By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Around the mats at McKay High School you heard the wrestlers out of breath in between each and every rep at Monday’s practice.
All in preparation to be one of the Top Three finishers in your respective classes at the District Tournament this weekend to advance to the OSAA State Tournament and to rep the Royal Scots.
As you heard Head Coach Troy Thomas yelling with intensity, his team continued to push through the pain of muscle fatigueness to get that extra rep, that extra move that will help them at Forest Grove this weekend.
“Just getting the mindset of being hungry,” Thomas said of the purpose of the practices. “This is when you need to crank up the intensity here, shock your system by having such an intense workout.
Thomas explains that these type of intensity practices kind of opens up the flood gates of Endorphins similar to that with Runner’s and that famous Runner’s High you hear about and it helps with your mental game as well.
“It’s kind of like that endorphins rush that runners get when they get a ‘Runner’s High’, you can get that even in wrestling on when you pick up that intensity and it opens up your mental game,” describe Thomas. “So you’re mentally preparing yourself while your physically preparing yourself at the same time.
“Then when we start to taper, you keep that mental edge but your allowing your body to physically recover so you can get the best possible athlete come districts.”
Though they won’t taper off until Wednesday in preparation for Friday’s and Saturday’s District Championships in Forest Grove, you can already tell during Monday’s practice that Thomas’ message is reaching home for his athletes.
“The mentality, you gotta go in, you got to win,” said Adam Dryden. “That’s the mentality that you got to bring. That’s the mentality I’m building up for this week. I got to win every, single match.
“That might not be by pin or by points, I might lose. But if I win, if I think that I won that match, then I did. 100-percent, I gave it all my all, that’s a win for me.”
Dryden added that, through his prior experience at this rodeo, that you can’t be discouraged by the competition.
No matter if their the top-seeded guy in your class or if you’re a first year wrestler, you got to keep the mentality of being hungry and wanting to win.
“You got to go in, you got to win,” said the senior 170-pounder. “That’s the biggest thing. The mentality of districts is the biggest kicker. A lot of guys, they break down right before districts. I know I’ve broken down before, I broke down last week. But you got to go in and win”
For freshman David Rubio, the first-year grappler is entering his first districts, but is bringing in valuable varsity experience to give him the taste of the competition ahead of him.
“Just go out there and give it 100-percent, just keep the intensity up (and) do everything I learned in practice,” said Rubio. “I’m just going to go out there and wrestle every day, go out there and compete the best I can.”
With the Intensity not letting up, these McKay Scot Wrestlers know that come this weekend, their opposition won’t let them off the hook with a berth in the State Bracket on the line for every wrestler come Friday and Saturday at Forest Grove.