By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– For six McKay seniors, Thursday night marked their last time wrestling in front of their home crowd.
Their names: Jamie Lara (132), Kevan Gonzalez (138), Bryce Clifton (160), Adam Dryden (182), Julyan Uruo (195) and Isaiah Garcia (285)
For Lara, who’s pin in the first-round gave the Royal Scots a 18-12 lead after five matches, said it was an honor to get a win on senior night.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said Lara. “It’s a night based for seniors, all of this it’s for the seniors. So winning, it’s a sensational feeling. It’s really amazing.”
For junior Manny Miranda, he wanted to give back to the seniors with his thrilling 3-2 decision to push the McKay lead to 30-12.
“It shows that hard work pays off,” he said.
Scots Head Coach Troy Thomas said about the 54-24 victory over West Salem, was great for the seniors who worked their tails off the past four years to walk away from that match with a “W”.
“(It’s) very important,” said Thomas. “In high school obviously, you have four years to make something of your name and as a senior, that’s where we showcase them. To pick up a win at the same time, it’s incredible. Especially for these kids who work so hard for it.”
A 30-0 run after a McKay forfeit and a Titan pin to start the match was broken when West Salem’s Hunter Lucas had to work for a third round pin on Clifton in the 160-pound class.
But the Scots would seal the win behind a Andy Rubio first-round pin along with a Adam Dryden first-round pin, McKay found themselves comfortably ahead at 42-18.
“It’s awesome, I love winning at home,” said Dryden. “Last time I wrestled at home I lost, and this is my revenge to get that ‘W’ for my team and I love the atmosphere here at McKay so it’s always good to wrestle here.”
Breden Reddy won the Titans final match in the dual at 195 before Salvador Camargo and Isaiah Garcia added pins six and seven in the dual for the Scots.
“I thought we performed a lot better against West than we did McNary,” said Thomas. “A lot of that comes from the ring rust of not having wrestle for a long time. I knew that was going to be a problem coming.
“But we know what things we need to work on and we’re going to continue to move forward and improve on those areas that we’re lacking in.”
MCNARY 48, MCKAY 21– After dropping the first eight tough matches to start the three-team dual, the Scots rallied with a big win at 160 when Bryce Clifton picked up two points in the closing moments of the match to take the match 12-10.
“You get going (there) in the third round,” said Clifton on the match. “Your mouth is dry, sometimes your throat closes up.
“Your limbs don’t work as they should, but you pushing forward to find that little extra left in the mind.”
Clifton’s win was matched by Andy Rubio’s third round pin of Jesse Gomez.
With a pin by Adam Dryden and a forfeit at 190, McKay cut the 40-0 lead to 40-21 entering the 220 match before dropping the last two matches.
Jeremy McDonald is a professional sports journalist in the Salem/Portland area and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalist in Oregon with B.S. degrees from Southern Oregon University in Journalism (2011) and Health/PE (2013). Got a story idea? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!