has a 21-9 record.

Another transfer of note is Austin Anderson, who placed third at 126 pounds a year ago. The senior is ranked seventh in one poll and eighth in the other at 138 pounds and owns a 32-7 record.

Junior Zach Anderson, who also transferred from Redmond, is ranked fourth at 152 pounds and sports a 34-9 record.

Anthony Lochner, who finished fourth at 170 pounds a year ago, has moved up to 182 pounds, where he is ranked eighth in one poll and 10th in the other. The junior has an 18-8 record.

The final transfer from Redmond is Logan Shank, who finished third a year ago at 195 pounds. The junior is ranked seventh in both polls at 195 pounds and has a 34-13 record.

Other Ravens expected to compete at district include Elijah Hocker (freshman, 21-19, 106), Jayden Bocaneglo (sophomore, 14-14, 113), Elijah Allen (freshman, 10-20, ranked third, 120), Jayden Hanson (junior, 126, 7-8), Kaleb Schaumburg (freshman, 4-21, 126), Daniel Jaramillo (sophomore, 24-13, 145), Owen Lee (freshman, 19-18, 145), Matthew Mathis (freshman, 6-15, 152), Ethyne Reid (junior, 33-14, 160), Connor Fowler (freshman, 2-15, 160), Carlos Corrales-Bazan (senior, 6-3, 170), Carson woods (junior, 14-22, 182) and Juan Baza (junior, 4-13, 285).

Pendleton —The Buckaroos placed second at last year's district meet but lost many of their big scorers to graduation.

The Buckaroos return six placers from a year ago and have six ranked wrestlers competing.

Pendleton's highest-ranked wrestler is Isaac Urbina, who finished second at 160 pounds a year ago. Urbina, a junior, is currently ranked third in one poll and sixth in the other at 182 pounds. He has a 30-4 record and could choose to wrestle at either 170 or 182 pounds.

None of the remaining Buckaroos is highly ranked in the current polls. Still, Pendleton has several wrestlers to keep an eye on. Collin Primus, a sophomore, finished third last year at 106 pounds. He is currently 6-11 and is ranked 13th at 120 pounds.

Gabe Browning, who place fourth a year ago at 113 pounds, has moved up to 120 pounds, where he is ranked 11th. The sophomore is currently 12-9.

Kyle Liscom, who finished third a year ago at 182 pounds, has a 7-12 record, and the junior is ranked 12th in one poll. The final two Pendleton wrestlers to place a year ago are Jacob Griffin and Jordan DeGeer.

Griffin, a sophomore, finished third at 220 pounds a year ago and is currently ranked 14th with a 5-15 record. Meanwhile, DeGeer, a junior, finished sixth at 220 pounds a year ago. He is currently unranked and has an 0-9 record at 285 pounds.

Other Buckaroos to enter this year's tournament are likely to include Dawson Tremper (freshman, 17-22, 106), Michael Straughan (freshman, 6-11, 113), Jack Lieuallen (freshman, 36-11, 132), Gavin Clark (freshman, 9-15, 138), Matthew Robertson (freshman, 9-15, 138), Trayton Bale (junior, 12-10, 145), Danner Hamilton (senior, 18-18, 152), Todd Kelley (senior, 3-18, 152), Jaime Rico (junior, 4-16, 160), Patrick Simpson (sophomore,13-23, 170), Roper Cartmell (sophomore, 4-9, 195) and Greysen Clark (senior, 5-15, 195).

Hood River Valley — The Eagles have either five or six returning placers and 11 ranked wrestlers.

Cody Durham, a senior who finished second at 285 pounds a year ago, would be one of the team's top wrestlers. However, Durham has not wrestled a match all season, and it is unknown if he will wrestle at district or not.

Hood River Valley's top wrestler is Chad Muenzer, who finished second a year ago at 126 pounds. Muenzer, a senior, is ranked first in one poll and second in the other at 138 pounds. Assuming no upsets, the finals match between Muenzer and Mode should be one of the highlights of the district meet. Muenzer has a perfect 31-0 record.

