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 Jared Coxen locks his opponent up during Thursday’s dual match against Silverton.

Itemizer-Observer

SILVERTON — What’s it like competing against someone who is a full weight class up from you?

Several members of the Dallas High School wrestling team had that question answered Thursday night in a dual match against Silverton.

“We wrestled everybody up a weight class to fill some spots,” said head coach Tony Olliff. “So it changes how they wrestle because they’re wrestling someone a little bigger than them.”

While that did add to the challenge of going up against an aggressive team like the Foxes, it didn’t seem to be much of a deterrent for the Dragons, because they walked away triumphant, winning 42-31.

Freshman Owen Hess, junior Cael Morrison, seniors Jared Coxen, Cooper Hise and Ashton Brecht each secured individual wins with a pin.

“Silverton’s got a great team, and it came down to the wire,” Olliff said.

The Dragons also went up against the North Salem Vikings and walked away with an easy 53-24 success. 

Senior Colson Spencer split his matches for the evening, winning by a major decision against North Salem’s Jacob Prater, 18-3. In that match, he was bumped up to the 152-pound bracket.

In his match against Silverton’s Kody Koumentis at 145, Spencer lost 10-1 in a major decision.

He had hoped for a different outcome.

“The concerning part for me was that I thought I wrestled a good match (against Koumentis), and so looking back on it, it’s kind of sad for me to think, dang I wrestled a good match, but I still got worked a little bit,” Spencer said. “So, definitely not the result I wanted in that match, but I went in with nothing to lose and a lot of confidence, and there’s lots more to work on.”

Especially with districts just around the corner.

“Last year, 145 was one of the weaker brackets, and this year it’s one of the tougher ones,” Spencer said. “So I have a lot of work to do. I want to have a good district tournament.”

Olliff hopes for the same thing. It’s been a struggle to get the team competing as one unit this year; injuries, illnesses and grades have kept several members out of the lineup.

“We made it through grades and lost a couple there, you know it’s a part of wrestling,” Olliff said.

“We got Jared Coxen back, he’s been out for two-and-a-half weeks with a bad knee. We have a couple of girls who are going to finish strong and have a shot at placing in the girls state tournament.”

For the girls, the regional state qualifier will be Feb. 8 and 9 at Century High School. The girls teams within the 5A league get split between north and south; last year the Dragons competed in the southern region, and this year, they have been shifted into the northern half.

“So we’ll see how that goes for them,” Olliff said.

Districts for the boys will be Feb. 21 and 22 at the Salem Armory.

“We better be ready,” Olliff said.

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