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DailyTidings.com
  • PREP WRESTLING

    Grizzlies look forward to state meet

    Three boys, four girls qualify for big show
  • Usually by late February the Ashland High wrestling room seems a little more spacious than usual, and a little less noisy, too.
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  • Usually by late February the Ashland High wrestling room seems a little more spacious than usual, and a little less noisy, too.
    Not this season. On Tuesday, three days after the District 4 championships and two days after the girls high school state meet qualifier, the Grizzlies' mat room was bustling with activity. That's because for seven Grizzlies — three boys and four girls — one of the best seasons in program history is still going strong.
    All seven have qualified for next week's state championships in Portland's Memorial Coliseum. There, Ashland head coach Tony Champion is confident that at least one Grizzly — and, he hopes, a few more — will break through and give the school its first individual state champion since Charles Taylor won the unlimited weight class title in 1973.
    "Going into a big tournament like this, nobody's ever a lock," Champion said. "All we can do is prepare them the best we can physiologically, and mentally they've got to start seeing themselves on that winner's podium."
    That's exactly where Champion hopes Mason Montgomery, Cody Frost-Eisenberg and Sadie Bailey will be come March 1. Montgomery is expected to be one of the top two seeds in the 220-pound weight class, Frost-Eisenberg will likely be one of the top three seeds at 285 and Bailey is expected to be No. 1 in the girls 128-pound division.
    Also representing the Grizzlies at state will be Chance Swenson (195), and in the girls tournament Sofie Bogdanove (115), Sydney Norvell (134) and Ditte Rossau (154).
    After dominating the District 4 meet Montgomery was preparing for state Tuesday by sparring Frost-Eisenberg, who is similar in body type to a wrestler who figures to be one of Montgomery's top challengers: West Albany senior Steely Smith.
    Montgomery (23-0), who was 3-0 with three quick pins at districts, will be trying to cap his senior season with his biggest win yet after placing third at 195 two years ago and second at 195 last year.
    "You can't be overconfident," Montgomery said. "You have to have the same intensity in every match. And if it's a guy you know you should beat, you want to beat him faster. So the intensity's the same, but the goals are different."
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