By Jeremy McDonald
DALLAS, Ore.– It was an opportunity for Julio Ramirez to bounce back from his match against Dallas to start the four-team dual Thursday afternoon on the road.
It was a tough start to the day for the North Salem grapplers, falling to 5A Power and defending State Champion Dallas 77-6, but they started their match with Central strongly as Norely Ruiz started the match at 106 fighting hard before falling in her match.
But with how scrappy the match was at 113, Ramirez dug deep to get the second round pin at the three minute mark to tie the team score at six a piece.
“It was fun, I was really mad because I lost a match I should have won but I lost it. It’s my fault, I scared myself,” said Ramirez. “I came here and I just wrestled. Just not sike myself out.”
The Panthers jumped out to a 27-6 lead before the Vikings got it to 27-15 and kept the score to within reach after Clint Pfeifer’s win at 170 at 39-18 decision win with North Salem bouncing back from their tough 77-6 loss to Dallas to start the day.
“It’s really good that we could throw away our previous match and come here and be successful again,” said Pfeifer as they face Silverton Friday night. “It’s good, we had to keep rescheduling with Silverton, but it’s nice to end (Thursday) with a nice win before facing them.”
Antonio Garcia, who picked up the Viks lone decision via pin against the Dragons, led 6-3 after 1 and 9-3 within the first 30 seconds of the second period with the coffee-color facemask on.
Garcia gave up a quick point before pushing his lead to 11-4 before getting the pin with 20 seconds left in the match with North Salem picking up a pin to close out the meet with Central with a tough 45-30 loss.
But with Silverton Friday night at 6pm with West Salem and McNary coming up next week, it was a good way to build some momentum moving into the near-future with this young group.
For Garcia, who’s already making some noise this season at 195 with some quality wins during the season, he knows his team could take it up another level with Ein Carlos still healing up entering the home stretch before Districts.
“It was honestly good. After the Dallas match, that wasn’t our true potential. We still have a lot of young talent on the team, so we knew that (the Dragons) were the defending State Champion team,” starts Garcia on the difference of the two matches. “They go in there thinking, ‘I shouldn’t win this match’. Which makes them wrestle scare, which makes them wrestle badly.
“I truly believe that if we all wrestled to our full potential, we could have scared Dallas. Even against Central, we still didn’t wrestle to our full potential that I think we could have, but we did wrestle way better. Everyone had a good warm-up, everyone did what they were suppose to and it showed what our real talent is and what we could become for the next month before Districts.”