Lebanon High was on a mission to atone for last year’s rivalry loss to South Albany.
On senior night, the Warriors collected six pins while running away for a 53-20 home victory in last Thursday’s Mid-Willamette Conference wrestling dual. The Rebels surprised Lebanon 35-27 a season ago, a result that lingered with coach Michael Cox.
“That was the first time I had ever been beaten by South, as a coach or as a wrestler,” Cox said. “We didn’t wrestle very good last year, I think we overlooked them a little bit and they wrestled really well. It wasn’t going to happen again this time.”
With junior Chase Miller and senior Marick Best sitting out, several Warriors turned in dominant performances in the victory.
Wyatt Richardson earned a hard-fought pin over South’s Anthony Pulido at 120 pounds. Richardson pinned the senior in 4 minutes, 27 seconds.
A season ago, Richardson lost by fall to Pulido after holding a 7-0 lead.
“So I really wanted this match,” said Richardson, a junior. “He got me that time and I got him this time. It felt so great to do it in front of all my family and friends.”
Lebanon teammates Rian Howard (113), Andy Vandetta (126), Tucker Drummond (132), Cody Klient (145) and Corbin Anderson (285) also won by fall.
Freshman 220-pounder Keith Brown cruised to a 13-3 major decision over South’s Chris Anaya. In the match of the night, Jacob Jimenez recorded a last-second takedown to edge Jovanny Garibay-Perez, 4-2.
It was the first varsity match for Jimenez, a freshman.
“As a coach, it’s been killing me that we can’t get our full lineup in this year,” Cox said. “But it’s given a chance for all these other kids to get some experience, and that has been very helpful for us.”
Lebanon’s other winners included Joseph Blisseck (major decision, 170) and Alec Fillmore (forfeit, 195).
South senior Chandler Villarreal scored a big 5-1 win over Landon Kisling at 160. Villarreal was wrestling up a weight class and relied on his speed to get a reversal and three-point near fall in the second round.
An escape was all Kisling could muster in the third.
“Usually in that third period is when I’m gassed,” Villarreal said. “I stayed in good position like my coaches told me to, and I won the third.”
Villarreal began his high school career at South, qualifying for the 5A state championships as a freshman in 2015. He then transferred to West Albany and made the 6A state meet last year.
In March of 2017, Villarreal transferred back to South.
South’s Logan Bond (106) and Pedro Tecpile (138) pinned their opponents while Cael Matta earned a technical fall (19-3, 5:53) at 152.
Both programs have one MWC dual remaining. This Thursday, Lebanon travels to Central.
The MWC championships run Feb. 9 and Feb. 10 in Silverton.