Trojans host favored Bruins tonight

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge can get back into the race for the Delta River League championship with a win at home tonight against Ponderosa. Problem is the Trojans are not a picture of health and without their full complement of wrestlers, beating the perennially tough Bruins will be a tall order. Cameron Miller has been out with a rib injury and Trey Reese suffered a knee injury on Saturday. Xavier Lopez battled illness over the weekend and Preston Dean just came back from an injury. “This has been our worst year for injuries for as long as I can remember,” Oak Ridge coach Casey Rhyan said. “We haven’t had our full lineup on the mat yet. Cameron and Trey are our 125 and 130 pounders. It would be tough to beat Ponderosa with everybody let alone missing a few guys. I think the guys we put out there will do well, but I’m hoping to only have to forfeit one weight class and not two. Ponderosa is a very good dual team because they’re so balanced and have a lot of depth.” The Trojans are coming off a great performance at the Mark Fuller Invitational in Lincoln on Saturday. Oak Ridge won the tournament on the strength of 21 pins and Vinny Waldhauser came away with an individual title at 171 pounds. Waldhauser breezed through the tournament, winning all five of his matches with pins, four in the first period. He wasn’t the only Trojan to have a good day, however. Keaton Subjeck placed second at 145 pounds, winning his first four matches before losing in the finals to Oakmont’s Jacob Elliot in the finals. Elliott is ranked third in the state. Hugh Ellerman, competing at 160 pounds, also placed second, winning four matches before falling in the finals, 9-6. “Hugh’s coming on after having mono and not being cleared until Christmas break,” Rhyan said. “He’s just starting to get into shape.” Brandon Buriani and Preston Dean picked up third-place finishes for the Trojans, Buriani at 130 pounds and Dean at 189. Buriani’s only loss came to the eventual champion and Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament, while Dean also lost to the eventual champion in the semifinals. “Preston looked really good in his first action since early December,” Rhyan said. “When he was out he still came to practice every day and lifted and that’s helped him. He’s going to be tough and I think he’s got a legitimate shot at the state tournament.” Wrestling at 152 pounds, Alex Diaz placed sixth, as did Reese, despite defaulting out of the tournament after winning his first two matches. Taylor Ellerman placed seventh at 135 and Ali Atebar finished eighth at 140. Eric Rohrer, wrestling up at weight class at 215, and Andrew Sylvester at 275, also competed in the tournament but did not place. The junior varsity team placed 13-of-18 wrestlers that attended the Foothill Tournament on Saturday. Zach Claiborne won his weight class with four first-period pins to lead the way. Ryan Wilson, Corbett Ralstin and Sherman McVay placed second, while Xavier Lionsong earned a bronze medal. Other placewinners included Jacob Proul (fourth), Anthony Gomez (fifth), Kevan Cryan (sixth), Brian Debeau, Ido Kinel and Zack Rattenbury (seventh) and Austin Hamilton (eighth).