West Linn wrestlers aim high for Class 6A state tournament
The Lions have been aiming toward this all year.
The Class 6A state wrestling tournament opens with first-round matches beginning at 8:30 a.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, then continues with matches at 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday.
And the West Linn wrestling team is locked, loaded and ready to go. The Lions' state contingent includes: junior Kaden Goff at 113 pounds; freshman Cael Brunson at 138; junior Sean Harman at 160; senior Taran Floyd and senior Steven Shelofsky at 170; senior Brett Bell and senior John Wall at 182; and senior Tyler Good at 195.
Among that group are four Three Rivers League district champions — the third-seeded Brunson, top-seeded Harman (the reigning state champion at 152), top-seeded Floyd (he lost in the 160-pound state title match a year ago) and third-seeded Bell — all of whom have their sights set on winning 6A state titles this week.
Harman said that his daily practices at West Linn are the best preparation he could ask for as he looks to collect a second straight state championship.
"When we go live in the room, we've got a group of four guys where it's Taran Floyd, Brett Bell, Steven Shelofsky and me so I don't have any easy goes," Harman said.
Harman added that he was looking forward to a rematch against Century senior Josh Grant, a wrestler he beat 5-2 in the 2017 state semifinals.
"I'm really excited for that, too, because I think Grant is still at 160 and I'm really excited to wrestle him again," Harman said. "He's a great competitor."
For his part, Floyd — who lost the 2017 state crown to four-time champion Layne Van Anrooy of Roseburg — is ready for a shot at redemption.
"I'm really excited for … state," he said. "This is my job right now, pretty much. This is what I need to take care of."
Bell and Brunson, meanwhile, are ready to forge something new at state. Bell returns to the tournament after going 3-2 at 145 a year ago, while Brunson is excited about what might lie ahead in his first tournament appearance.
"I want to win a state championship," Bell said. "This was a stepping stone in the right direction and that's my ultimate goal."
"Everything's a step, and like I said earlier, this is the first step to being a state champion which is my biggest goal of the year," Brunson added. "It's all worth it when you're on the top of the podium."