Skip to main content

25 sophomores to watch at Oregon high school wrestling championships

Here are 25 sophomores 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 25 sophomores who have shined this season. (Records are through Feb. 15.)

Gus Amerson (Newberg) photo by Leon Neuschwander

Alberto Flores, Crook County (120)

Career record: 48-19

2022-23 record: 20-9

Flores highlighted his freshman season with a fifth-place finish at the Reser’s Tournament of Champions and a third at the OSAA Class 5A state meet. This season, he’s reached the quarterfinals at Rollie Lane, placed second at Perry Burlison and North Bend, and took third at Reser’s.

Billy Jackson, Redmond (120)

Career record: 62-11

2022-23 record: 31-8

Jackson was an Intermountain district champion as a freshman and reached the OSAA 5A state final. He kicked off this season with victories at Tyrone S. Woods and Pat Alexander, then took fourth at Rollie Lane and matched his fourth-place finish of a year ago at the Reser’s TOC.

Brash Henderson, Silverton (220)

Career record: 70-7

2022-23 record: 34-5

Brash perfectly described Henderson’s freshman campaign, when he won at Rollie Lane and took the Mid-Willamette district title before placing third at the OSAA 5A state meet. This winter, he won titles at Tyrone S. Woods and Sherwood, reached the Liberty Invitational final and finished fourth at Rollie Lane.

Bridger Foss, South Medford (152)

Career record: 66-13

2022-23 record: 38-1

Foss arrived at South Medford fresh off a strong freshman season in Oakes, N.D., where he finished seventh at the Class B state meet. This winter, his only loss came to Reser’s TOC runner-up Charles Spinning of West Linn at the Oregon Classic — Foss won titles at Battle at the Border, North Bend, Grants Pass, NorCal Beast, King of the Mat, Rogue Valley and most recently at the Southwest district championships.

Brody Lybarger, Mountainside (106)

Career record: 76-4

2022-23 record: 42-1

Lybarger lost only once during the regular season last year, winning the Metro district title before placing fourth at the OSAA 6A state meet. He heads to state this winter again having only one loss on his record — in the final of the Burton 5 Invitational to North Salem’s Aundre Chacon — and holding titles at Tyrone S. Woods, Rick Herrin, McMinnville, Tigard, Bill Geister and repeating as Metro champion.

Canon Winn, Burns (120)

Career record: 56-11

2022-23 record: 35-8

Winn hopes to move one spot up the podium at the 3A state meet next week after finishing second last winter. He won a second district title last weekend to build on a sophomore campaign that includes victories at Muilenburg and Sisters and a fourth-place finish at Rollie Lane.

Devon Kerr, La Pine (138)

Career record: 68-9

2022-23 record: 30-3

The Kerr family has won a combined nine state titles from their father Dave, older brothers David and Derrik, sister Kira (a senior looking to repeat this week), and Devon, who took home the 3A title at 132 pounds last February. He won titles at Adrian Irwin, Culver and Sisters this season, reached the Sierra Nevada Classic final, and won a second district title last weekend.

Easton Kemper, Burns (170)

Career record: 80-7

2022-23 record: 41-0

The younger Kemper brother joined Hunter atop the podium at the 3A state meet last season, and he’ll look to add a second title this week after winning his first district title to remain undefeated this season. He has won titles at Adrian Irwin, Muilenburg, Sisters, Pendleton, Woodfin-Robinson and Weiser.

Elijah Bayne, Crater (113)

Career record: 49-12

2022-23 record: 19-6

An injury in the consolation semifinals at the Reser’s TOC this month should prove fuel for the fire as Bayne looks to defend the OSAA 5A state championship he won as a freshman last winter. He won the Doc Petersen and took second at the North Bend Coast Classic this season.

Gavin Sandoval, Crook County (160)

Career record: 61-21

2022-23 record: 30-8

Sandoval has been a consistent contributor to the Cowboys lineup in each of his first two seasons. He placed fourth at the OSAA 5A state meet last year, and this winter, he made the podium at Perry Burlison (second), North Bend (second) and Reser’s TOC (third) and reached the quarterfinals at Rollie Lane.

Gus Amerson, Newberg (145)

Career record: 66-9

2022-23 record: 27-1

Amerson appears poised to join Newberg’s lengthy list of Class 6A state champions after placing fifth a year ago. He won titles at Rose City and Reser’s TOC this season before earning the Pacific district championship last weekend. Tigers coach Neil Russo called Amerson “the worker bee” of the program who has finally started to embrace its emphasis on armbars. “Gus has his own style, and we love it, but the armbar wasn’t part of it,” Russo said. “So, whenever Gus gets a fall with an armbar, we reward him with a new ‘Tiger Stripe.’ He’ll be fully striped before he leaves us.”

Jaysen Rodriguez, Hermiston (132)

Career record: 48-11

2022-23 record: 16-2

Rodriguez is a two-time Mid-Columbia 3A district champion and Region 4 runner-up who will look to improve upon his fifth-place finish at Washington’s Mat Classic XXXIV state championships.

