News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Santiam wrestling features veterans, strong rookies

Santiam High wrestling coach Kerry Crowston is in year 30 of his career with the Wolverines and has a good crop of wrestlers for the 2023-24 campaign.

“We have 12 to 15 wrestlers currently, with a mix of very green first-time wrestlers and others with varying experience,” Crowston told The Canyon Weekly. “We expect big things from Wyatt Dayton, our senior, who has been a state qualifier twice and placed third at 138 pounds in 2022.”

Crowston added that senior Randall Fox and junior Lukus Lebahn both came close to qualifying for state a year ago and show promise of being able to get there this season.  

“I’m seeing improvement from our younger returning wrestlers across the board and I think they’ll surprise some folks this year,” Crowston. “Our strongest competition in the district  is likely Willamina or Toledo, but we will know more real soon. 

“My expectation is to have at least two and possibly three or more wrestlers qualify for the state tourney and at least one placer. Overall, I believe we’ll be a solid, competitive group this season.”

Dayton, Lebahn and Fox already are off to good starts in the early tournaments. Dayton won a tournament in Scio and took third in one at Harrisburg, while Lebahn and Fox both finished third in Scio. Two freshmen, Dakota Derrick and Marcus Mitchell, placed third and fourth, respectively, at Scio.

Basketball: The Santiam boys have won four in a row and were 4-2 at The Canyon Weekly’s presstime. Included was a 60-59 win on Tuesday against Scio. The Wolverines are ranked No. 17 in Class 2A. 

“The season has been going well so far,” coach J.D. Hill told The Canyon Weekly. “We’re a young team, but we have shown good improvement every game. I have been happily surprised with how well we have defended and rebounded, but we still need to improve quite a bit in other areas like turnovers and execution of our offense. 

“Our first game (a 52-35 loss to East Linn Christian) was very ugly offensively and each game since then we’ve made small improvements. They have the potential to be a great team, but it may take all year or longer for that to happen.”

Santiam hosts Perrydale Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. and then takes a holiday break. The Wolverines open their 16-game Tri-River Conference season Jan. 3 at  Willamina.

Santiam’s girls, meanwhile, are 3-3 overall and ranked 18th. The Wolverines have won two in a row, a 36-26 win against Sheridan and a 31-21 victory on Tuesday night against Scio. Santiam has held four opponents to 29 points or less. 

The squad participates in a tournament Dec. 15-26 at Riverdale High in Portland and then takes its seasonal break until the Jan. 3 league opener at Willamina.

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