PORTLAND, Ore.–Walking out of the tunnel to face 12 mats and stands full of people above of you as your escorted to one of the 12 mats of the OSAA State Wrestling tournament.
To say nerves aren’t a factor as you wall out would make you near android-like as you wait for your turn against your opposition.
“It was pretty scary,” smiled 220-pound McKay Wrestler Salavador ‘Chava’ Camargo. “I’ve never been in as big of a match as this is today. Just with everyone looking down, the nerves hit you real quick when you step on that mat.”
Up against the senior in his first match of the tournament, technically in the second round since he received a bye to start the tournament, was Oregon City’s Lane Marshall.
The short and stalky Camargo came out firing as he built a 5-2 lead on the lengthy Marshall and continued that into the second period.
“It was pretty crazy, I couldn’t really see because I didn’t have my glasses on but I knew I was up by a little bit,” “And then when I saw, when I squinted, and saw it was 5-2, it built my confidence a little bit more knowing that I’m beating the fifth-seed.
“So it was really nice.”
But slowly, Marshall pulled away and kept Camargo’s late run to a few last second points to deny the Scots senior to go any further in the Championship bracket.
“He was really lengthy and I had those leg rides real deep and I couldn’t really send him back good,” said Camargo as he walked with Zair Ku Beiza back to section 66 on the 6A end of the stadium. “But I just need to worry about my next match and worry about getting to Day 2 and placing now.”
In what seemed like an eternity since his first match though, it was time once again as Ku Beiza came walking out for his 195 pound consolation match with the look of intent of not having his freshman campaign end right now.
Nerves were their as they were before when he wrestled Roseburg’s Rourke Martin, but confidence was there too when he stepped on the mat for the second time versus Sprague’s Austin Schreefer.
“I was sad about the first match and he pinned me really fast, so I didn’t want to get pinned in this one,”said Ku Beiza. “I was really just trying to perfect my moves, not from this one but from the last one, seeing what I need to work on.”
He shakes Schreefer’s hand and off they went. Scoreless first as the Sprague grappler got a quick point to start the second as a late takedown had the freshman down 3-0 entering the third.
With 1:15 left in the match, Ku Beiza got a point from a nice escape. But a Schreefer takedown with about a minute left sealed the fates of both wrestlers.
“I would say fun if anything, even if I lost,” said Ku Beiza on his journey to this point. “It’s fun, wrestling is a fun sport.”
On the match next to him, Camargo was putting the finishing touches of a 5-1 victory over Sprague’s Jacob Luna as he picked up his first State win.
“It feels really good,” said Camargo. “I had a bye, but that’s not a ‘official’ win so getting a win against a Sprague kid…just beating a Sprague kid is big for me because the whole team is really good, so it feels really good.”
The run of Camargo would come to an end though against Aloha’s Ricky Tilbury via a pin, but the senior is proud of how far this program’s progressed since was wrestling in the green of McKay.
“I’m really proud, Troy, Tyler and Coach Hillmen done a really good job of raising this program up,” said Camargo. “They put their blood, sweat and tears into this program and it’s really showing because when they first got here, they only took (Matt) Jarding, last year they took two people and now this year, they brought three.
“If they keep growing from that and building and building, they’ll be taking more than a few in the years to come.”
Jarding, the third guy who qualified for State, didn’t wrestle due to injury but was in attendance supporting his teammates as he spoke to the improvement of the program and how him, Chava and the rest of the McKay seniors left behind a strong sense of work ethic they’ve instilled in the program.
“It’s kind of essential if you want to build a program,” said Jarding on the work ethic front. “Your not going to get any better if you don’t have good work ethic, if you don’t want to work hard.
“So instilling that as Seniors is very important to make sure the program continues to improve.”
Chava adds to that as McKay’s program has a slew of kids coming back in Ku Beiza, Norely Lara, Anthony Alvarez to name a few that will have one big name star who missed Districts and could’ve made a run at State in David Rubio coming back and that they need to work from the get-go to keep this tradition of Scots going to State alive.
“Hard work really pays off because we didn’t get this good by going wrestling in the wrestling season,” said Camargo. “We put time in the Spring and everything and especially Jarding because he had football and he’s a big leader of their team, so it’s just really good.”
As the old Sports Saying goes, ‘Hard Work Pays Off’.