If all goes as planned, Logan Folsom and Ethan Stoner will be squaring off in the 170-pound title match in the Southwest Conference district wrestling tournament on Saturday at Heater-Newman Gym in Grants Pass.
The two seniors are among 28 Roseburg matmen set to compete in the tournament, which begins at 1 p.m. Friday. Saturday’s action starts at 11 a.m., with the championship finals scheduled to get underway around 5:30 p.m.
The top three placers in each weight class receive automatic berths to the Class 6A Championships the following weekend at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Folsom and Stoner met in the championship match at 160 at district last year, with Folsom winning by a 5-4 decision. Folsom went on to place fifth at state, while Stoner finished 3-2 and fell short of a placing match.
Both have dealt with some injuries this season.
Folsom, in his second year with the RHS program after transferring from Tualatin, underwent knee surgery last May and hasn’t been at full strength. He takes a 13-1 varsity record into district.
“I’m doing good,” Folsom said. “It has been a long recovery (with the knee), but I know I’ve put the work in. I need to keep my mind right and I’ll be fine.”
Stoner, a three-time state qualifier, has broken his nose twice. He’s 10-4 in varsity matches.
“I’ve had to sit out some tournaments and haven’t had much mat time this year, but still have the same goals,” Stoner said. “I have a couple of scratches, but other than that the nose is good. I will have to wear that (protective) mask, but I’m hoping to perform the same.”
There are six other seniors competing for the Indians this weekend: Devin Folk at 132, Austin David at 152, Owen Vredenburg at 182, Hunter Hillard at 195, and Mason Labahn and Neftali Huato at 285.
RHS head coach Steve Lander feels Folsom and Stoner have done an admirable job of not losing focus despite their injuries.
“(The expectations are) the same as always,” Lander said. “I expect them to do their best, and their best is pretty good. They’ve been real steady for us — as far as practice, work ethic and commitment to the program. They’re special boys, and hopefully they’ll perform well and wrestle to their capabilities.
“Logan had to train around his injury. He’s managed his energy in matches, got enough training under him and is ready to go. It’s hard to wrestle when your breathing is affected, and there’s the fear of getting bumped in the nose. Ethan’s very tough to keep going and I expect him to wrestle well.”
Folsom and Stoner will both be disappointed if it isn’t an all-Roseburg final at 170.
“I don’t think there’s anybody else in the district who will upset either of us,” Folsom said. “As long as we do our jobs, we should score as many points as we need to get to each other.”
Stoner added, “I’m hoping to wrestle Logan in the finals and we’ll see how that goes and I want to get high on the podium at state.”
The rest of Roseburg’s district contingent will consist of seven juniors, eight sophomores and five freshmen.
The Indians are ranked No. 1 in Class 6A by Oregon Wrestling Forum and No. 2 behind Newberg in the OSAAtoday coaches’ poll.
North Medford is No. 3 in OWF and No. 5 in the coaches’ poll.
“I think we’re definitely ready for the state tournament, but the most important part is just getting as many qualifiers to state as we can,” Stoner said. “Doing what we do best — winning and scoring bonus points.”
“Our second guys just need to realize what most of the first guys are ... we’re the hardest working people in the state and keep the heads on straight,” Folsom said. “Believe the process, and just go out and do what we’ve been practicing all season.”
Freshman Nash Singleton (113) leads the Tribe in team points with 167, in wins with 31 and in falls with 19. Junior Tristin David (145) is second in all of those categories.
“We’re planning on performing and winning, and trying to get people qualified,” Lander said. “We stress effort all year and not so much performance, but now it does matter if you win or lose. The (second kids) are super important, we’re counting on our depth.”
Varsity Records Listed
106 — Carson Dunn, fr., 17-11; Cameron Cross, jr., 0-1. 113 — Nash Singleton, fr., 31-8; Garrett Gallego, fr., 8-1. 120 — Kaden Schlatter, soph., 16-14; Rhett Martin, fr., nr. 126 — Kahleb Diaz, soph., 18-3; Adam Leaton, soph., 11-5. 132 — Devin Folk, sr., 12-5; Varrius Scanlan, fr., 11-7. 138 — Caleb Jeffers, soph., 14-3; Archer Bergeron, jr., 6-5. 145 — Tristin David, jr., 26-10; Riley Rose, jr., 13-0. 152 — Austin David, sr., 16-7; Colin Rietmann, jr., 3-0. 160 — Darian Thacker, soph., 24-6; Eli Mignola, soph., 8-2. 170 — Logan Folsom, sr., 13-1; Ethan Stoner, sr., 10-4. 182 — Rourke Martin, jr., 11-5; Owen Vredenburg, sr., 16-11. 195 — Hunter Hillard, sr., 11-12; Tyler Estes, soph., 7-2. 220 — Hunter Blix, jr., 22-11; Rogan Coffman, soph., 7-1. 285 — Mason Labahn, sr., 15-14; Neftali Huato, sr., nr.