Corban Wrestling’s Local Ties

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  The Corban University Wrestling team has an interesting twist with their program with five grapplers coming from nearby Salem schools.  Six if you include Blake Runion from Amity as the former Warrior is joined by Sprague’s Brayden Boyd, Bo Davis, Michael Murphy and Yasyf Sorensen as well as McKay-grads in David Rubio and German Munoz.

“It’s an awesome thing to see.  We get a lot of parents that are coming to the matches and stuff because everything is pretty local.  I love seeing all the parents and kids from other schools, coming and joining together.  It’s pretty awesome.  Wrestling with David is something I would never imagine, but it’s been awesome meeting up with other All-Stars from other high schools,” Murphy said.

Rubio, one of two Nationally-ranked guys with Tyson Strover of Washington, jokes that with all the local guys that it’s like a local All-Star team.  But knows it’s part of a well-balanced machine in the long haul for the fourth-year program.

“It’s pretty remarkable to see all the tough dudes you grew up wrestling around.  You hear names in the 3A division, the 5A division and just having those guys in Salem, at Corban…we make jokes that we call ourselves the ‘Salem-Keizer All-Star team’ and we just draw those guys in.  We know that being home-grown is a special thing to look out for, especially for yourself and for the community to have a team to support.  They want to support all the local guys, but also look at the out-of-state guys as well when we’re recruiting because that’s another big factor in building a tough program as well,” Rubio said.

Stover is ranked 21st in the Nation at 197 pounds and is ranked fifth in the Cascade Collegiate Conference.  Rubio is ranked fourth in the nation at 165 pounds and is the top-ranked wrestler at his weight in conference.  The former Scots wrestler also became the second-ever All-American for the Warrior Wrestling program, joining Levi Perry who did it in 2021, to do so following his fifth-place finish at Nationals last season.

“It was good, it was a milestone that I know I can compete with all the toughest guys in the nation and that motivates me to make those further strides to reach that top of the podium in March.  Carrying that momentum into this year, having that confidence in just competing with anyone.  Wrestling seven minutes hardl,” starts Rubio.  “Here at Corban we preach just wrestle-free and have total release while you’re wrestling.  So that just means eliminating all the performance anxiety that comes with wrestling or any sports at all.  It’s just going out there and doing what you do and have fun.”

Murphy spent his first two years at Oregon State University before coming back home and joining the Corban program as the 2018 Olympian Grad and Warrior senior looks to finish his time on the mat off right.  Putting in some extra work with the end of the season looming for the local wrestling program.

“It’s been an awesome experience.  Oregon State was a good time, but I think transferring here to Corban has probably been the best decision.  I’ve really enjoyed the school as far as wrestling, I’ve never been in a better place for wrestling.  I love it here and love my coaches, teammates and it’s just a good environment,” starts Murphy. “(This year) is going alright.  There’s been some ups-and-downs this season, it’s not going exactly how I wanted it, but we’ve been working really hard and doing some extra work these last few weeks to get ready for Conference and Nationals coming up/.  I think I’m in a good place to make some noise.”

Murphy, ranked seventh in the conference, is one of seven Conference-ranked wrestlers on the program.  Boyd (125) and Davis (133) each are ranked ninth at their respective weights.  Matt Bartlett from South Africa is ranked tenth at 174 in the conference.  Munoz is fifth at 184 pounds and Tyler Moore from Klamath Union is ranked eighth at 197 pounds as Corban hosts Linfield Thursday at 6pm before heading to Southern Oregon University Saturday to wrestle the Raiders and San Francisco State University.  The CCC Championships will be February 17 and 18 at Prescott, Arizona.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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