Eleven Taft High seniors will take to the mat for their final home appearance Thursday in the high school gym.
Taft will compete at 6 p.m. against Amity, Dayton and Rainier prior to the Special District 1 tournament Friday, Feb. 15, at Warrenton.
The State championships are scheduled Feb. 22-23 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Coach Robb Ellis, whose goal is to set a school record by advancing six wrestlers to State, pays tribute to his departing seniors with the following synopsis:
Gio Salazar (126): Fourth at districts last year. Just missed state by one place, three years of wrestling experience;
Autumn Barela (130): Entered girls districts with a 6-4 record. very good for a first-year girls wrestler.
Devon Lindquist (145): Second at districts last year. State qualifier. Four years wrestling experience
Jacob Mayoral (145): Did not qualify for State last year, but 21-9 this year with a good chance to qualify. Three years of wrestling experience.
Jared Bryan (152): First-year wrestler who has worked very hard and showed his toughness by wrestling through a shoulder injury. Has quietly racked up nine wins, which is very good for a first-year wrestler.
Cody Knott (160 p): Placed sixth at State in 10th grade, qualified for state last year. Good chance to be District champion and one of top four seeds in at State. 21-2 record. Five years wrestling experience. Hoping to be fifth wrestler in school history to place in the top six twice.
David Jin (160): Broke ankle mid-season last year and didn’t wrestle sophomore year because of injury but wrestled in ninth grade. Has a good chance to qualify for State.
Biz Byrum (170): Fourth at Districts last year and got to compete at State as an alternate as a first-year wrestler. Second year wrestling.
Victor Carrasco (170): First-year wrestler who has worked hard and is signed up for the National Guard when he graduates
Eriq Aquino (195): First-year wrestler who has worked hard to cut his weight down from about 210 to wrestle at 195. Headed for the Marines after high school.
Jace Fostveit (195): State qualifier last year. Has wrestled six years.