By Jeremy McDonald
FOREST GROVE, Ore.– Last year when Forest Grove and McKay met on the mat, it was one for the ages.
The Vikings were up in the heavyweight match of that Team Dual in Salem, only to have victory snatched away from them thanks to a Royal Scot Pin to hand McKay the win.
This year, on Senior Night, Forest Grove sought redemption for that lost when the Scots came to Joe Moran Court.
Something they did in the 55-16 Dual Win thanks, in part, to four straight pins and a forfeit to start the dual.
“It’s really important for our team, they worked really hard,” said Vikings Head Coach Chad Beatty. “The way they approached the match, was a lot better than last year.
“They were much more focused, much more aware of the importance of the match so I credit them they prepare really, really well.”
For Scots Head Coach Troy Thomas, who had to forfeit two weights right off the bat and had to fill in the lineup with younger guys, takes full responsibility for the match.
“I think it was a lack of organization, as a head coach that all falls on me so I take full responsibility. We had a few kids out on the varsity lineup that we need to get back in there,” said Thomas. “Obviously the kids that came out here competed, they gave it their all. But we need those spaces that we have in the lineup, we forfeited two weights right off the bat.
“So we’re down 12 points, kind of hard to win Dual Meets when you forfeit 12 points right off the bat like that.”
How it started was following Bolando Orozco taking the forfeit at 106, Griffin Crabtree pinned McKay’s Anthony Hobbs within the opening minute of the 113 match.
Lucas Higginbotham, Edwin Sanchez and Matthew Johnson joined Crabtree with pins to go with Jacob Oberg’s 11-2 Major Decision on the Scots Kevin Gonzalez built a sizable lead for Forest Grove.
“We know as a staff that we’re good at the lower weights,” said Beatty. “Did we see it going that way? Not necessarily. But did we have confidence that it could absolutely.
“You can never predict really how it would go. But, like I said, they prepared well, they were focused, they took advantage of the situation.”
Slowly, McKay started to gain some momentum in David Rubio’s match at 145. By Andy Rubio’s match at 160, the Scots were on the board with Rubio Pin.
Andy Dryden followed that with a major decision at 170 and another pin, this time by Julyen Uruo at 182 in the second round.
“These guys kind of feed off of each other’s energies,” said Thomas. “I know Forest Grove has a real tough lighter guys lineup. So when our studs started to come up, that rolled momentum into our way.
“Even though this is an individual sport; when your teammates get on a roll, you can’t help to get yourself into a roll. So momentum is pretty beneficial to us and we look to build upon that like some of our heavier guys did tonight.”
For Dryden, as he watched Issac Graham take a forfeit for Forest Grove and Alex Vanderkin and Alam Castro taking the 220 and 285 pound weights for the Viks; he knows there’s a sour taste in his mouth this year after last year.
“As a team, I think we should’ve won this one,” he said. “As a team, we need to get winning, to show us that we’re the new dogs on the block.
“(Forest Grove) had more fire than us, it sucks to say that but they did. They wanted to win more than us and it really showed. We just got to keep showing up to practice, stop making excuses and start whooping some ass.”
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 email@example.com or on Twitter at @J_McDonald81!
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