By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

Riley Repp might still be waiting for his spotlight moment as a McNary High School wrestler, but the senior has shown more dedication and tenacity during the past four seasons than many of his peers.

Case in point: on Wednesday, Dec. 10, Repp dislocated a finger in practice. The next night, the 113-pounder took the mat against South Salem High School’s Thomas Little.

“He kept head-snapping me and I just took a shot. I worked it for a while and got the pin in the first round,” Repp said. “Little is a good wrestler, and beating him in the first round was a surprise.”

Repp has his sights set on regional and state championships this season and time is drawing short to get where he wants to be.

“The focus right now is getting into late-season shape and taking care of myself, dislocated finger aside,” he said.

Repp was joined by numerous teammates in the winner’s circle against South Salem. The Celtics won 64-6 as freshman Brayden Ebbs took down the fourth-ranked wrestler in his weight class and senior Alvarro Venegas out-dueled a returning regional champ.

Ebbs beat Saxon Tanner Stones 7-6 after falling behind 6-1 in the first two rounds.

“In the third round, I chose neutral and I shot on him and kept shooting on him. I got one point for a stall call, and, with about 45 seconds left, I took him down and got on top. I got the leg ride and turned him to his back for a near fall. He tried to get loose, but all I could think of was not letting go of his ankle,” Ebbs said.

Next on Ebbs’ hit list is McMinnville’s Aspen Nelson, who he hoped to face in a dual meet past press time Thursday, Dec. 18.

“Nobody pays attention to the freshmen, but I’m here to make my mark and I’m not going down without a fight,” he said.

Venegas scored a 5-2 win over returning 170-pound regional champ Edwin Montes. Montes was wrestling Venegas at 195 pounds for the dual meet.

“He was a really cool guy, but things got a little heated in the match. I’m hoping we left it all on the mat,” Venegas said. “I think my edge was having wrestled at 195 before.”

Other match winners for the Celtics were: Pablo Barrera (fall 3:12, after only one week of practice); Joey Kibbey (fall 5:15); Sean Burrows (21-5); Michael Phelps (fall 2:00); Jordan Cagle (16-3); Carlos Vincent (fall 1:03); Hunter Lucas (11-0); Ryan Edsall (9-5); Taran Purkey (fall 2:21) and Kyle Bonn (fall 3:12).

A day after beating the Saxons, the Celtics traveled to Silverton High School for a tournament where they dominated every single one of five opposing teams.

Against Lincoln High School, McNary won 66-17. Match winners were Vincent (fall 3:07); Lucas (fall 5:13); Noah Townsend (fall 1:04); Gage Mance (fall :34); Purkey (fall 1:24) and Venegas (fall 2:00).

McNary beat Mountain View High School 51-29. Match winners were: Ebbs (fall 2:45) Burrows (fall 1:22); M. Phelps (fall 2:00); Cagle (fall 2:31); Vincent (10-4); Venegas (5:02); and Bonn (fall :23).

The Celts crushed Parkrose High School 73-6. Match winners were: Adam Nelson (fall 1:18); Jonathon Phelps (4-1); Vincent (20-5); Edsall (fall :45); Purkey (fall 3:44); Bonn (fall 1:05); Repp (15-0); and Ebbs (fall 1:22).

McNary beat Silverton High School 53-14. Match winners were: M. Phelps (fall 1:35); Cagle (fall :35); Vincent (10-2); Lucas (fall 2:49); Mance (fall :27); Purkey (fall 1:03); Venegas (3-1); Bonn (fall 4:55); and Ebbs (14-6).

The Celtics downed Wilson High School 73-6. Match winners were: Burrows (fall 4:25); J. Phelps (fall 1:42); Edsall (12-4); Mance (fall 2:41); Venegas (SV-1 4-2); and Bonn (DQ).