Celt Taylor Gettle wraps up his opponent and attempts to roll him into a pin. (Photos submitted by Heather Sweigart)

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

McNary’s varsity mat team emerged from the Northwest Duals in the top 10 of 32 teams, with one undefeated wrestler and two who dropped only one match.

The undefeated wrestler, Jeremy Lowe, was a pleasant surprise for coach Jason Ebbs.

“If you had asked me to bet on the chance Jeremy would go undefeated, I wouldn’t have put all my money on it, but he put the training pieces together in the past couple of weeks and I’m looking forward to more of that in the upcoming weeks,” Ebbs said.

Lowe credited hard work in practice with giving him the edge.

“My take downs have gotten a lot better. I feel like I’m doing good, my goal this year was simply to get better and it seems to be happening,” Lowe said.

Stevin Urban, in the 171-pound weight class, and Tyler Brown, in the 189-pound weight class, lost one match each to finish the tourney with 6-1 records. Urban improved his overall record to 13-2 for the season.

“I had everything going for me the first day and the beginning of the second day until we wrestled Forest Grove. Every time I tried to do something he’d run away or run out of the ring,” Urban said.

Ebbs said Urban and the coaches will be on the lookout for the Forest Grove wrestler the next time around.

Brown was another of the team’s pleasant surprises, Ebbs said.

“We’re always looking for that moment when a wrestler stops worrying about a move and focuses on being aggressive and getting after the guy on the mat. Tyler got after those guys, I wouldn’t have wanted to be the one on the mat with him,” Ebbs said.

“I’m getting close to where I want to be, but I have to keep focused because it could be a big year for me,” Brown said.

As a team, McNary beat Woodburn 45-30 winning eight matches, losing four and forfeiting two; defeated Wilsonville 53-18 winning 10 matches, losing two and forfeiting two; lost to Hillsboro 18-63 by winning three matches, losing nine and forfeiting two; lost to Aloha 28-42 with six wins seven losses and one forfeit; beat Century 39-19 with nine wins, four losses and one forfeit; lost to Forest Grove 24-42 winning six matches, losing seven and forfeiting one; and beat Westview High School 39-27 with eight wins, five losses and one forfeit.

Anticipating big challenges in the near future, Ebbs was wary of assessing the teams’ improvement thus far.

“These wrestlers have some goals in mind and, in the next few weeks, they’re going to get some real measuring posts on their goals and what they’ll need to do to achieve them,” Ebbs said. “We’d like to think that when we hit the regional tournament we’ll be ready to go and know that we’ve accomplished our goals.”