Jackson Potts (far left) made the podium in Reno at the ToC for Mountain View
Jackson Potts (far left) made the podium in Reno at the ToC for Mountain View

Lincoln opens international relations with Japan

The wrestling program at Lincoln High will play host to a unique and unforgettable event in early January.

In partnership with the Oregon Wrestling Association, the Cardinals will welcome the Japanese Cultural Exchange Wrestling Team -- eight of the best high school-aged Japanese wrestlers -- to the greater Portland area for two days of sightseeing, cultural enrichment and wrestling, continuing a rich tradition dating back to the 1960s.

The highlight of the trip, besides shopping at the Woodburn Factory Outlets, hiking Multnomah Falls or eating incredible pizza at Escape from New York on NW 23rd Street, will be a wrestling exhibition, of Freestyle and Greco-Roman styles, on Jan. 8 at 8 p.m. at Lincoln’s new gym.

The exhibition will pit the Japanese wrestlers against some of the best local kids in the state.

Nico Farinola of Lincoln, Titus Rodela of Jefferson PDX, Oscar Doces, Henry Dillingham and Charlie Spinning of West Linn, Archie De La Rosa of Forest Grove, Luciano Lopez of Lake Oswego and Houstyn Lee-Perry of Liberty are slated to compete from Oregon.

Farinola, whose father, John, is the head wrestling coach at the school and has worked tirelessly to ensure that the Japanese have a memorable start to their weeklong stay in Oregon; is the OWA 2023 Greco Roman State champion. Rodela is the OWA 2023 Freestyle state champion. Doces, Dillingham and Spinning are 2022 OSAA state champions, De La Rosa is an acclaimed freshman who recently won at Rose City and both Lee-Perry and Lopez are highly-ranked wrestlers in the upper weight divisions.

Three of the original wrestlers from those 1960s teams – Mas Yatabe, Bob Tomasovic and Yuzo Yoshioka -- will be on hand to receive recognition.

“Portland wrestling is growing, getting better, and involving more and more kids in our city,” Coach Farinola said. “Please take some time on January 8th at 8pm to come and be part of the this historic event’s return to PDX!!!”

For more info, contact [email protected].

Barrel rolls not dice rolls at Reno TOC

Dubbed the “Toughest Tournament in America,” the Reno Tournament of Champions convened last weekend, with 92 high school boys teams, 36 girls teams and 47 college teams competing in simultaneous events.

Nine Oregon boys teams participated, with Newberg finishing highest among them in 16th position. Five California teams, two each from Arizona, Idaho and Nevada and one each from Utah, Texas, Washington and Colorado placed higher than the Tigers.

Roseburg was second among Beaver State squads, placing 28th; with West Linn (30th), Sweet Home (32nd), Crook County (T-35), Redmond (T-35), Mountain View (38th), Sprague (50th) and Crater (53rd) all registering strong showings.

Individually, Drew Dawson and Gage Singleton, both from Roseburg, finished fifth at 106 and 120, respectively. Mountain View’s Jackson Potts took sixth at 165. Isaac Hampton of Newberg made the podium in seventh at 126 pounds. Spinning (157 pounds) and Joseph Downing of Redmond (144 pounds) were eighth-place finishers.

Mountain View made the trip for the first time and had three wrestlers make it to Day 2. In addition to Potts, Scout Santos, at 126 points, fell one match shy of placing. Aiden Nelmes (106) was two matches short.

“It was an incredible event to be part of,” said first-year head coach Dan Potts.


Three Oregon girls teams made the trek to Reno for the much smaller girls high school event.

Redmond finished eighth overall, followed by Crook County (13th) and Newberg (27th).

Ylyana Sandoval was the highest-finishing Oregon girl, placing second at 185 pounds.

MacKenzie Shearon of Redmond placed third at 152, while Mia Pedersen was fourth at 126.

News and notes

The North Valley girls team has won back to back tournaments, the Dan Vidlak Invitational and the Grants Pass Winter Kickoff. Breanna Meek and Sarah Gonzales remain undefeated on the year. Delanie Burton finished top three at the events and is now 7-2 on the season.

“As a whole we have a very competitive girls team this year,” said coach Morgan Holden.


The North Valley boys also placed well at both tournaments, led by Mason Core, who is 9-2 on the season. Both losses have come versus Ryan Griffin of Illinois Valley, last year’s 2A/1A state champion at 152 pounds.


Illinois Valley, with three individual champions; captured the 30-team boys varsity kickoff at Grants Pass. Senior Mike Miller pinned his way through the tournament at 113.


Knappa wrestled in Grants Pass. The girls had six wrestlers placed, highlighted by Kiya Roe  finishing second at 100 pounds.

Knappa boys did not fare as well, but Corbin Roe had a strong tournament at 126 pounds. He made the finals before losing a close decision to unheralded Colton Hankey of Crescent Valley.


Harrisburg wrestled at the LaMont Simons tournament at Thurston on Saturday.

 The girls team showed well for the third straight weekend.

 Sophomore Gracie Williams (110) made it into the finals for the third week in a row and earned her first title of the season.

 Sophomore Lily Ridgley (125) made her third finals in a row, finishing second for the second time. She previously won at the Deven Dawson.

Senior Hannah Henderson (170) won her third tournament this season. She is 16-1 with 16 wins by fall this season. 


Harrisburg’s boys finished second to Thurston at the duals event.

Luke Cheek (126), Landen Hecht (175) and Hunter Langham (285) all went 4-0 at the duals, with Cheek and Langham winning each of their matches by fall.

Freshman Andre Donayri (113) went 2-1 on the mat, but had a huge win over Kanoe Kelly of Thurston, 9-7. Kelly is the 2002 5A state champion at 106 pounds.


La Grande’s varsity competed at the super tough Tri-State at North Idaho College over the weekend. The Tigers finished tied for 14th – about in the middle of the pack – as the only OSAA entrant. Bragen Anderson (2nd at 106), Tommy Belding (5th at 145) and Ridge Kehr (6th at 170) placed for the three-time defending Oregon 4A champs.


La Grande’s younger wrestlers won the Echo Tournament, with champions in Darren Gulzow, Kallen Blakely and Dex Dunlap


Ontario senior Hannah Hernandez won four matches at 152 pounds at the Wiley Dobbs Girls Invitational in Twin Falls, Idaho, over the weekend to improve to 14-0 on the season. Hernandez, who has four individual tournament titles this year, intends to wrestle collegiately but remains undecided on her destination.


Update on Gilchrist’s girls wrestling team:

Two weeks ago, the Grizzlies had two wrestlers place at the Adrian Irwin in Bend, senior Summer Schellinger (1st; 165-176) and freshman Emilee Foust (3rd; 186-202).

Last week, Gilchrist was again on the road with a trip to the Culver invitational. For the second year in a row, Schellinger wrestled her way to first place in the 170-183 bracket. Foust finished fourth at 186-201 and sophomore Saphira Bipat took fifth at 134-143. They were the only three Gilchrist entered.

Schellinger has the team’s fastest pin this season at 46 seconds, followed closely behind by junior Blayze Buell, whp put an opponent’s shoulders on the mat in 49 seconds.

If you are a high school varsity wrestling head coach and want to know how you can contribute to future Notebooks, contact John Tawa at [email protected]