6A Oregon returning wrestlers to watch in winter 2021-22

By René Ferrán

Over the next week, we’ll be taking a look at some of the state’s top returning wrestlers. Here’s our look at Class 6A.

There are hundreds of standout wrestlers in Oregon and these lists are not intended to be comprehensive. Let us know about other 6A wrestlers fans should know about this winter.

Hudson Davis (Newberg) photo by Taylor Balkom

Andrew Worthington, Jr., Mountain View

Worthington followed a solid freshman season that ended one round shy of the blood rounds by going 20-2 as a sophomore, winning the Mountain Valley district title at 132 pounds and placing third at state. In October, he finished fourth in the High School 126 division at the Western States Preseason Championships.

Ayden Garver, Sr., Newberg

Garver is a three-time state champion who went undefeated as a junior, going 16-0 and capping his season with a 4-1 decision over Sprague’s Josh Camillo in the 145 final. Garver, 95-4 in his career, took third in March’s USA Wrestling National Recruiting Showcase in Iowa at 132. After winning the title in June, he sustained what Tigers coach Neil Russo described as “a horrible injury” over the summer, “but we’re confident that he’s going to be ready to roll come December” as well as resume his partnership with Charlie Evans as maybe the best Spikeball team in the country.

Ben Winjum, Jr., West Linn

Winjum is ready to break through on the wrestling mat after having a breakthrough season on the gridiron for the Lions this fall. He placed fourth at 182 at state as a sophomore and spends his downtime designing sandwiches that he enjoys during training breaks. “He is just starting to realize his full potential,” said West Linn coach Doug Samarron, who predicted that Winjum will repeat as a state placer, but he’s not sure at what weight yet. 

Brandon Smith, So., Newberg

Smith went 15-2 as a freshman, with his only two losses coming at the hands of classmate Zachary Keinonen at the Pacific district meet and the state final. He is one of three triplets attending Newberg; brother Jacob was a district runner-up at 120 last spring. “Brandon had an incredible run at last year’s state tournament,” Tigers coach Neil Russo said. 

Brayden Boyd, Sr., Sprague

Boyd has lost once in 15 career state tournament matches, placing third as a freshman before winning each of the past two titles, going 13-0 en route to the 120 championship in the spring. “Brayden is a great young man and excellent student who is looking forward to his senior season,” said Olympians coach Mike Ritchey. “We are preparing him to become a college wrestler. He already has the habits and work ethic to succeed at the next level.”

Brook Byers, Sr., Sprague

Byers is a two-time state champion. He went 16-0 to win the 182 title as a junior, pinning 15 opponents and winning by technical fall in his other match. He reached the finals of the 2021 Folkstyle National Recruiting Showcase and won the 2021 Who’s Bad National Classic title at 182. He’s ranked No. 12 in the nation in the preseason at 182 by The Open Mat and recently signed with Stanford. “Brook has worked very hard to get to the point he is at,” Olympians coach Mike Ritchey said. “He picks things up quickly and can immediately add them to his repertoire. We’re excited for his future but staying focused on the ‘WIN’ — What’s Important Now.”

Charlie Evans, Sr., Newberg

A two-time state champion and three-time finalist, Evans went 19-0 in winning the 152 title last spring, capping a season that started with him earning the title at the USA Wrestling Brian Keck Memorial Preseason Nationals to move into the most recent WIN Magazine rankings at No. 24. Also an accomplished punter for the Tigers football team, Evans might be the only wrestler in the state with a pet duck. “Charlie is a special athlete and wrestler,” Newberg coach Neil Russo said. “He may have the most athletic mind I have ever been around.” 

Cole Steketee, Jr., Sprague

Steketee went 13-0 against wrestlers from around the state last spring and 0-2 against teammate David Sherman, losing in the Mountain Valley district final and 220 state final. He’ll likely move up to 285 this winter, with Olympians coach Mike Ritchey saying, “We look forward to helping him improve this season and adapt to the ‘big boy’ weight class. His style fits there well.” 

David Sherman, Sr., Sprague

Sherman came within one win of medaling at state as a sophomore at 220. He moved up to 285 to start his junior season with mixed results, then dropped back to 220 and became a state champion, surviving an ultimate tiebreaker in the semifinals against Newberg’s Alec Love before beating teammate Cole Steketee 4-0 in the final. He was a two-way first-team all-Mountain Valley lineman for the football team this fall, and Olympians coach Mike Ritchey credits his work on the mat for his success on the gridiron. “On the mats, we will be looking to improve on a great season,” Ritchey said. “We look forward to seeing him improve on his skills as he has great workout partners.” 

Drew Jones, Jr., Mountain View

Jones reached the blood rounds at state as a 113-pound freshman, then bulked up over the long offseason and came back to go 19-2 at 126 as a sophomore, finishing second at state to Newberg’s Nicky Olmstead. He tuned up for his junior season by winning the High School 132 title at the Western States Preseason Championships in Utah.

