By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– There’s a old saying in wrestling within teams:
Though it’s an individual sport, winning as an individual is contagious for a team.
And you saw that from McKay and South Salem Wrestling as the Scots used a 42-18 advantage for the 48-31 victory Thursday evening at South Salem High School behind eight pins in 14 slots.
Starting at the 160 pound class with senior Matt ‘The Iron Man’ Jarding, Jarding got Pin City going with a pin himself. Followed by David Rubio as the Scots jumped out to a 12-0 lead before the Saxons tied it at 12 four matches in.
But, Salvador ‘Chava’ Camargo got McKay back into a lead with a six-point pin for the 18-12 lead, a lead they would never relinquished as Zair Ku Beiza (285), Norely Lara (106), Bryant Mendoza (113) and Shane Tennis (126) picked up pins.
Jarding remembers the feeling not being able to help his team out last year versus South Salem due to injury and you can tell that the senior was happy to be back into his comfort zone and to see his team start the league season strong.
“I just remember the dual back last year the same dual when I was injured,” said Jarding. “When I was injured, it was really hard not to be able to wrestle, but being able to come out this year and having another opportunity to wrestle, it’s just fantastic. It’s my favorite sport, it’s just a great feeling.”
Lara, in her first Greater Valley Conference battle, saw a 4-2 lead tied at fourby South’s Hunter Cleveland before the freshman jumped out to a 8-4 lead before receiving her pin in the second round.
“I think when he tied it up,I was like, that was the little extra push that, ‘ok, I need to go, just go full on, I need to win for the team and the points’ and it felt just right,” Lara described the surge that led up to the pin.
The other girl in the Varsity lineup, senior Shakota Weidman, was pinned in her first varsity match at 120, through the tears though, Weidman is looking forward to getting back to the win column as Tennis pinned his opponent and 132-Sergio Mendez picked up the Scots eighth and final pin of the match.
“A lot, like 100-percent, I feel like I was out there but not all the way,” said a confident Weidman. “Just got to get better and 100-percent next time.”
Though young, the Saxons lineup consisted mostly of freshmen and sophomores, rallied to finished the dual strong as Tanner Keene, the 120 wrestler who beat Weidman, started a streak that saw South cut the deficit to 11 by matches end.
“I feel like we could’ve improved (by) cleaning up our moves, making them tighter and better,” said Keene. “I think we did pretty good, I mean the score wasn’t, it wasn’t a big difference. I think everyone tried their hardest, I don’t think there wasn’t any slackers.
Saxon Head Coach Erick Zahner, points to that they are only to get better being so young as they get back into the groove of things from winter break and kids being out with illness.
“We missed a couple of weights that I thought we were going to win that they took advantage of, they did a great job,” “We definitely got room to improve. I like what I saw of our ’38, ’45 pounders, they really looked good tonight, Zeus (Baltazar-Miranela) and Ricky (Villarreal), both took care of business.
“I’ll like to see some of our other kids that maybe don’t have as much techniques as they start to get to that level. We’re still young, we got a lot of inexperienced kids that are stuck at the Varsity level because there’s nobody else there. It’s tough to ask them to do that, but our 120-pound kid, he’s a first year wrestler and he got a pin right away, he did a really good job.”
As for McKay, it’s off to the Aloha Duals Friday night and the Woodburn Duals Saturday morning as David Rubio put it, they’re more hungry for more after this win as they build confidence.
“I think we did good as a team and I think we just need to make some adjustments, wrestling more harder and just going out there and believing in ourselves,” said the sophomore leader. “I think it’s going to motivate us more to get, we’re more hungry now, we got a ‘W’ and we didn’t beat South last year and we beat them this year and that says a lot about our freshman team and how hard they’re willing to work and how hard we’re going to work.”
JV- South Won. The lone McKay win came way of Jonathan Mentado via pin at the 220 pound class as Mentado battled to the win after being down 2-0 early on.
“It’s all about who wants it the most,” said Mentado. “I’m tired, I’m out of breath, but you got to try hard, that’s all you got to need, whoever wants it most.
“Honestly I didn’t know about that,” Mentado said about the points and breaking the South then 21-0 lead. “I was really focused, I was nervous before, so that’s a really big thing for me. First match of the year, I haven’t wrestled since the beginning of the wrestling season so it means something.”
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!
Photos By Jeremy McDonald