By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
Carlos Vincent is making up for lost time.
Back from a shoulder injury that cost him the second half of last season, the McNary senior went 3-0 in a tournament at Silverton on Friday, Dec. 9 to improve to 6-0 on the season. His goal is to win district and then place at state, which he didn’t get an opportunity to do last year.
“It made me mad,” Vincent said. “I didn’t get to wrestle and I knew I could’ve done something big at districts and just didn’t because I was injured.”
And Vincent is off to an undefeated start while wrestling guys at least 15 pounds heavier than him. Vincent weighed in at 155 at Silverton but wrestled at 170 to fill a spot for the Celtics.
“It’s a lot tougher because they’re a lot bigger but I also have to keep in mind that I’m a lot faster,” Vincent said. “I’m more technical. I’ve been wrestling for a while. I’m just using my brains and being faster.”
Vincent started the tournament by defeating Alec Roberts of North Marion 4-3, which was much tighter than he intended.
“I wasn’t too happy about it,” Vincent said. “I didn’t want it to be that close. I knew I could score more.”
Vincent dominated his next two opponents and his 13-4 major decision was the difference in the Celtics edging Silverton 40-39 for their only team win of the day.
McNary head coach Jason Ebbs hopes Vincent will be an example for the rest of his wrestlers.
“I just think his mind is simply in a good place and that’s something that I think is good advice for any wrestler,” Ebbs said. “It’s easy to get caught up in the nerves and the giving up the weight but he’s just learned to step out on the mat and do his job and it’s working out well for him. He just stayed in really good position.
“Giving up that weight causes you to wrestler a little different. You don’t come out and do flamboyant crazy things. You just have to come out and control the match. He did a great job of keeping his opponent’s feet moving, wrestling and attacking on his terms. He does everything we wish kids would do. It really comes down to that simple. You don’t have to score a 100 points to win a match. You just have to score a few and make sure the other guy doesn’t get a bunch.”
Four McNary wrestlers, Sean Burrows (132), Noah Grunberg (145), Brayden Ebbs (152) and Wyatt Kesler (160), earned pins against Silverton. Enrique Vincent (126) and Anthony Garcia Reyes (195) won by forfeit.
In a 49-27 loss to North Marion, Celtics Nick Hernandez (138) and Ryan Mosgrove (120) won by pin fall. Noah Gatchet (106) and Aiden Foster (113) both won via forfeit.
“North Marion is a really solid 4A program,” coach Ebbs said. “We’re just an extremely young program. It’s five freshmen in our varsity lineup and one first-year wrestler. We’re going to bat with North Marion, who’s a phenomenal team.”
Brayden Ebbs, who won the 138-pound Greater Valley Conference title and placed fourth in the state last season, lost by pin fall to Lane Stigall at 152 pounds.
“The guy that Brayden wrestled has already signed with Division I Missouri,” coach Ebbs said. “He’s a phenomenal wrestler. They’re a great program. They do a good job. Our job right now is maybe not be able to beat them but to get our younger kids up to speed with them so in February we can compete with that team a little better than we did that night.
Celtics also came up short against Cascade, 48-27.
Killian Dato (138), Burrows and Ebbs all got pins. Gatchet won by forfeit.
“For us that tournament was about getting our young kids on the mat,” coach Ebbs said. “It worked out well to wrestle a team like North Marion where we got all our returners some solid competitors. They got plenty of tests. They got challenged just fine. Every week we’ve just got to get tougher and better.”