By Jeremy McDonald
ADAIR VILLAGE, Ore.– Going back-to-back days in terms of tournament wrestling isn’t no easy task by any stretch of the imagination, but hey it’s good practice for the State Tournament Meet where your going hard for two straight days.
Following their Pape Linn County Fairgrounds tournament Friday that saw them finish fourth as a team with Jacob Lowther being the lone winner of the tournament, Saturday morning brought the grapplers of Scio to Santiam Christian for the Screamin Eagle Tournament outside of Albany.
After losing to Titus Rice of Creswell to open the second-round of the bracket, Daniels Simmons got a Major Decision of 15-2 over Corvallis’ Rene Alvarez to advance deeper into the consolation bracket Saturday afternoon.
“Well, I’ve lost a lot this year, I hate it,” said Simmons on the first win of the tournament. “After that (first) match, I felt like I should have won it so I took all my anger out on it and left it all on the mat.
“Just got to make sure I’m warm before the match and I’m ready. Don’t overlook anybody, just go out there and wrestle my best.”
The junior 152-pounder wrestler would pick up two pins from that anger he had and used from that Saturday morning to reach the consolation finals match versus Zachary Russell of Dayton. Russell would get the better of Simmons in that match in a contested 1-0 match, but Simmons walked away with the fourth place spot that helped with the Loggers overall point total in the overall standings as Simmons strung together a few wins leading up to that match.
Scio would get third-place finishes out of Kade Mask (120) and Hunter Zeiher (126), both who lost tough Championship semi-final round matches as Mask lost to Sprague’s Colby Hemmert 6-4 after holding a 2-1 lead into the second round. Mask pinned Sprague’s Simo Artunyan by the 1:26 mark of the match.
Zeiher found himself up 5-4 on Philomath’s Anthony Rath after taking the lead on a crazy takedown that counted as both went out of bounds, only to see Rath regain the lead on a takedown himself in the closing 10 seconds for the 6-5 victory. Zeiher bounced back for third with a pin over Hunter McCaskill at the 2:53 mark.
You could tell that there were some frustrations within that they were right there in the semi-finals, but couldn’t get over the hump and get into the final round of their respective weight classes as Bryce West and Hunter Robison fell into the consolation bracket at 132 where West pinned Robison in 1:12 for third-place.
It wasn’t until Jacob Mask at 138 where the tables began to turn.
Jacob Mask gets a pinned victory, Brandon Zeiher (152, won bracket on 6-4 decision), Adam Stratemyer (160, second-place finish), Dru Cook (182) and Lowther (285) all pinned their opponents to get to the finals.
“It feels really good, (I) set a pace and get it going,” said Jacob Mask after breaking the Loggers finals shutout streak as he talked about his semi-final win. “Just staying in good position, letting (Oakland’s Jeremiah Cranley) make mistakes.”
“We started off slow at the beginning of the tournament, got some wins. Started off slow again in the semi-finals, a lot of people not warming up like their suppose be. They’re ready for the matches but they need to be ready for this,” said Cook on the tournament and the semi-final round as a whole. “There’s a lot of good teams here and coming back, it’s going to be a really good feeling that we’re going to be here.”
For Cook, the senior got to the finals by putting the literal hold down on Monroe’s Zach Esplin during the second-round; and though it took a couple of tries to get Esplin down for that split second, the stratgey eventually worked for the Scio Senior.
“I’m just trying to focus up on doing my thing,” Cook said on his semi-final match. “When I knew he was about ready to turn over I just stepped in and lock my legs up and arched my back to get him flat. You got to do what you got to do.”
Cook’s finals win was just the second non-pin victory as he won on a 6-4 decision against Legin Engle of Dayton as Jacob Mask and Lowther picked up pin victories in the finals as four Loggers nabbed first-place trophies as Scio won the tournament by 55 points over second-place Corvallis.
Knowing they still got things to work on, the Loggers go back to work in preparation of their next challenge ahead. But the experience of the last two-days certainly proved it’s worth for when State comes a-callin’ here in a few weeks.
“I did good but got some things to work on,” said Lowther. “As (a) team we had some awesome matches and it really shows who has the heart to win. Some kids wrestled okay yesterday and then wrestled awesome today. It’s honestly just good for us to have this type of two day stuff because that’s how state is!”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald