Sherwood grapplers carry some high hopes this season

by: DAN BROOD - RETURNING CHAMP -- Sherwood High School senior Andrew Rice won a NWOC district championship last year. He's back in the 170-pound weight class for the Bowmen this year. SHERWOOD — Key returnees — check.

Leadership — check.

Talented newcomers — check.

Hard work and high goals — check and check.

The Sherwood High School wrestling team sure seems to have a lot going for it as the 2013-2014 season continues.

“We’re tough,” Sherwood coach William Taylor said. “We’ve got a veteran team, which nine state qualifiers back. We’ve got leadership and everyone is on the same pace. We’ve got real good work ethic.”

The Bowmen are now hoping that all of that pays off in a big way.

“The team goal is to win district and score at least 115 points at state,” Taylor said.

In taking aim at that goal, Sherwood knows it can build around a strong group of returnees from last year’s squad that finished in third place at the Northwest Oregon Conference district tournament.

Among those returnees is senior Ryan Jurgens, who will wrestle at 195 pounds. Last year, Jurgens won the district title at that weight and he went on to place fourth at the Class 5A state tournament

Sherwood returns two more district champions in junior Michael Coulter and senior Andrew Rice. Last year, Coulter took the top spot at 126 pounds. He’ll be at that weight again this year. Rice placed first at district at 160 pounds last year. He’s moving up to the 170-pound weight class this year.

Also back for Sherwood senior senior Martin Layna, who will wrestle at 220. He was the runner-up at that weight at the district tournament last year.

Junior Tristan Bishop, who was third at district at 106 last year, returns and will be at 138. Senior Nic Clarke, who was third at district at 145 last year, is back and will be at 160.

“We’ve got great leadership with Andrew Rice, Nic Clarke and Ryan Jurgens,” Taylor said.

Sherwood has another state tournament placer in junior Halen Jolley, who is a transfer from Mountain View of Bend. Last year, Jolley took fifth place at 106 pounds at the Class 5A state tournament. He’ll be at 113 for Sherwood this year.

At 106 pounds, Sherwood will have sophomore Rodney Punay. Junior Hayden Koprowski, a transfer from Newberg, will be at 120.

Sophomore Jess Hatfield returns for Sherwood and will be at 132 pounds.

“We’re looking for him to do good things this year,” Taylor said.

Freshman Cameron Allender, another transfer from Newberg, will be at 138. Junior returnee Riley Castillo will be at 152 and sophomore Cameron Beebe will be at 285.

As for the Northwest Oregon Conference this year, Taylor sees defending dual match and district tournament champion Sandy being the Bowmen’s main competition.

“We anticipate that the Sandy match (scheduled for Jan. 29 at Sherwood) will be for the league championship,” Taylor said.

This past week, the Bowmen finished in fifth place in the team standings at the 18-team Don York Invitational, held Friday and Saturday at Cleveland High School. Sherwood had 182 points for the tournament. Pendleton took the top spot with a score of 276.5.

Jurgens won an individual championship at the tournament at 195 pounds. He went 5-0 at the event, pinning Wilsonville’s Justin Hamilton in a time of 1 minute, 16 seconds in the title match.

Also for Sherwood, Rice took third at 182 pounds, Jolley was fourth at 113, Coulter was fourth at 126, Hatfield was fourth at 132 and Layna was sixth at 220.

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