Earl Ingle, Jr., West Linn

Ingle is a star linebacker on the football field, but he’s no slouch on the mats, going 9-4 as a sophomore and placing fourth at state at 195 pounds while barely scratching his potential as a wrestler. He seems fearless in both sports, but Lions coach Doug Samarron joked that “Earl is a scaredy cat who can’t handle scary movies.”

Ethan Goff, Sr., West Linn

Goff improved from fifth at state as a sophomore to finishing second at 132 last spring, avenging an earlier loss to Mountain View’s Andrew Worthington in the semifinals before losing to two-time champion Nash Singleton of Roseburg in the final. He’s trained nonstop since that defeat, searching for that elusive title while taking time to indulge his love of singing.

Ethan Ritchie, Sr., Newberg

Ritchie was a two-time state placer for Sherwood (sixth as a freshman, runner-up to Sprague’s Brayden Boyd as a sophomore) before transferring for his junior season down Highway 99W to join an already loaded Newberg team. He again placed second at state as a junior, losing again to Boyd in the 120 final. In October, he placed third in the High School 126 division at the Western States Preseason Championships in Utah. “Ethan is looking to get over that championship hump this year,” Tigers coach Neil Russo said. “He might be the shortest wrestler on our roster but is the best basketball player in the group.”

Gage Singleton, So., Roseburg

The younger brother of two-time state champion Nash Singleton took home his first title in June at 106, capping an undefeated season in which only two matches went the distance. Over the summer, he placed fifth in the 16U Greco-Roman and third in freestyle at Fargo Nationals, and he’s No. 17 at 106 in the most recent WIN Magazine rankings. “Extremely athletic and very powerful for a 106-pounder,” Roseburg coach Steve Lander said. “He had a great state tournament and was very dominant from the seventh seed.”

Gage Singleton (Roseburg) photo by Taylor Balkom

Gavin Harris, Sr., McKay

Harris went 1-2 at state as a freshman, then didn’t make it back to Memorial Coliseum as a sophomore. He came back last season and ran into a formidable obstacle — Sprague’s Brook Byers, who handed Harris his only three defeats of the season in a league dual, the Mountain Valley district final and the 182 state final. 

Hudson Davis, Jr., Newberg

Davis is an accomplished two-sport standout for the Tigers, being named Pacific Conference defensive player of the year for the football team this fall after winning his first state title on the mats in June, going 14-1 and beating Reynolds’ Robert Plympton 6-4 in the 195 final.

Isaac Hampton, So., Newberg

Hampton nearly had a perfect freshman season for the Tigers, winning his first 16 matches before dropping a 5-3 decision to Roseburg’s Gage Singleton in the 106 state final. He won the High School 120 division at the Western States Preseason Championships in Utah. Hampton and teammate Zachary Keinonen are best friends and “two of the pickiest eaters you’ll ever find,” according to Newberg coach Neil Russo.

Jackson Potts, So., Mountain View

Potts missed the medal rounds by one win as a freshman, but he’s done everything possible in the preseason to ensure he reaches the podium this winter. He won the 140 title at the Western States Preseason Championships in Utah and took sixth at 138 at the USA Wrestling Brian Keck Memorial Preseason Nationals in Iowa. 

Jeremiah Wachsmuth, So., Clackamas

Wachsmuth placed third at state at 106 as a freshman, then followed with a solid offseason, including a third-place finish at 106 at the 2021 Freak Show tournament in Las Vegas.

Josh Camillo, Jr., Sprague

Camillo, a state qualifier as a freshman, made his way past one Newberg wrestler (Patrick Negra) in the 145 state bracket last spring but not the other, falling to Ayden Garver 4-1 in the final. Olympians coach Mike Ritchey said Camillo showed up at his first practice with a mullet that has since been trimmed but not shorn. “I asked him if he was tough enough to sport a mullet, and he assured me he was,” Ritchey said. “He has great leverage, and we hope to improve on his finish.” 

Justin Rademacher, Jr., West Linn

Rademacher might be terrible at all other sports, as he once told Lions coach Doug Samarron, but he has starred on the wrestling mat. He’s a two-time state placer, finishing second to Sprague’s Brook Byers as a freshman and third at 170 last spring while going 16-2. He earned All-American honors over the summer with a fourth-place finish at 170 in the 16U Freestyle division at Fargo Nationals, won the 18U Elite 170 division at the Freak Show in Las Vegas, placed sixth at Super 32 and took fourth at 174 at the Mike Clock Open behind three college wrestlers. He’s moved into the most recent WIN Magazine rankings at No. 23. “He’s looking very hard to beat in Oregon,” Samarron said.

