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15 freshmen to watch at Oregon high school wrestling championships

Here are 15 freshmen who have shined this season.

By René Ferrán 

The Oregon high school wrestling championships take place this weekend at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Here are 15 freshmen who have shined this season. (Records are through Feb. 15.) 

Gavin Rangel (Newberg) photo by Leon Neuschwander 

Bailey Chafin, Sweet Home (125)

2022-23 record: 41-1

Chafin and her dad travel the country for tournaments, either flying or in their motor home, and that experience has paid off during her first high school season, winning four in-season tournaments — including the War of the Roses — and earning the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 title. Huskies coach Steve Thorpe called her tough, “even when she competed in the watermelon eating contest at the women’s Santiam Camp last summer.”

Brody Buzzard, Harrisburg (145)

2022-23 record: 35-10

Buzzard made the podium at four in-season tournaments, winning the Liberty Invitational title, then took home the 3A Special District 2 championship by defeating teammate (and 2022 state runner-up) Nephi Heakin in the final.

Carl Orchard, Corbett (285)

2022-23 record: 18-3

Orchard is the rare freshman to excel in the heavyweight division, taking second at the Ranger Classic and winning the Golden Yam Challenge before winning the 3A Special District 1 championship.

Carsen Atterbury, Dallas (106)

2022-23 record: 27-8

Atterbury got off to a slow start, as might be expected for a first-year wrestler, but he announced himself a couple of weeks ago at the Reser’s Tournament of Champions, where he avenged two losses to Thurston’s Kanoe Kelly in the quarterfinals en route to reaching the final, where he lost to La Pine senior Tyson Flack. “It was the first time I had ever been to the second day of a two-day tournament and the first finals match of my career,” Atterbury recalled.

Carter Dawson, Glide (106)

2022-23 record: 25-7

Dawson kicked off his freshman year with a title at the Deven Dawson Memorial, added a sixth-place finish at the Sierra Nevada Classic and a win at the Eagle Point Invitational, and heads to the 3A state tournament fresh off victory at the Special District 3 meet.

Chance Yancey, Crook County (106)

2022-23 record: 24-9

Yancey has posted solid finishes at the three big tournaments he’s entered this winter, taking second at the Perry Burlison Classic and North Bend Classic and finishing fourth at the Reser’s Tournament of Champions.

Gavin Rangel, Newberg (126)

2022-23 record: 35-3

Despite finishing second at Rose City and reaching the consolation quarterfinals at the Reno Tournament of Champions, Rangel was unseeded at the Reser’s TOC this month. He ended up winning the title, then followed with a victory in the Pacific district tournament. Tigers coach Neil Russo said, “Gavin is a 14-year-old freshman in all aspects of his life other than on the mat. He spends most of his day looking for whatever he has misplaced — backpack, computer, textbook … the list goes on. He has a very good sense of humor but is tough as nails when it matters.”

Izabella Castleberry, Thurston (145)

2022-23 record: 29-7

Castleberry started the season with a third-place finish at the Perry Burlison meet and has won titles at the War of the Roses and Thurston Duals. She’ll enter the 6A/5A state meet as the Special District 3 champion.

Jade Seymour, La Pine (125)

2022-23 record: 33-4

Seymour has enjoyed a strong first high school season, winning titles at Adrian Irwin, Culver and the Oregon Wrestling Classic, taking the Consolation A championship at the Sierra Nevada Classic, and reaching the final at Rollie Lane. She lost to Sweet Home’s Bailey Chafin in the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 final, with a rematch at state a distinct possibility.

Jaret Hickey, Crater (120)

2022-23 record: 25-8

Hickey has yet to win a major tournament title, but he has been in contention throughout — a third-place finish at Doc Petersen, a fifth at the North Bend Coast Classic, and runner-up finishes at the NorCal Beast and Reser’s TOC, losing to reigning 6A state champion Isaac Hampton of Newberg in the Reser’s final.

Mia Pedersen, Redmond (110)

2022-23 record: 21-7

After coming close to her first significant tournament win this season — Pedersen reached the final at the Tyrone S. Woods and North Bend Coast Classic — she finally broke through in the first week of February by winning the 6A/5A Special District 2 title.

Skyler Hall, North Medford (100)

2022-23 record: 25-1

Three years ago, Hall won an OWA folkstyle state championship. This winter, she joined older sister Sadie with the Black Tornado and has the look of a potential state champion as a freshman. She won titles at Tyrone S. Woods, North Bend and Grants Pass before earning the 6A/5A Special District 3 title two weekends ago. Her only loss was to Crater senior (and district champion) Sienna Caruso at 105 pounds at a league dual.

Thomas Winn, Burns (113)

2022-23 record: 34-7

Winn opened the season with a third-place finish at Adrian Irwin, followed with victories at Sisters and Woodfin-Robinson and runner-up finishes at Pendleton and Weiser, and heads to state as champion of 3A Special District 4.

Tommy Belding, La Grande (132)

2022-23 record: 32-6

Belding defeated two-time state champion Zachary Keinonen of Newberg in the Reser’s TOC quarterfinals en route to a fifth-place finish — the latest podium finish in a freshman season that included titles at the Ranger Classic and Muilenburg, a seventh at Tri-State and a fourth at Red Halverson.

Tytus Hardee, Sweet Home (106)

2022-23 record: 39-8

Hardee and coach Steve Thorpe have a running joke. Thorpe tells him, “Tytus, you need to stop giving up the first takedown,” to which Hardee replies, “You mean I can score first?” Despite this tendency to fall behind, Hardee has found a way to make some great comebacks en route to podium finishes at Perry Burlison (fourth), Rose City (sixth) and Reser’s TOC (third) to go with a title at the Pape Linn County Championships.


106 boys and 100 girls

113 boys and 105 girls

120 boys and 110 girls

126 boys and 115 girls

132 boys and 120 girls

138 boys and 125 girls

145 boys and 130 girls

152 boys and 135 girls

160 boys and 140 girls

170 boys and 145 girls

182 boys and 155 girls

195 boys and 170 girls

220 boys and 190 girls

285 boys and 235 girls