By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Some would ask, ‘who will win between x-person from this weight class versus y-person from another weight class?’. It’s always a fun little debate like McGregor and Mayweather almost.
On the north side of town, there’s no doubt that the headliner is Ian Carlos from North Salem in term’s of wrestling. State Champion as a sophomore at 145 and State Runner-Up as a freshman.
On the otherside, the relatively quiet outside of circles in the sea of Sprague, McMinnville, West Albany and West Salem was McKay’s David Rubio.
Third-year wrestler that was a few points shy of State-Qualifer as a freshman, his first-year wrestling ever. Injury kept him out of a promising 152-pound District Title Run as a sophomore but still showing as a junior why he’s a constant force to be reckoning with after a successful off-season freestyle run.
Both, thanks in part to their Head Coaches being best of friends since their days at McKay, have faced each other in off-season training and have a strong friendship bond as both the Viking and Scot wrestling programs have towards one another.
The idea, came way of Andy Pickett, who’s seen both kids do work over the last few years.
“I knew it was going to be a good match, both are competitors,” said Pickett. “Rubio, McKay’s best kid and Carlos, our best kid; they both had a great match. They’retwo awesome wrestlers, hopefully they both win a State Title this year because they both represent the league very well.
“Rubio is one of my favorite, non-North wrestlers. I like watching him, he’s just fun to watch and he’s a good kid too.”
Rubio at 170, Carlos at 152, it seemed unfeasible to make the hypothetical-match a reality, until they switched around a few things as they did indeed found a way to make it happen.
As the match started, it was evenly matched as Rubio and Carlos scrambled around the mat, looking for the right move. Rubio still as nimble as he was as a lower-middle weight as his North Salem counterpart. Both matching the other’s intensity like it was a college match almost.
“I came out very aggressive, most of my matches are a little less fast-pace,” said Carlos. “I’m still going 100-percent, but I kind of kicked it into a fifth-gear for sure.”
Rubio though, was digging deep against Carlos, it certainly kicked him into another gear facing a caliber of talent like a friend in Carlos to help him get better as they enter the second-half of the wrestling season.
Carlos went for that ‘kill’-shot as he put Rubio on his back as the clock approached zero, Rubio fought over and over to keep the back off the match the ten seconds before the buzzer rang. Literally right before the buzzer went off, like milliseconds before the buzzer went off that would have pushed the match into a second-round, the referee signal the pin, leaving Rubio and McKay questioning if time was there before the pin was signaled.
It was determined it was fair. Carlos won the match via pin with a second left on the clock.
Though he was frustrated, Rubio knew that this match will serve him well.
“Facing Ian was a good experience because he’s a state champ and I’m gunning for one of myself at a different weight is a the top guy and I felt like I’ve been competing well with top guys lately, yes it hurts to lose but it hurts way more not to learn,” said Rubio.
In the remainder of the match, though it did not have to criteria as it did last year, North won in the wrestling ‘regulation’ with several pins as they prepare now for a tournament up in Washington at a high school where a old high school wrestling teammate of Pickett’s and Troy Thomas’ is coaching at.
“It was a great meet for us, we’re really young though, but we got a lot of room for improvement,” said Pickett. “So getting that experience, picking up some wins and some losses. Finding things we did good, things we did bad, that’s all going to help us move in the right direction.”
The Scots are too young, having to fill a ton of experienced shoes left from last season, but it’s all about refocusing up as they prepare for a tournament up at Clackamas this weekend.
“I think just effort and working harder and being coach-able,” said the Scots Jonathan Mentado. “This past week was kind of mentally, coming back to school..but that’s no excuse. For me, I wasn’t there and this last match you could see that I wasn’t. It was just disappointed for me.
“Just putting in effort. Just guys busting their butts, just putting in effort and being coachable that’s it. Doing the moves, doing the techinques, just effort. That’s all about you on the mat. You know what your going to do so just leave it all out there.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald