By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Its always weird when you’re facing a teammate in a big time tournament like the District Meet.
But unlike the District Final where you could understandably forfeit to the older grapler, the match between Jesse Rubio and German Munoz at 152 pounds was to qualify for the State Meet.
“As my brother said, you can’t let that get in your way. You just got to wrestle hard and give it 100-percent,” said Jesse Rubio. “You can’t let the fact that your going up against your own teammates stop you from moving on.”
The younger Rubio and Munoz scraped with Rubio leading 3-2 early, but Rubio would pull away for the 15-5 decision to take third to qualify for State and Munoz finishing fourth. The win helped Jesse Rubio join his older brother David on going to State.
“It’s really an exciting thing, I love it. I love my brother to death and it makes me so happy to know that we’re going to State together,” said Jesse Rubio. “You just got to work hard, if you don’t work hard, you don’t get what you want. Never stop wrestling, keep your head up and just keep working hard.”
Speaking of David Rubio, the senior improved to 30-0 and picked up a District Title that has eluded him throughout his High School career. But it wasn’t the way he wanted when Sprague’s Landon Davis forfeited to heal up for State at 160 pounds, it is expected that the two will meet up at some point of the State Tournament however.
“I don’t ffel like I should be called a District champion, but it is what it is and I’ll him at State,” said Rubio. “I love tough matches and I’m excited to get another match with him.”
And as the older Rubio embarks on his final State Run, it will come down to toughness in area for him as David Rubio looks to bring home another State Title to McKay after next weekend.
“Just be tough in every situation, don’t give them any points. Just be tough all around,” said Rubio.
Bryant Mendoza finished third at 126 pounds, Connor Everetts (113), Gavin Harris (145) was fourth. Juan Servin and Erick Ambrosio went four, five at 170. Israel Rivas (195) finished fourth and Mitchell Everetts (132) was sixth.
Mendoza, the only other Scotsman to qualify for the State Tournament, had picked up a pin on Mountain View’s Trent Mills with 28 seconds remaining in the opening period after sitting out the last bit recovering for the District meet.
Mills took some injury time and had came out of it turning a 2-0 deficit into a 3-2 lead before Mendoza in a blink of an eye almost turned a takedown into that pin for the win Saturday afternoon at Sprague High School.
“I don’t know, nothing was going through my brain I just wanted to win. It’s awesome,” said Mendoza. “I haven’t been practicing, I took three days off because I hurt my knee. Yesterday was when I really started getting back onto the mat.
Mendoza, who’s entering his second straight trip to Portland admits that his conditioning is something that he could work on entering Day 1 of State at Veterans Memorial Coliseum this upcoming weekend.