By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.—Despite sending out an young lineup Thursday night, the McKay Royal Scots competed well against South Salem High School in the Greater Valley Conference match-up.
Behind three straight pins by the middle part of their lineup, McKay were making a late-match rally; but couldn’t finish the comeback as they fell to the Saxons 47-24 as they turn their focus now to the Tigard Tournament Saturday.
“I felt like we went out there and we competed,” said assistant coach Tyler Thomas. “We still have a lot of work to do in our young lineup and it all starts in the mat room. We have to start picking up practice intensity.
From Anthony Hobbs match at 112 through Griselda Montero at 138, the Scots battled hard; but couldn’t crack into the match win column outside of a forfeit.
But, in Manny Miranda’s match at 145, McKay looked to have a break through.
Entering the third round of the match, Miranda cut South’s lead to one point with seconds to go in the match and momentum was in the air.
The Saxons would sneak out with the victory however behind a last second move to ice the victory.
“He was backing up a lot,” described Miranda about the match. “He was making it harder. I just need to get in better condition, get at it on Friday and do good this Saturday.”
Up next was the Freshman. David Rubio at 152.
In his third match at the Varisty, Rubio has improved drastically and on Thursday night, picked up a second round pin to give the Scots their first match win of the dual against South Salem.
“It was tough,” said the freshman. “I just had to fight through it and work everything I’ve been doing in practice.”
As for getting the pin, Rubio had a tough time explaining it.
“It was amazing, I don’t know about explain that,” he said with a smile. “I just got out of the match and my emotions are high right now.”
Rubio’s pin triggered a comeback for McKay. Andy Rubio and Adam Dryden picked up quick pins as the Scots saw themselves down 32-24 entering Julyen Uruo’s 182 match.
“It feels great because we have a lot of younger kids in our earlier weights and they don’t have enough technique to win every single match,” said Dryden. “So this momentum will carry on to the rest of the guys, our upper classmen so we can start pinning and possibly take this place.”
For Thomas, it was exciting to see the feat as a coach.
“It was really exciting to get those three-straight pins as a coach,” said Thomas. “Those are the hardest working wrestlers and it obviously paid off. The hard work showed out there, so we were excited about that.”
In need of a stop of the Scottish Run, the Saxons had to battle through three tough matches with Uruo, Salavador Camargo (220) and Ivan Marquez (285) to slow and keep the McKay grapplers at bay for the remainder of the match.
“They were hard wrestled matches,” said Thomas. “We just made small, little mistakes and those are things that we’re going to correct starting tomorrow and up until districts. We’re going to come back and beat those guys at districts.”
That confidence of getting better is reaching towards Thomas’ wrestlers.
“(We) just got to keep on conditioning and practicing the moves we know (and) good techniques,” said Camargo. “And just keep fighting when we know we’re down.”
The Scots will look to rebound at the Tigard Tournament Saturday and their next Dual is a three-way dual with North Salem and McMinnville High Schools in McMinnville next Thursday.
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!