The Enterprise High School Outlaw wrestling team is looking forward to a new season under a new head coach, Forrest Wilson. He took over the top slot after Troy Farwell retired at the end of last season.
Wilson coached for a number of years, including several years in the U.S. Army starting in 1973. He eventually settled at Toledo High School east of Newport where he coached for 20 years. He retired from coaching 13 years ago.
He returned to the sport because he missed working with student athletes. He jumped on the opportunity to coach at Enterprise when the position opened.
“I saw they needed someone, and I came in thinking I could be an assistant or volunteer, but nobody else applied, so I ended up doing it,” Wilson said.
The squad has 11 hopefuls lined up for the season. At the moment two are sidelined: One with a knee injury and another still recovering from illness. A couple are gone for Thanksgiving vacation.
The coach said he’d only been practicing for a little more than a week, but he likes what he sees.
“I’ve got some good returners,” Wilson said. “Two returning that went to state last year, Trace Evans and Shane Lund, who are looking really good.”
He also noted a couple of freshmen with experience from the Northeast Oregon Wrestling Club.
Wilson noted the squad is loaded with the lower weight wrestlers from about 120 to 145 pounds before jumping up to the 220-pound weight class. He’s doing what he can to recruit more wrestlers to fill in the gaps.
“I’ve got signs up all over the school,” he said. “I’ve got slots for 106 and 113 pounds is what I tell smaller kids when I see them.”
He added he’d be happy to see girls come out for the squad as they can be very competitive in the lower weights.
Wilson is introducing new moves to the squad as well as new methods of practice. They are working on wrestling blindfolded to learn to feel weight transfer before they can see it. Some of the athletes looked confused at first but quickly took to the task with vigor and appeared to enjoy it.
“They’re taking it really well,” Wilson said. “They’re really good kids, and they listen.”
The coach counted the quick footwork of most of the team members and the returning of two state contenders as strengths for this year.
The Outlaws open their season with the EHS Kickoff Tournament Friday, Nov. 30. The squad travels to Pomeroy, Wash., for another meet on the following day. Virtually every weekend following has at least one if not two meets.
“I think they’re going to get plenty of matches,” Wilson said.
Wilson pointed to freshman Dylan Frolander as an up-and-comer.
“He’s looking pretty good for a freshman,” Wilson said. He also noted junior Drew Widener as someone he expects to make a mark this year.