By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– As the Greater Valley Conference dual season starts Thursday, West Salem was showcasing their new line-up for the season.
After picking up two forfeits at 106 and 120 and tossing in a pin 113 from Aiden Rojas, the Titans set the pace early leading in the team scores 18-0.
Entering the 132 match, now leading 18-3, West Salem set out freshman Jack Livengood to face the Vikings Andres Echeverria for his first Varsity match after wrestling junior varsity a few days ago in the team’s first tournament.
Weighing 123 pounds, there were some nerves for Livengood as he walked out to the mat but those went away as he jumped out to a 4-1 lead on Echeverria during the first period.
What happened though, a simple miscue by the freshman allowed Echeverria to not just climb back into the match, but to win it by pinning Livengood with 18 seconds remaining in the opening round; but hey, it’s a learning experience for Livengood as he walked off the mat knowing it’s just first of many for him in the Titan uniform.
“Well, I started off pretty strong, but it’s just one mistake and now it’s gone. I’m definitely not going to do that mistake again, so I am definitely going to learn and not do that,” smiled Livengood. “We can improve, all of us as a team can improve from each other’s mistakes and from our personal experiences.
Th 18-9 score would be the closest that Forest Grove would get to the lead however as Mason Meredith (138), Kaleb Fegles-Jones (145), Casey Resch (152) and Zach Broyles (160) all picked up pins to turn a nine-point lead into a comfortable one with Matt Manus going out at 170.
Though Manus lost a hard match to Gavin Rice, Owen Barrett (182) showed some grit as the football player came out swinging and building a nice lead on Stan Frame entering the final frame.
However, Frame took advantage of Barrett’s low wrestling conditioning and got within striking distance of possibly winning the match if not force overtime as time ran low in the match.
But, Barrett found that extra gear, dug deep and fought through the fatigue and used a three point near-fall to help rebuild the lead in the 12-7 victory for the senior Thursday night.
“I just got to know that there’s always something that you can find, you just got to outwork the other opponent,” said Barrett after the match. “Even if they’re up, you can always can comeback and as long as you are confident with the shot that you are taking.”
Forest Grove’s Alam Castro finished off the team dual with a win, but West Salem walked out of their home gym victorious 54-25 as they now turn their focus to North Bend High School for a tournament this Friday and Saturday before going to Sprague Thursday to take on the Olympians and West Albany in a three-way dual..
Photos By Jeremy McDonald