By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– He’s been on the shelve for three weeks healing up from an leg injury and he was opened that he was gassed after the win, but down and needing a move with 30 seconds left on the clock Sprague’s Brock McMullen kept fighting.
McMullen held a 4-2 lead 90 seconds left in the second round of the 132 pound District Final Bout versus Bend’s James Anderson before Anderson swung a five point run to put the Olympian Junior in a conundrum and needing points.
He pulled a granby, a somersault, and got the Bend grappler to his back when the referee starting the near-fall counting.
“I just remembered, ‘I’m down three, I got two. I just need two points to get ahead’,” said McMullen. “My forearms were dead and I was squeezing.”153
Like a few other athlete’s on the Sprague roster, McMullen has been on the up-and-up. First his hip flexor, then his ankle. Crap in this match alone he landed on his noggin at the end of the second round and needed to take some time before the start of the third round to make sure he was ok.
But the walking bruise kept fighting, four of his teammates that wrestled in front of him already brought home District Titles and he wasn’t about to be the first Runner-Up for the Olympians, so he kept squeezing.
That groan of ‘squeeze’ echoed throughout the Sprague basketball gym was met by a quick burst of the referee’s whistle and cheers after McMullen’s pin with five seconds left in the match. McMullen’s hollering nearly matched that of the Sprague home crowd around him with State now in front of him.
“Oh it’s awesome bro. I’ve been hurt all season and comeback with a District Title, it’s pretty nice. This District tournament is my first-time going live in three weeks, so obviously I’m a little gassed but I kept going,” said McMullen. “Just keep practicing like we always do. No matter what, keep grinding.”
Brayden Boyd started the five-straight District Winner streak at 106. Aaron Joklur (113) joined him, rallying back to take the district title 7-5. Noah Worthington (120) won via pin with 37 seconds left in the match. Sprague won the 126 belt by third round tech-fall 15-0 by Colby Hemmert as eight Olys won District Titles Saturday.
Luke Merzenich (138), Brook Byers (152), Landon Davis (160), Cole Bacheller (170) all finished District Runner-Up as Sprague won the Team Title with 479 points and Head Coach Nolan Harris won Coach of the Year Honors.
Sprague will be sending 16 wrestlers to Portland this upcoming week while they placed 24 in the District tournament this past weekend.