Cougars take down the competition

CLACKAMAS REMAINS UNDEFEATED AS SEASON WINDS DOWN

By Jared Preble

The Clackamas Print

It’s been a long wrestling season for the Cougars. With over half the season already wrapped up, they head into the final three meets of the season. Their hard work and sportsmanship has not gone unrewarded, as Clackamas Community College wrestling currently stands with a record of 13-0-0. They have a fantastic win streak that meets the expectations of all who know what the team’s really about, though these last few meets as well as the championships will determine if the team can stay focused and finish strong in order to top their 17-0-0 season from last year.

Head coach Josh Rhoden said he is happy with the season thus far, and believes that with the right amount of hard work the team can finish strong at nationals.

“We gotta do everything the right way and live our lives the right way for 30 days and give ourselves the best chance we can,” said Rhoden. “I think they’re good enough to do really well.”

With a team as explosive as CCC it’s hard to discern those that perform well when everyone exceeds the mark, though according to Rhoden it’s Isaiah Diggs that has really stepped up to the plate this season.

“He hasn’t lost a junior college competition,” said Rhoden. “He’s been a rock for us and he just quietly does his thing. That’s probably why he stands out. He’s not in any way inferior to anyone on our team, he’s just quiet. He does everything you ask him and it’s showing up for him big time.”

Diggs believes working the weaker areas rather than the strong ones helped him perform better this year.

“I’m working on finishing singles,” said Diggs. “Trying to finish more than just shooting a double, ‘cause everyone knows I’m gonna shoot a double, so I’m just trying to be more versatile on my feet, which means working with the coaches on my top and bottom game as often as I can.”

Diggs said he finds it rather difficult to pick out the best of the bunch, understandably so.

“I’ve always been the type of person to say everyone stands out you know, we all have our unique styles, we’re all different and that’s what makes us so good,” said Diggs. “It’s hard to pick out just one person.”

Diggs believes it’ll fall not just on him, but everyone on the team including those not starting.

Diggs specifically believes the key to success will be remaining focused throughout the season.

“On paper we have the talent to win,” Diggs said. “It’s what I’ve been saying all year. It’s just going to come down to if everyone steps up and does their job.”

Gage Harrah, 197-pound starter, is also satisfied with his team’s performance and said a great deal of it can be accredited to their conditioning as well as their volume of practices.

“Our team overall really focuses on conditioning, said Harrah. “Putting in those two-a-day workouts in the morning and in the afternoon helps a lot. We’ve really come together as a team. Just being in the room together everyday and grinding everyday together has really helped us.”

The Cougars will go to the West Region Championships on Feb. 11, and then will be onto the National Junior College Athletic Association Championships from Feb. 23-24.