Kailea Takahashi, Forest Grove (125)

Career record: 64-10

2022-23 record: 38-3

Takahashi, the younger sister of 2022 OSAA state runner-up Makalia Takahashi, heads to state for the first time this winter as a 6A/5A Special District 1 champion after a regular season that saw her win her final three tournaments (Forest Grove, Lady Dragon, Hood River Valley), finish second at the Battle for the Capital and take third at Rollie Lane.

Kale Cornell, Burns (126)

Career record: 82-9

2022-23 record: 39-5

Cornell won an OSAA 3A state title as a freshman for the Hilanders last season, and after repeating as a district champion last weekend, he’ll defend that state title this week at Memorial Coliseum. He also won titles at Sisters, Pendleton and Woodfin-Robinson, and he reached the finals at Adrian Irwin, Muilenburg and Weiser.

Kennedy Blanton, Forest Grove (140)

Career record: 75-11

2022-23 record: 42-5

Blanton fared best among three freshmen who medaled in the 130-pound division at last year’s OSAA state championships, reaching the final as an unseeded wrestler before losing to Hillsboro’s Alice Rickett (who graduated early and is wrestling at Pacific University). The 6A/5A Special District 1 champion also won titles at Battle for the Capital, Forest Grove and Hood River Valley this winter, reached the Lady Dragon Invitational final and placed sixth at Rollie Lane.

Kristal Zamora, Thurston (140)

Career record: 48-6

2022-23 record: 32-3

Zamora bounced back from her quarterfinal loss to Forest Grove’s Kennedy Blanton last year to place third at her first OSAA state meet. This season, she won four tournaments during the regular season (Perry Burlison, War of the Roses, Thurston Duals, Lady Dragon) and heads to state as champion of 6A/5A Special District 3.

Landyn Philpott, La Pine (132)

Career record: 77-15

2022-23 record: 38-6

Philpott won 3A district and OSAA state titles as a freshman, and he’ll defend his title at Memorial Coliseum this weekend after earning a second district title last week. He also won titles at Culver and Sisters and made the podium at Adrian Irwin (second), Sierra Nevada (fourth) and Reser’s TOC (third).

Luke Cheek, Harrisburg (113)

Career record: 76-11

2022-23 record: 33-7

Cheek followed an OSAA 3A state championship season as a freshman with a solid sophomore campaign, including a victory at Deven Dawson, runner-up finishes at Liberty and Pape Linn County, a fourth-place finish at Reser’s TOC and reaching the Sierra Nevada Classic quarterfinals.

MacKenzie Shearon, Redmond (140)

Career record: 47-5

2022-23 record: 24-2

Shearon returns to the OSAA state meet with something to prove after losing in the semifinals as a top seed at 130 last February, eventually placing fourth. Her only losses this season came in the finals at North Bend and Lady Dragon, with victories at Rollie Lane and the 6A/5A Special District 2 tournament on her resumé.

Mallory Lusco, Grant Union (190)

Career record: 35-5

2022-23 record: 24-4

Lusco won a state title at 235 pounds as a freshman last season, but she’s dropped to 190 this winter. She won her first three tournaments (Enterprise, Culver, Pendleton) before finishing second at Hood River Valley, then bouncing back from a loss in the semifinals of the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 1 meet to finish third and return to state.

Maverick Heimbuck, Scappoose (145)

Career record: 50-18

2022-23 record: 24-2

Heimbuck won the NWOC district title as a freshman at 132 pounds and came within one win of medaling at the OSAA 5A state meet. This season, his only losses came at the Reser’s TOC, where he posted a fourth-place finish, and he won the Pacific Rim Armed Forces title.

Micah Martinho, Illinois Valley (113)

Career record: 55-2

2022-23 record: 33-1

Martinho has lost twice during his high school career — early in his freshman year at the Culver Invitational to Crook County’s Mason Lacey before eventually winning the OSAA 2A/1A state title, then in early December this season to Dakota Sanders of Arcata, Calif., at the Battle at the Border. He’s won four tournaments since that defeat and earned a second district title, and he’s looking to add a second state title this week at Memorial Coliseum.

Owen Hull, Grants Pass (138)

Career record: 80-13

2022-23 record: 49-4

Hull might have surprised some at the Reser’s TOC when he advanced to the final as a No. 6 seed before losing to three-time state champion DJ Gillett of Crescent Valley, but the Cavemen standout placed sixth at the OSAA 6A state meet as a freshman and entered Reser’s a six-time tournament champion this season (also finishing fourth at Sierra Nevada), and he won the Southwest district title last weekend.

Sadie Hall, North Medford (120)

Career record: 42-2

2022-23 record: 29-0

Hall had a disappointing end to her freshman season, qualifying for the OSAA state meet but having to forfeit without getting to wrestle in Culver. She’s making up for it this season, heading to state undefeated after winning five in-season tournaments and adding her first district title at the 6A/5A Special District 3 meet.

Sarahi Chavez, McKay (100)

Career record: 45-4

2022-23 record: 24-2

Chavez won the Valley district title and reached the OSAA state final as a freshman, and she’s rolled through her sophomore campaign with titles at Perry Burlison, Battle for the Capital and the Thurston Duals, posting a runner-up finish at Kelso, and recently adding a second district title to her list of accomplishments.


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