Logan Medford, Jr., Cleveland

Medford hopes to join Jontae Hardaway (2019) as the only Cleveland wrestlers to win state titles in the past decade after back-to-back third-place finishes in his first two seasons. His only two losses last season were to the eventual state finalists at 126 — champion Nicky Olmstead of Newberg at a four-team tournament in May and runner-up Drew Jones of Mountain View in the state semifinals. His coach, Jeff Zerba, called Medford “one of the most hilarious wrestlers I have ever been around. He’s always got something going on and tries to make deals with me.” One such deal came as a freshman, when he asked Zerba if he could dress up on the medals podium. “Next thing I know, he’s in full Spider-Man costume,” Zerba recalled. “Just a great kid and super fun to be around.” 

Nash Singleton, Sr., Roseburg

Singleton signed with Oregon State last month and hopes to cap his career with a third consecutive state championship after finishing second as a freshman. He went 13-0 last season and has 88 career victories, and he placed fifth in the Junior Greco-Roman 132 division at Fargo Nationals to earn All-America status. “Nash has a chance to be one of the ‘all-timers’ that I’ve coached,” said Roseburg coach Steve Lander. “A great student, great competitor, and a tremendous leader of our program — we are very excited to see his final year at Roseburg.”

Nicky Olmstead, Sr., Newberg

Olmstead has experienced the highs and lows of wrestling during his Tigers career. He won a state title as a freshman and was favored to win a second as a sophomore, only to have a bout of the flu derail his chances — he powered through two matches to make the podium but ended up in the hospital dehydrated after his quarterfinal win. Last season, he came back with a vengeance, rolling to a 16-0 record and beating Mountain View’s Drew Jones 6-4 in the 126 final. He also serves as the team mechanic, with coach Neil Russo having him come by his farm to fix his machinery. “Nicky is so tough to score on and is good in every position,” Russo said. 

Price Pothier, Sr., Newberg

Pothier is a two-time state placer, finishing fourth as a sophomore and second to Sprague’s Riley Davis as a junior. He hopes to return to the mat after suffering a knee injury during the football season that cost him five games. “Price is an explosive athlete and an unbelievable worker,” Tigers coach Neil Russo said.

Riley Davis, Jr., Sprague

Davis is a two-time state finalist who won his first championship last season at 160, capping a 15-0 spring with a 9-2 decision over Newberg’s Price Pothier in the final. He also was an all-Mountain Valley first-team selection at running back and received honorable mention at linebacker. First-year coach Mike Ritchey praised his “super fitness level and explosiveness. We’re excited for his opportunities as we go into some high-level meets. We feel his mailbox will begin to fill up at home.”

Riley Davis (Sprague) photo by Taylor Balkom

Robert Plympton, Sr., Reynolds

Plympton is a three-time state placer, winning a third-place medal for Corbett as a freshman before transferring to the Troutdale school and taking third as a sophomore and runner-up to Newberg’s Hudson Davis at 195 in June. He enters the season fresh off a second-place finish at the Freak Show tournament in Las Vegas.

Seth Glenn, Sr., Sherwood

Glenn, who just finished a standout season on the gridiron for a Bowmen team that reached the state quarterfinals, is a two-time state placer on the mat. He finished sixth in his first appearance as a sophomore, then came back last spring to go 20-2 and place third at 160. 

Trae Frederick, So., Newberg

Frederick was one of the No. 2s who last season played a big role in the Tigers cruising to a second consecutive team title, wrestling behind senior Micah Worthington at 138 in the postseason. He lost to Worthington in the Pacific district final and to eventual state champion Kahleb Diaz of Roseburg in the second round, but he didn’t lose again in placing third. He’ll be counted upon to become a key wrestler in the middle weights this winter.

Varrius Scanlan, Sr., Roseburg

Scanlan has steadily climbed the ladder within the Roseburg program throughout his career. He missed out on state as a freshman and qualified for state and narrowly missed out on the blood round as a sophomore. He won the 152 district title last spring but lost in the first round at state to Century’s William Musser before bouncing back to win six matches in the consolation bracket to take home a third-place medal. “He competed tremendously after suffering a defeat early,” Roseburg coach Steve Lander said. “We were very proud of him and expect a dominant senior year for Varrius.”

William Musser, Sr., Century

Musser is a three-time state qualifier who finally broke through as a junior. He went undefeated during the regular season before losing in the district semifinals to Newberg’s Nolan Womack. He rebounded to finish third, then knocked off Southwest district champion Varrius Scanlan of Roseburg in his first-round match at state en route to reaching the final, where he lost to Newberg’s Charlie Evans by major decision. 

Zachary Keinonen, So., Newberg

Keinonen has yet to experience defeat as a high school wrestler, going 19-0 as a freshman wrestling up at 120 for most of the season before dropping to 113 for the postseason. He beat teammate Brandon Smith by major decision for the Pacific district title and in a 4-0 decision in the state final. He tuned up for this season by winning the 9/10 126 division and taking fifth in the High School division at the Western States Preseason Championships in Utah. “Zach is so solid in every position,” Tigers coach Neil Russo said. “He is not flashy, but he’s fundamentally sound and is a very mature wrestler. He has an incredible sense of what is happening and what he needs to do given the situation.”  

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