Clearwater Valley wrestling coach Carlos Martinez sees the District I-II as a powerhouse once again. With 16 wrestlers cleared to start the season on his team, including two out of Kamiah, the CV/K co-operative again figures to be among the area’s strong teams.

Martinez sees Potlatch, Orofino and St. Maries strong competition this season, which begins Saturday, Dec. 7 at Potlatch.

“Overall, the district is tough,” he said. “We’re spread out a little bit, but as far as who has the toughest team, I think we’re going to see some closer battles district-wide. When you have four or five really tough schools in the district, that’s good. Top to bottom, our district is one of the better ones in the state.”

A couple of CV’s top wrestlers have moved out of the area since last season, but among nine newcomers is standout linebacker Dylan Pickering at 182.

“He’s as strong as an ox,” Martinez told the Free Press. “If we can keep him healthy and if he keeps progressing, he’s one to watch.”

So are top returners Landon Olsen (106), Fallon Wilkins (106), Johnnie Raymond (126), Christian Fabbi (132), Tristin Dominguez (145), Cedar Fisher (152), Davis McElroy (160) and Lane Schilling (170).

Graduated are state champion Peyton Whipple (182) and Ty Dominguez (152), who placed third. Bubba Summers, who placed fifth at 182 last season, moved away prior to the current school year.

McElroy, who placed fifth at state, returns as a senior; Olsen, Wilkins, Fabbi, Dominguez, Fisher and Schilling all competed atstate last season. But with eight newcomers, Martinez said the team is, “overall, very young.”

“We’re looking for that group of state qualifiers to give the younger kids a lot of mentoring and leadership,” he said.

Martinez said the number out of Kamiah is down somewhat this season in part because the team graduated the KHS upperclassmen who helped provide transportation to and from practice for younger wrestlers last year.

The co-op has basically the same schedule as last year, with tournaments scheduled all over. One of the big ones is Lewiston’s Clearwater Classic Jan. 17-18.

CV’s home tournament is calendared Jan. 24-25.

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