By Jeremy McDonald
PORTLAND, Ore.– As the Semi-Final round was going on around the mat floor during the second day of the State Wrestling Tournament, Kade Van De Hey built himself a nice lead lead of 5-1 against Molalla’s Ryan Mount in the 4A 145 pound Semi-final match.
Win and you go to the State Title Final, lose and you’ll have to go through the consolation bracket and finish anywhere between third and sixth-place.
Mount escaped to make it 5-2 in the second round of the match as Van De Hey pushed his lead to 7-2 with Mount on the defensive as Van De Hey trying to turn the senior for a possible pin.
“I’ve been watching a lot of the Molalla guys and they came out on fire in the first 30 seconds, they gas hard. So I thought if I come in and push my pace, push my offense he won’t be able to hang, I had a little bit of athleticism on him,” said Van De Hey on the early going of the match. “So I knew his pace was going to come around, so I came out even higher.”
Van De Hey would need that cushion in the final round and some change as Mount quickly cut the score to 7-4 and challenged Van De Hey’s non-surgically repaired arm by making Van De Hey used his arm he had repaired to sustain his lead entering the final period up three.
Van De Hey, who was offensive all match was hurting as he needed to use some injury time to shake off the pain in his arm as Mount was warned for some of the moves he was doing, but Van De Hey kept battling as he became defensive in order to sustaining his lead over Mount as the Indian began to pick up his pace as Van De Hey expected him to do.
“I looked at the scoreboard, I knew I had a little room and I knew he was going to comeback to it and I knew I couldn’t get turned, if I don’t get turned I win,” said Van De Hey as Mount controlled much of the remainder of the match. “So I just had to look at the score and get it in my own mind and remember all the times I’ve lost here and at the end I bucked up and had to make a couple of big rounds and then I just did it.”
Both sides picked up a point, but Van De Hey walked away victorious with a 8-5 decision and reaching the State Title match as he walked over to his older brother with a smile on his face as they embraced following Van De Hey’s moment with his father and Cougar assistant coach Dan Van De Hey.
“Well I’m nervous, but I’m just excited for it. My older brother is here, I looked up to him for a long time so he got fourth. I told him I had to beat fourth, so I did it,” said Van De Hey with a smile as he looked over to his brother. “We always go back-and-forth on who’s the better football-wrestler, he’s the better football player and I guess I’m the better wrestler now.”
Van De Hey, though he didn’t walk away with the State Title his senior year this year, he did walk away finishing two-spots higher than his older brother as he finished second after losing a tough match to the number one seed in William Jantzer of Marshfield by decision 5-2.
Van De Hey and Macoy Christman (220) both finish second in their respective divisions while Kane Nixon (126) and Louie Sanchez (220) both brought home State Titles.
For Christman, who’s semi-final match ended after Sanchez’ win, was happy to see both of them reach the State Title match together for one last match together after getting a win via injury time over Sutherlin’s Andrew Smalley.
“It’s amazing, I’ve been practicing with him all year,” “Him and coach (Jason) Lovell have brought me to this point because practicing with them everyday makes me a lot batter. I’m excited for it, I’m going to go out there and try hard and he’s going to try hard and we’ll see what happens.”