The West Salem Friendship And The Freshman Who Finished Fifth

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  The friendship between Mason Meredith and Kaleb Fegles-Jones was visible after Fegles-Jones’ 10-6 win over Sprague’s   Kaedyn Malcom that qualified the senior for the State tournament as the two hugged after the match.

“It’s indescribable wrestling has brought us so close together, like a brother,” said Fegles-Jones on the friendship.
For Fegles-Jones  he saw Malcolm rally on him late in the match, cutting the match to 7-6 and looking for the pin, but (last name) slipped out of the turning motion by (sprague) as he went up 8-6 with an escape that he quickly turned into a two-point takedown that would have all but iced the 10-6 victory as the West Salem and Meredith and their coaches erupted in cheers.
Meredith, who moments before to qualified for state at 160 with his win to get to tge third-fourth match, described the moment seeing both him and his friend qualify for the big show.
“That’s awesome because we’ve been wrestling here for four-years, last year we both missed it by a hair,” said Meredith.  “Obviously with it being our senior year it’s awesome for us, we both made it and it’s just amazing.  Just amazing, we’re both best friends, pretty much brothers and it feels good have both of us in there.”
Kaleb Fegles-Jones finding a way to compete and win to advance to the 138-pound third-fourth place match (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
Emotions were there for Fegles-Jones  as he came off the mat to his sideline teary-eyed as he made his way put to the hallway.
“That’s been my goal for four-years and it’s my senior year, it’s my last chance and I took that chance and did it,” said Fegles-Jones.  “It’s amazing, me and my best friend get to go do something we both worked for four-years and never achieved before and it’s just amazing.”
But, now for both seniors, its off to build some momentum for State with their next match.
“I’ve already made it so I’ve achieved my goal, but getting that last match and winning it would be good in momentum,” said Fegles-Jones.
In their third-fourth place bouts, Fegles-Jones battled Nick Hernandez up at 138 but Hernandez just did enough for the 12-8 victory; while the match before, Meredith at 132, rallied from a scoreless hole to almost pulling off the comeback versus West Albany’s Devon McIntire Saturday afternoon.
“That one was a tough loss, lost by one point, thought I had him but it makes me more hungry,” “But we got two weeks to prepare for State, so we got to work hard in the room and come out hungier than ever.
“Next time, can’t let a one-point match…have that go my way next time.  It’s State tournament, it’s literally the last time I’ll ever wrestle so this loss right here pushes me to that extra step because I do not want to lose like that again in my last chances of wrestling.”
Joining Fegles-Jones and Meredith is Sebestian De Leon, who finished District Runner-Up at 120 Saturday night to Forest Grove’s Ivan Torres.  Casey Resch (145) finished fourth and Cedric Snider (106) finished third-place to bring the total to five Titans going to State.
Jack Livengood strapping on his head-gear before his 120-pound fifth-place match (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)
For those who didn’t go to State but placed was West Salem’s Jack Livengood.
The freshman cut a few pounds from his already small frame to make the cut for 120 and the second-year wrestler held a 6-2 lead on McNary’s Daniel Hernandez during the third period.
But, Hernandez began to answer back and used a late three near-fall to cut the lead to 6-5.  Livengood escaped and got two more points to build a 9-5 lead and needed every one of those last three points as Livengood held off the charging Hernandez 9-7 to finish fifth in his first High School District Meet.
“It’s great, I would want to go higher but sometimes it happens and hopefully I can go higher,” said a optimistic Livengood.  “That (match) just taught me that I need to condition more and I need to work hard to get better.”
Follow Jeremy McDonald on Twitter at @J_McDonald81 or like jmcdonaldmedia on Facebook!

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