By Jeremy McDonald
SCIO, Ore.– Scio Head Wrestling Coach Matt Parazoo kept bringing up believing before and after Monday’s practice in their mat room.
To believe in themselves and in their abilities to perform to the best they can. Parazoo also played over the sound system in the facility crowd reaction from State Matches from the year before as practice wrapped up with State a few days away.
“It means a State Title,” starts Adam Stratemeyer. “You have to believe it. If you don’t believe it, it’s not going to happen. If you don’t look at yourself every single day and tell yourself that it’s going to happen, it’s not going to happen.
“So that’s what it means. You really got to believe in yourself and in your team that we and you can do it.”
Stratemeyer finished District Runner-Up at 160 pounds after losing a tough 11-5 decision to Asher Ruchti from Pleasant Hill to return to the State Tournament. In the 2018 tournament as a Junior, Stratemeyer lost a opening round match that negatively affected him as he finished a match short of placing.
“I just gave up, but right now for me it can’t be like that. This is my last year, I’m going for it all,” said Stratemeyer of that first match compare to now. “To me, leaving it all on the mat is putting everything you learn and all of your hard work into that one match that really counts. I believe that I’m really going to do that this weekend.”
Bryce West and Daniel Simmons return to State after their sixth-place finishes last season, Simmons finished sixth after suffering a concussion that derailed a possible run at third-place as a junior.
Jacob Mask, who finished State Runner-Up as a sophomore last year to the Billies Blaine Rodolf, described the match as himself being ready for it but he felt like Rodolf was more ready in the match. The result has been the fire for Mask throughout this season.
“Oh it’s definitely been the fire that has been lighting me all year,” said Mask of the loss. “It’s been in the back of my mind that I came short. I was there and I came short, it’s been haunting me.”
Belief in oneself. It’s what Coach Parazoo was telling the 11 athletes, 10 male wrestlers and one female wrestler, in the mat room Monday. Friday will start their journey possibly to the Title Round if not at least podiumed by Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Their belief and confidence mixed with their talents helped them get to the State Tournament, and this is where it pays off.
“I just tell myself that I’m the best just every day. Working here, working hard. Everyone getting one-percent better every day,” said Mask. “Just wrestle my match and don’t have him have any of his time, just control the whole match. Win the scrambles. Just do me.”
Photos By Jeremy McDonald