By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– It seems weird to have Senior Night this early in the season, but nonetheless Sprague would have still put on a show for their home-crowd Wednesday night when they hosted McKay as they honored their Seniors.
With athletes like Santos Cantu III and Landon Davis out healing up for the end of the season push with Districts and State, the Olympians kicked it off with a forfeit win at 106 and a Aaron Joklur third-round tech-fall of Tess Barnett at 113 pounds 15-0.
For the Senior, he felt like it wasn’t his best match versus the Scots Sophomore but a win is a win on this night.
“I think I could improve a lot more. I mean I was out there and I was tired, but I shouldn’t be tired. I didn’t eat right or sleep well, I didn’t have enough energy,” said Joklur. “It’s a lot of fun, I just try to take everything and make it fun.”
Noah Worthington (120) sparked a trio of pins when he pinned Bryant Mendoza by the 1:25 mark of the second period as Colby Hemmert (126) and Maximus Garrett (132) joined him with pins. Brook Byers (152) too got a pin, but the Scots Erick Ambrocio challenged Roland Hare at 160 pounds.
Ambrocio and Hare were knotted at 0-all after the first period before Hare scored seven points in the second period for his 7-2 victory over the McKay junior.
“The match was pretty tough, I was pretty tired out there. Really good practice today, but that second round when I got him on his back, that kind of broke him out there,” said Hare as he turned a takedown into a three-point near fall to take 7-0 lead entering the third period.
At 170, Cole Bacheller took the spot of Davis against the defending 170 Champ in David Rubio and traded Rubio’s takedown points to his escape points in a realtively close 8-4 match. But Rubio quickly turned the match into a tech-fall in the Scots first points of the match with his 21-6 win for five team points.
“It was a tough dual meet but we’re a young team, Sprague I think they’re ranked third in the State right now. So it was good to see people pick up that momentum off my match,” said Rubio as his win sparked some energy into the McKay lineup. “I want to get as much mat time as I can before District and State.”
Andy Nguyen in the 182 pound match led Sprague’s Stan Cernev 4-1 after the first period, but the Junior Cernev slowly chipped away at the Scot Junior’s lead eventually taking it 10-4.
McKay answered though as Soren Sorensen, who stepped in for Cantu III at 195, face Gerald ‘JJ’ Jennings. The Senior Scotsman jumped out to a 7-0 lead on Sorensen entering the second period as Jennings went defensive in the second round in trying to keep Sorensen from building some momentum entering the third period in his 9-1 win.
“I just didn’t want him to get up and that. It was tough, but oh man was it good,” said Jennings.
In the final true match of the night at 220 before the Olys brought home the forfeit win at 285, it was a dogfight between Israel Rivas and freshman David Sherman as it came down to the wire.
Sherman was up 6-4 after a take down, Rivas used two escape and a take down to take a 8-6 lead. Sherman tied it at eight with 47 seconds remaining to a roar from the crowd, Rivas took the lead back with 21 seconds remaining to louder roars as both went out of bounds with 10 seconds left in the match. But Rivas held on for the 9-8 victory to close out the 59-12 Sprague Win Wednesday night.
“It felt good,” Rivas said of his match with McKay finishing the team dual strongly. “We all worked as hard as we can and it felt good. I just feel like we need better conditioning and leading a little bit harder on our shots and finishing them