By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– West Salem’s lighter weights put the Titans in a favorable position as they entered the 145 pound match between Kalen Fegles-Jones and Toby Stumpf.
They led the match 21-6 with a forfeit win at 106, pin victories at 120 and 126 from Luke Ferschweller (120) and Sebastian De Leon (126) and a 10-4 victory from Mason Meredith at 138 to set the pace.
In that 138 match, Meredith rallied from a 4-1 deficit to win the match and Meredith points to the West Salem mantra they see everyday in the room:
‘Expect To Win’.
“I mean, we just work a lot in the room, working the stuff we like to do and I knew as soon as I got the take down, I could work the stuff that I work in the room,” “Coaches, they push us hard to keep going, keep pushing. We have a sign in the room that says, ‘Expect to Win’.
“So when your down two-, three, four-, it doesn’t matter…you got to expect to win so you just got to go out there, make some moves and just comeback and wrestle hard no matter what.”
They kept battling hard as they got to the middle-weights, but the Grizzlies showed the strength of their line-up in the middle-to-upper weights as they picked up wins at 145, 152 and 160 to tie the match up at 21.
Matt Manus, with the mindset of their infamous sign, battled and ‘expect to win’-will as he had his 170 match tied at two-apiece with 1:31 left, but a quick escape and takedown helped the Grizzlies take a 24-21 lead as Manus had a tough time battling from the bottom position from the grip of Stevie Ryan.
Mac took a 30-21 lead before Owen Barrett broke the losing streak of his team with a pin in his match as the senior credits what they went over in practice as the key component of the win.
“We’ve been working in practice a little fake-the-collartie go for a duck and that was something that worked tonight so I think that was a key point of practice because I was work that all week and got to do it on the mat,” said Barrett.
And though they didn’t pull off the match victory as they did versus South Salem, it was still a good learning experience for this young lineup that Mike Baker has this season.
“It’s a great learning experience for us, we got some guys in the lineup that are having an opportunity to compete that maybe are always there on the vasity-side, did a great job,” said Baker. “I mean, there’s guys in those middle weights are, we got some guys that are missing for being sick or hurt or whatever it is, the guys…I’m really excited, I’m really proud on hos those younger guys competed.
“Going forward it’s a great learning experience. There’s some stuff in there, that we got to get better and that’s always how it is, I love the sport of wrestling because it doesn’t matter if your undefeated or you lost every match, you got stuff to work on.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald