By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– There’s something about rematches against two great competitors that makes the non-league tournament schedule even more interesting.
What makes this rematch in the Perry Burlison Wrestling Classic was that Crook County’s Kyle Knudtson and McKay’s David Rubio mutually wanted to see if they could stage that rematch this season as what happened last season.
Both would wrestle through the 182 pound tourney, Rubio weighed 168 and could have wrestled 170 if he really wanted too. But the Scots Senior couldn’t pass up an opportunity to avenge his 9-7 loss to the Cowboys 4A State Runner-Up at 170-pounds with Rubio seeded number one and Kundtson number two.
Both wrestled through the bracket, Rubio with a Pin, Tech-Fall and Major Decision to get to the finals. Knudtson, two pins and a Major got him to the showdown between the two 2018 State Finalist.
There was a sense of fun when the opening whistle blew after their handshake, knowing this match was able to be recreated as they hoped.
“It’s just fun, just two tough competitors trying to beat the hell out of each other. I mean he was a State Finalist and the only reason why he didn’t win was because he face the number one kid in the Nation and that’s all respects to him. He could’ve gone to another weight class but he stayed at his class so I respect the hell out of him,” said Rubio of the match, Rubio would get the Most Outstanding Wrestler award too.
“I just like wrestling. I just want to wrestle everyone, I want to wrestle the best and he’s one of the best. He’s probably going to win two more State Titles, I think he’s a sophomore or a junior. He’s just tough and I love tough competition.”
The match started with a hearty scramble and fight around the circle before Knudtson got the first takedown, Rubio escaped for his only point of the first round with Knudtson leading 4-1 entering the second.
Rubio would tie and took a 6-4 lead before Knudtson got an escape. Rubio would build a 10-5 lead before Knudtson and the defending 170-pound 6A State Champ in Rubio traded blows once more as Rubio eeked out a 6-4 advantage on Knudtson after building the 10-5 lead in Rubio’s 16-9 win to take first in the tournament.
After the match, Knudtson was frustrated at the result, but embraced Rubio in a hug as the Crook County wrestler towers over Rubio like Hulk Hogan to Rocky Balboa in Rocky 3. For Rubio, he knows that this match accomplished a lot for both wrestlers as the season kicked off this Saturday.
“I think we both accomplished it. Now he has notes on someone like me to have and I have with some people like him,” said Rubio. “I think we really helped each other today.”
Tess Barnett has always got a way of making things interesting in her matches win or lose when it comes to facing the guys.
After losing a tough opening match versus Cameron O’Connor of Tigard, the Scots sophomore 113 pounder found herself down 2-1 to Scappoose’s Cash Berry in the consolation second round and was floating with the boundary looking to work herself back to center.
Not just that she did, she escaped and then converted it into a two-point take down to taking the lead before continuing her moment in pinning Berry seconds later at the 2:59 mark of the match.
It was almost in a blink of an eye that Barnett, who finished fourth in Girls State last year, turned probably a tough exit into one of those, ‘what just happen’ moments seconds later.
“I lost my first match so I doubted myself a lot and I told myself, ‘alright I’ll probably won’t win this next one. Boys are stronger, but once I got on-top of him and got that one-point lead, I just had a lot more confidence and I just kept going,” said Barnett on the match.
Barnett would fall in the next round to Junction City’s Cameron Truesdell. Other girls that did well include: Karime Camarena won the girls 171-pound weight class, Arionnah Duff 3rd place and Raquel Martinez 4th place both at the 120-pound class.
The Scots JV Squad saw three first-placers in Israel Rivas, German Muñoz and Omar Solorio in their respective weight classes. Andy Nguyen added a third-place finish as 10 McKay JV’ers placed on Saturday.