West Linn Varsity Wrestling Team sets its sights on state championship

Ranked third in the state, the Lions Varsity Wrestling Team is considered a serious threat to win a state trophy this season. Led by Cam Schmitz, senior, Tim Harman, junior, and Head Coach Doug Samarron, West Linn is the “team to beat,” according to Schmitz, and it’s still early.

The Lions began the season strong despite some early struggles they encountered at a recent tournament in Newberg.

“We lost matches we should have won,” Schmitz said. “We were just immature at some moments.” Despite the early season hiccup, West Linn continued their momentum leading to a 5-3 record in dual meets along with three placers and a champion in Harman at the Pacific Coast Championship on Jan. 3 and 4. The Lions were also able to secure a victory at the Rose City Championship as well.

Samarron and the team have set goals to win League Dual Meet Championships, the upcoming trophy awarded at the Oregon Wrestling Classic, and a state title. West Linn’s success hasn’t come out of the blue as hours upon hours in the offseason were dedicated to training and perfecting certain moves.

“Offseason work is always an individual effort,” Samarron said. “We had summer morning workouts, a team summer camp, a preseason club, and a few wrestlers even participated in a tournament held in Las Vegas.”

When it comes to preparation for meets and opponents, each wrestler has a process for his or her practice strategy.

“You can’t worry about who your specific opponent will be,” Schmitz said. “You just have to do your own thing.”

“Preparation for competition is tough daily practice that contains a lot of strenuous conditioning and fine tuning technique and discipline in body position and mental toughness,” Samarron said.

The Lions started off its intra-league competition with a dominating victory over Lakeridge, 68-12 and face long time rival Oregon City tonight.

With West Linn considered one of the top teams in Oregon, the Lions hope to continue its momentum all the way to State.