By Jeremy McDonald
BEAVERTON, Ore.– Jose Lugo’s junior year didn’t end the way he wanted it to end, reaching the 5A State Wrestling Meet was the goal for the then-junior for the Central Wrestling Team, but the result of two-and-done was not the way he had hoped it would have resulted at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Fast forward a few months and the Panther senior had just wrapped up a pin victory over West Salem’s Aizik Sheldon in 58 seconds to advance to the 182 pound Bracket Semifinals at the Southridge Invitational on Saturday afternoon.
“It was always my goal to make it to State and last year it was upsetting losing at State and not placing. But this year, looking back at that, that’s been driving me this whole year and I’ve been doing my thing,” Lugo described last year’s result. “(This year) is going great man, I fixed up a couple of things and it’s been going good. I have my mom, a friend, someone record my match and I look back on the videos on what I can do better and stuff like that.”
Five years. Five years that Lugo has laced up the shoes and put on the headgear, and the passion for the sport has grown every rep, every day and every match. He fell in the semifinal round, but rebounded well in the third-place match with a 11-0 Major Decision on 3A Irrigon’s Josiah Moreno to close out the tournament Saturday.
“It means a lot,” Lugo said of the sport. “Ever since I’ve stepped up on that mat, I’ve fell in love with it the first moment I’ve ever stepped onto that mat. It’s been great.”
Central finished eighth as a team at the Southridge Tournament Case Merritt (113), Ethan Dunnigan (160) and Tristan Stevens (182B) won their respective brackets.Trevyn Lilley was third at 138 pounds. Keeney Porter was fifth at 195 pounds and Mason Vela was sixth at 170 pounds.
On the girls side Issabell Branske was second at 105 pounds and Makenna Holmes was third at 190 pounds.