By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– As womens wrestling continues to grow, especially in the State of Oregon, the two girls on the McKay Wrestling program are seeing some success themselves as Shakota Weidman and Norely Lara build their names in the wrestling community.
“I think they’re doing great,” said Head Coach Troy Thomas. “Obviously with Norely, there was kind of an adjustment peroid where she had to adjust to the intensity and competitiveness of high school. But she’s making that transition very well and looking to move her game up to the next level.
“Shakota is also drastically improved since last year and she’s continuing to build apon that success with great performances.”
One of those great performances for Weidman came to start the season with a sudden addition of a women bracket due to a large amount of women entries at the Cascade Perry Burelson Tournament saw Weidman taking third in the field, something she had to double check was right immediately after her third place win out of disbelief as she started her senior year off right.
“Oh it’s awesome,” Weidman described the feeling Monday during practice. “Like I was focused and I got to start in a good position.”
In the Herrin Holiday Tournament, both Weidman and Lara saw action against male competition in a non-live practice action and were competing well as they’re proving wrong the stereotypes that girls can’t wrestle.
“Going against guy competition I think it’s a very good idea for girls,” said Lara. “Especially since there’s a big stereotype going against girls, if you wrestle a girl, ‘oh she’s going to be easy, to take down’ but the thing is, if we win against a guy and train really hard, it shows girls can wrestle and girls can basically meet to their expectations and more.
“That we can take them down and not just keep complaining and how we can basically beat them”
Lara’s big win came against South Salem, where after being tied at four-apiece, the freshman 106-pounder kicked it into high-gear to take a 8-4 lead before the pin.
But Lara described this jump from middle school wrestling to high school wrestling as an eye opener to say the least.
“The first year of high school wrestling is intense because when I first came in I thought it was going to be like middle school but later on I just realized it’s nothing like middle school. Everything is more high leveled in skills and everything. Epspically our conditioning, it’s just more intense.
“It builds us more because I use to think about conditioning, ‘why are we doing this? Why are we conditioning so hard?’ Then when we’re going up against other teams it makes me realize, they’re conditioning a lot more harder and everything is just more upper level.”
When Lara won her first league match at 106, after her loss at the 120 class against South Salem’s Tanner Keene, you saw how much the sport of wrestling meant to Weidman as she had to step away for a second as the senior fought back tears following the loss.
“A lot, Wrestling is my life,” smiled Weidman on how much wrestling meant to her. “It is. I love it.”
As both girls prepare for their next league dual match versus a always tough McMinnville line-up, both woman look to carry their early season success to Wednesdays match as they’re taking what they’ve learned and improved upon them through practice.
JV starts at 6p and the Varsity Showdown is at 7pm.