By Matt Rawlings
Of the Keizertimes
The McNary wrestling program opened up their season last Friday by hosting the second annual Jerry Lane Invitational.
Even though the Celtics went 1-3 in their four dual meets, head coach Jason Ebbs liked what he saw from his team in their first meet.
“To go toe-to-toe with the caliber of teams that we were facing was really promising to see. Especially with the young kids we have this year,” Ebbs said.
“The benefit of this tournament is that we get really solid and (high) quality teams in our gym and we open up our season with what wrestling is supposed to look like at this level and why we need to practice so hard to get good.”
Enrique Vincent had the best performance of the night for McNary as he was the only one on the squad that won all four of his matches.
Even though he weighed it at 138 pounds, the senior wrestled in the 145 division and still was able to come out victorious.
“It was a little bit nerve-wracking to wrestle a weight above where I was at,” Vincent said. “But in my first match, I felt like I started to get a feel of what being a 145-pounder was like.”
Vincent was challenged a little bit in his first two matches against Tristin David (Roseburg) and Isaiah McIntosh (Dallas), but beat both opponents by decision. In his last two matches, Vincent beat Patrick Brown (Cleveland) and Jared Ray (Glencoe) via first-round pins.
“After I won my first two matches, I felt like my last two were pretty easy,” Vincent said.
It a big deal for McNary to host a program like Roseburg at this tournament. Roseburg has been crowned the 6A state champion for the last five seasons and has taken home 10 titles in the last 12 years.
While the Indians dominated the overall score, Ebbs was happy to see Grady Burrows (120) and Vincent get individual victories.
“(Roseburg) is a perennial force to be reckoned with,” Ebbs said. “We consider ourselves lucky to have them come to our tournament and we’re happy to wrestle them anytime we can.”
The Celtics faced another tough test in their second dual against 5A powerhouse Dallas. Anthony Garcia Reyes (220), Noah Gatchet (113) and Burrows all won with falls, but McNary ended up losing by a score of 51-27.
After falling in a competitive dual with Cleveland, McNary wrapped up the night with a dominant victory over Glencoe, as they won 10 of the 12 individual matches.
“Glencoe tends to put some pretty tough guys on the mat, so to be able to beat them handily was a good experience for us,” Ebbs said.
McNary heads back to the mat on Saturday as they head down to Eugene to compete in the Springfield Tournament.