McFarland chosen Outstanding Wrestler
A last-minute reversal and an overtime takedown Saturday evening at Estacada earned Madras High senior Chad McFarland more than just the Tri-Valley League's 130-pound district championship.
But McFarland didn't know he'd earned the coaches and others acclaim as the Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament until after all the other finals.
His battle against fellow senior Ian Dimmick from The Dalles was far more challenging than their last meeting, which McFarland won by six points, said the Madras senior. He called it the most exciting match he has been in, even before being bestowed with more honor.
Falling behind when Dimmick scored a first-period takedown, McFarland almost escaped in the second of the three two-minute periods of regulation but was still behind with just 30 seconds left in the third period. A reversal worth two let McFarland force overtime.
A would-be engineer, McFarland was appreciative. While he was talking about getting focused on just finding a way to win after falling behind, he stopped to ask if it could be noted that he wanted to thank his parents, Mark and Joan, and say how much their support meant in helping him engineer the win.
Being grateful besides gifted may have swayed other coaches into the camp of Madras coach, Paul Brown, who pushed for McFarland getting the Wrestler of the Tournament honor.
"I knew, but I didn't want to let it slip out," Brown said after the award was presented to McFarland. Still, he almost had to hint there was reason to stay, Brown explained, in noting that McFarland was dressed and nearly ready to leave at the conclusion of teammate Davey Culpus' 275 third-place match rather than stay.
Just six wrestlers entered the district championship meet at 130 pounds for the district tournament. That meant both of the top two seeds, in McFarland and Dimmick, each advanced to the semi-finals automatically.
McFarland set up the meeting with Dimmick by beating The Dalles Trevor Olson in his semi-final.
Having to beat wrestlers who have been beaten earlier in the same day is not easy for any wrestler, the 130-pound champ said, so the byes to the semi-finals created a more intense final between McFarland and Dimmick.