>Senior is second title winner in three years for White Buffalos
Madras High senior Chad McFarland closed his White Buffalos wrestling career stylishly Saturday night at Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
Taking an 8-2 lead with shots which earned him takedowns and one near pin, McFarland survived a third-period reversal by The Dalles Ian Dimmick to win the 130-pound championship of the U.S. Bank - Oregon School Activities Association state tournament, 9-4. That completed an all-or-nothing journey, in terms of wins and losses, for the quintet of wrestlers Madras sent to the state championships.
Four younger Madras wrestlers who went earned some valuable experience, however, Coach Paul Brown said.
"With the young kids it was mainly their lack of experience that hurt. They also ran into some real tough draws in a couple of cases. At 140 there were nine kids eligible for seeds and you can only seed eight," Brown said.
Freshman Jacob Struck wrestled at 140 for Madras. Pinned by junior Joe Jacob of Tillamook just over three minutes into their first-round match, Struck then drew Baker's Caleb Johnson. Struck lost that match 14-4.
Another freshman, Orrin Beals, drew experienced wrestlers in his battles at 103 and joined his other teammates, except McFarland in falling out during Thursday's wrestling in the 3A's three-day event. Pinned by Coquille sophomore Chance Hubbard in the first round of their opening-round match, Beal drew La Pine's Eric Rohr, who won 7-0.
Louis Smith and Tony Hanson of Madras also lost twice on Thursday.
Smith's 145 bracket held a handful of seeded, experienced wrestlers too, Brown noted. After drawing a bye, Smith met Rusty Arp of Burns and took him into the third period before being pinned. Clinton Mead of Seaside eliminated Smith from the event in an 11-4 consolation match.
At 135, Hanson drew a first-round bye but fell to K.C. Stokes of Sweet Home 14-0 in a championship bracket match for a quarter-final berth. Hanson had the misfortune to draw Stokes' teammate Kyle Temple in the consolation bracket and lost 5-2.
McFarland said their multiple battles, including at the Tri Valley finals, helped him know Dimmick's favorite moves.
"We just wanted to go out and keep attacking," Brown said.
He was happy to reach the finals after an overtime battle in the quarterfinals, said McFarland.
In appreciation of the championship at 130 pounds, McFarland said, "Thank God. He must have had a plan."
His 8-2 second-period lead in the final against Dimmick had McFarland making sure he prevented his fellow Tri Valley League member from making moves that could turn the match.
It was only the second time a Buff has won a title during Brown's tenure as Madras wrestling coach.
Beating Rainier's Brian Byrd in the quarterfinals, 6-4 in overtime, was a turning point in boosting McFarland's confidence, said Brown. Wrestling like he knew he could win gained McFarland a pin in the semi-finals.