POLK COUNTY — Early or not, here they come.

With only one week of competition under their 2021-22 season belts, Central and Dallas will dual at Dallas at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

It’s the first Mid-Willamette Conference dual meet for both teams, and while neither squad is in midseason form, the head-to-head is bound to illuminate things for both sides.

Dallas went 2-2 in tournament duals last week. Dragons coach Tony Olliff said he noticed that “the kids who did a fall sport have an advantage” in conditioning.

Central defeated Silverton 48-36 in a dual to open its season, then placed fifth out of nine teams in the Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks Tournament at Tillamook and took 14th out of 20 teams in the Perry Burlison Tournament at Cascade.

“I was a little disappointed” with the Panthers’ performance in the tourneys, coach Arnold Garcia said. “We realized we have a lot to work on and that we’re really out of shape. … You can say you want to get in shape all you want, but if you don’t have any actions to go with that, you’re really not going to do any better.”

At Tillamook, Panthers senior Manuel Vela took first place at 170 pounds and junior Ethan Dunigan was second at 160. Vela won his first two matches by fall, then decisioned Tillamook’s Austin Bosch 4-0 in the final. Dunigan had two wins by pin and a 5-4 finals loss to Michael Fox of Willamina.

Three Panthers finished third: junior Jose Lugo at 182, senior Joseph Pearson at 195 and junior Duke Akina at 285.

Senior Anthony Manzo-Ledezma was fourth at 220, junior Landon Anderson fifth at 132 and junior Trevyn Lilly seventh at 145.

In the Cascade tournament, Dunigan took second at 160. He won by fall, then 8-2 in the semifinals, before falling 5-2 to Thurston’s Hunter Harwood, a returning state runner-up.

Also for Central, junior Issabell Branske placed fourth against the 106-pound boys at Tillamook.

Dallas opened with the Weisbrodt Invitational, hosted by Lebanon. The Dragons lost to powerful Crescent Valley 46-36, outscored Corvallis 72-12, came close against Sweet Home 39-36 and topped Woodburn 70-12.

Crescent Valley was a tough way to get going, but “I was pretty proud of the way our boys battled them,” Dallas coach Tony Olliff said. A highlight for the Dragons was junior Caleb Emerson’s fall in 3:49 over Crescent Valley 126-pounder Gunner Gillett.

Dallas won seven matches by fall against Corvallis, and senior Andrew Craven “looked really good” as he won at 138 by fall in 3:29.

Sweet Home “is a lot of fun to wrestle,” Olliff said, “because they have a very like-minded program, and I went to college with their coach (Steve Thorpe) and have known him since we were little.”

Dallas freshman Jace Spencer got a 9-4 victory at 106 against Sweet Home, and sophomores Cole Langford (195) and Kyron Dodds stood out as well with wins by fall.

Woodburn won only one match on the mat against the Dragons, who got a victory over a returning state placer when sophomore Thomas Talmadge came through at 145.

Also last week for Dallas, freshmen girls Ah Pymm McDaniel (100), Polly Olliff (106) and Ivy McIntosh (115) each went 3-0.

The Dragons will be in another tournament this weekend. They’ll go to Westview High for the Rose City Classic.

• West Salem has a fairly young wrestling team, but some of that youth already is contributing in varsity competition.

Titans coach Mike Baker came away “very excited” after his team placed third out of eight teams in the season-opening Kirk Morey Invitational last week at Reynolds High.

It was a dual meet tourney, and the Titans won two of their three “meets,” losing only a close one to Tualatin.

West Salem began the day with a 36-30 victory over Corvallis, came up short 42-33 to Tualatin, then rebounded with a 48-33 win against Sunset.

“It went well for us,” Baker said, “and we had some good surprises. Our better kids did well and took care of business, but a couple of our newer guys did well, too.”

The youth movement included 126-pounder Isaiah Wilsey and 132-pounder Garrett Fenske.

Wilsey, a sophomore who hasn’t had a lot of wrestling experience, went 2-1 in his matches.

Fenske, a freshman who wrestled in middle school, went 3-0.

Also going undefeated on the day for West Salem were Connor Everetts and Derek Brager. Everetts, a senior and returning state placer, was 3-0 at 113 pounds. Brager, a sophomore heavyweight who is fairly new to the sport, won all three of his matches by fall.

West Salem will return to the mat for the Friday-Saturday North Bend Coast Classic at North Bend High. About 27 schools are expected to be represented there.

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