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The Pacers were sixth at district and 14th at state last year and aim to do even better

PMG PHOTO: MILES VANCE - Lakeridge junior Ryan Boucher returns to lead the Pacer wrestling team this season after taking fifth place at the Class 6A state tournament in 2019.The Pacers are on the move.

The Lakeridge wrestling team made a move last year and very much wants to continue its upswing in 2020.

A year ago, the Pacers battled to a sixth-place finish at district, and later, a 14th-place effort at the Class 6A state tournament, the team's best finish in a decade. Now, they're ready to keep moving up.

"Our goal is to crack the top five," said Lakeridge coach Brandon McDonald. "We need our young wrestlers to get up to speed quickly and have a strong showing at district. We also need our better (and) more experienced wrestlers to place, and place high."

This year's team will be led by its trio of captains — senior 138-pounder Zach Nyman, junior Cole Brink at 145 and junior Ryan Boucher at 160. Boucher finished second in the 2019 Three Rivers League district tournament and later finished fifth at state, while Brink took third at district a year ago and went 3-2 at state.

To see the Lake Oswego team preview, click here.

To see the West Linn team preview, click here.

"Zach is the vocal leader. He is the one making sure everything is the way it should be," McDonald said, adding that Brink "is still growing into being a captain. As a junior, he is captain a year earlier than he thought. He's quieter, but does a good job of pulling people aside and talking through things with them."

The Pacers expect big things from Boucher once he returns from injury, and McDonald said that the hard work he's seen in the interim gives him great hope.

"During his time rehabbing, he has acted like another assistant coach," McDonald said. "He has been working hard to be in shape when he returns and has been a great example of working hard even when he can't do what everyone else is doing."

The Pacers also feature another returning district placewinner in sophomore Ian Healy; he was third at district last season and went 3-2 at state.

The Pacers' complete varsity lineup will include: 106 — senior Ayah Said-al-Naief; 113 — sophomore Chris Vessely; 120 — sophomore Ian Healy; 126 — junior Ronan Chapman: 132 — sophomore Matthew Crockett, sophomore Hamza Said-al-Naief; 138 — senior Zach Nyman; 145 — junior Cole Brink; 152 — junior Alp Dogan; 160 — junior Ryan Boucher; 170 — sophomore Reece Olund; 182 — junior Tuli Freeman; 220 — junior Spencer Lenius; 285 — senior Adrian Sandoval.

Regarding the 2019-20 TRL race, McDonald said he sees West Linn — the Lions were second at district and fifth at state in 2019 — as the league favorite.

"At this point it looks like West Linn is going to run away with it," he said. "They returned a really strong team and added good depth with their underclassmen."

Contact Sports Editor Miles Vance at 503-330-0127 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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