Jayton Muenzer, a sophomore, finished fourth at 126 pounds a year ago. Muenzer is currently ranked 10th in one poll and 15th in the other and has a 19-11 record, still at 126 pounds.

Aiden Sewell finished sixth at 120 pounds a year ago. The senior currently has a 9-19 record at 132 pounds.

Preston Armstrong is ranked 11th in one poll and 19th in the other. The junior finished fourth at 138 a year ago and is expected to remain at 138 this year. He currently has a 14-12 record.

Maverick Geller also placed for the Eagles a year ago. The senior, who was fourth at 182 pounds, currently has a 21-14 record and is ranked 10th in one poll and 15th in the other. Geller could wrestle at either 170 or 182.

The remaining Eagles expected to enter the district tournament include Noah McEtheran (freshman, 6-20, 106), Carson Farlow (freshman, 24-9, 113 or 120), Alexander Nipko (sophomore, 3-4, 113), Aryn Dahlstrom (junior, 1-0, 120), Jaime Rodriguez (sophomore, 9-2, 120), Ethan McCreery (freshman, 8-6, 126), Zackery Paulson (senior, 5-5, 138), Joel Bronson (freshman, 8-12, 145), Javier Galvez (junior, 10-10, 153), Kevin Castro (freshman, 8-17, 152), Timothy Fletcher (senior, 19-14, 170), Andrew McCreery (senior, 18-11, 182 or 195), Austin Marquez (freshman, 0-1, 195), Abraham Tinajero (freshman, 18-11, 220), Danny Cavarria (senior, 13-18, 285), Logan Jensen (senior, 6-1, 220 or 285), and Angel Yanez (senior, 0-4, 285).

The Dalles — The Riverhawks trailed the field a year ago at the Intermountain Conference championships and are expected to do so again.

The Riverhawks do not have the depth to compete with the remainder of the IMC, but that doesn't mean that they don't have a small group of wrestlers that can advance to the state tournament.

The Dalles returns two wrestlers who placed at last year's district meet and two ranked wrestlers.

Leading the way for the Riverhawks are a trio of wrestlers.

Conner Blair finished sixth at 106 pounds a year ago. The sophomore is expected to wrestle at 126 pounds this year and has a 3-12 record.

Senior Steven Preston also placed a year ago. The 160-pounder finished fourth at last year's district meet, also at 160, and is ranked ninth in the state with an 18-5 record.

The top-ranked Riverhawk is junior Dusty Dodge, who is currently in third in one poll and has a 19-0 record.

Other Riverhawks who are likely to compete in this year's meet include Nathan Ganders (freshman, 0-2, 106), Zachary Tackett (sophomore, 15-11, 120), Ian Preston (freshman, 3-2, 120), Angel Oregon (sophomore, 3-15, 126), Austin Music (sophomore, 0-9, 138), Ben Nelson (senior, 7-9, 160), Quinn Wilson (senior, 9-10, 160), Marquies Sagapolutele (freshman, 4-5, 170), Opath Silapath (senior, 3-8, 170 or 182), Mauricio Carrera (senior, 8-3, 182), Taylor Moorehouse (sophomore, 15-15, 182 or 195), Miguel Torres (senior, 2-12, 285) and Ayden Orion (senior, 1-5, 285).

Several teams have wrestlers not listed here. With wrestlers who have only competed in a handful of events during the course of the year, it is impossible to predict which ones teams will choose to enter and in what weight classes.

Intermountain Conference Wrestling Championships

Saturday, Feb 22: Gates open at 7:30 a.m., wrestling begins at 9 a.m.

Location: Ridgeview High School in Redmond

Tentative schedule: Championship round 1, 9 a.m. Quarterfinals 10 a.m. Consolation rounds 1 and 2 noon Championship semifinals and consolation round 3, 1:30 p.m. Consolation semifinals, 3 p.m. Third/Fourth/Fifth/Sixth place matches, 4:30 p.m. Parade of Champions, 5:45 p.m. Championship finals and awards, 6 p.m. Team and outstanding wrestler awards, 8 p.m.

(keep in mind that all times are approximate. There will be no separate sessions. Wrestling will continue throughout the day with each round starting immediately following the conclusion of the previous round)

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