Wrestlers heading to Culver, Cascade this week for state meets

Sweet Home’s wrestlers will defend their state team championship Saturday, Feb. 26, at the 4A tournament at Cascade High School, and two Huskies will seek to repeat as individual champions.

Sophomore Kyle Sieminski, at 106 pounds, and junior Jacob Sieminski, at 126, will look to defend the state titles they won last June in the COVID-shortened “winter sports” season.

Jacob Sieminski was upset by Philomath’s Blake Niemann in the district tournament on Feb. 12 and is seeded fifth at state. Estacada sophomore Cohen Schleich is seeded first in that weight bracket, with Niemann second.

Fifteen of Sweet Home’s 17 state qualifiers are seeded in the tournament, which starts at 9 a.m. and will run until approximately 8 p.m.

Sweet Home’s No. 1 seeds are Kyle Sieminski at 106, junior Ethan Spencer at 160,

Senior Kyle Watkins is seeded second at 120 pounds, junior Kaden Zajic at 152, and senior Colby Gazeley at 220.

Seeded third are freshman Jacob Landtroop at 113 and sophomore Ryker Hartsook at 145.

Sophomore David Steagall is seeded fourth at 195.

Seeded fifth are junior Trenton Smith at 138, and senior Charlie Crawford at 182.

Sixth seeds are sophomore Jayce Miller at 113, and senior Christian Gregory at 132.

Also seeded are junior Daniel Goodwin, seventh at 145, and freshman Ashton Swanson seventh at 152.

Not seeded are junior Evan Jensen at 182 and Tucker Weld at 195.

“You can’t fill out the bracket based on seeds,” Coach Steve Thorpe said. “There’s nothing for us to know there. At this point we’re just going to focus on ourselves wrestling. I’m just pushing th ekids to think about their first match, then their next match.”

No. 1-ranked La Grande has 18 qualifiers in the tournament and Tillamook is bringing 19, the only teams with more wrestlers than Sweet Home.

“They’re very good,” Thorpe said of La Grande. “They qualified 18 kids. They’re a team deep in tradition. They’re tough.”

The coach said the Huskies are ready.

“We’ve wrestled more matches than most everybody else. We’ve wrestled a tough scheduled and this is where it pays off,” he said. “We need to win some we should and win some we shouldn’t. That’s what we need to do in these tournaments.”

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Sweet Home has three girls in the girls state wrestling championships, scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24, at Culver.

Junior Kendra Jamison will wrestle at 100 pounds; senior Paige Chafin is seeded No. 1 at 115; and senior Kami Hart is seeded No. 1 at 170.

Wrestling begins at 8 a.m. Spectators will be limited and tickets must be pre-purchased.