Toward the end of June when most high school kids are swimming and hanging
with friends, the Oregon Clay summer club wrestling team put in a mini-training camp and then flew down to Orlando, Florida to compete at the Disney Duals wrestling tournament.
Teams from around the United States come to this prestigious tournament, including Oak Harbor, which placed fourth in Community Division 1.
“This is the second time at the duals for the Oregon Clay team,” said OC coach Troy McLaughlin. “The competition just keeps getting better.”
The Clay team included 17 wrestlers and five coaches. The team wrestled a series of dual matches over a four-day period against teams from Florida, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Georgia, Indiana, and Ohio, to name a few, said McLaughlin.
“With having a young team, we as coaches didn’t know what to expect,” said Coach Mark Beach. “The kids really competed and battled tough.”
Clay ended up finishing in the middle of their pool and was dropped to the second tier bracket tournament.
“They ended up finishing third in their bracket beating two tough Ohio teams,” McLaughlin said.
One team OC beat had defeated OC in pool play just two days earlier. The other team was Cincinnati Moeller, which had beaten Clay in the championship finals the previous year.
“As the tournament went on our kids kept wrestling tougher,” said McLaughlin. “Beating Cincinnati Moeller was really great.”
All in all, the Eagles finished 7-5 in dual meets. They had seven medalists. Four were in the pool tournament — Mark Orth, 140 pounds, and Nate Brubaker, 171, were silver medalists. Jarrod Snodderly, 285, and Mike Ackerman, 215, were bronze medalists.
In the alternate bracket tournament, Shane Gaghen, 189, was a silver medalist; Garret Gray, 215, and Chris Cook, 135, were bronze medalists.
As a team Clay, wrestled 183 individual matches, winning 103 of them.
McLaughlin said that other grapplers gaining valuable experience included Nick Urias, 103, Carlos Hernandez, 112, Cody Kish, 119, Tyler Rowland, 125, Jeremy Richard, 130, Nico Castelleja, 135, Matt Kohler, 145, Anthony Resendez, 152, Zach Johnson, 160, and Rex Carlo, 189.
“The camaraderie and experience of this trip will set up success next season,” said McLaughlin.