Sprague High School wrestling team’s coaches cheers for Jared Hampl during his match with McMinnville’s Chance Atkinson on Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015, Salem, Ore.
Sprague High School’s wrestling team has rarely been an underdog.
The Olympians took it personally.
Sprague got bonus points in important matches and minimized its losses to upset No. 3-ranked McMinnville 33-32 at home Wednesday in a Greater Valley Conference dual meet.
“It’s huge for our team,” said Sprague senior Corson Davis, who recorded a pin in 1:04 at 182 pounds. “Right now I don’t think we’re getting the respect we deserve though the state, and that’s pretty clear.
“We aren’t ranked in the top 10 right now, and we beat McMinnville in the dual tonight, they’re ranked 2 or 3 or something, that’s a big win for our team going into the (Oregon Wrestling) Classic. It gives everyone confidence. We had big wins tonight.”
It was the matchup between the final two undefeated teams in GVC duals and between two of the top teams in the conference.
The Olympians showed they are not only a good dual meet team, but with a 52-6 win in the junior varsity dual that they are the favorite in the district.
“I knew we had some kids, we just didn’t have enough exposure yet that they’ve had in regards to getting ranked with some of their kids this year,” Sprague coach Kary Hadden said. “I know they’ve got a good, solid varsity lineup all the way through, and so I knew we had to be really smart, be on our toes.
“We had some kids who had to just go three rounds, keep it close, give themselves a chance to win it there at the end. Our 220-pounder, Tanner (Sorensen) went three rounds, stayed off his back, our heavyweight (Jacob Nelson) did a good job of getting the pin there. We got some of the bonus points when we needed them for this type of a win.”
Sprague freshman Michael Murphy, ranked No. 15 in the state, continued his stellar debut season with a come-from-behind win against McMinnville senior Steven Weant at 132 pounds.
Murphy trailed 2-0 after being taken down in the first round, but tied the match going to the third round. Murphy scored a takedown 40 seconds into the third round and won the 4-2 decision.
“You got to be tough in the third round,” Murphy said. “You get tired halfway through the second, it’s just a matter of how tough you are and if you got enough in the tank. You just got to get out there and be tough and win it.”
Sprague senior Jared Hampl, ranked No. 13 in the state, scored a surprise late pin against Chase Atkinson.
Hampl led 9-2 in the third round when Sprague’s coaches told him to cut Atkinson and take him down two more times in an effort to get a major decision.
But in the second takedown Hampl caught Atkinson, turned and pinned him in 5:24.
“Definitely the major was planned, but one thing falls after another, I caught the arm, it kind of all just fell into place,” Hampl said.
Other winners for Sprague were Jake Vaughn at 152, Sergei Poliakov at 170 and Jacob Nelson at 285.
bpoehler@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6701 or follow at twitter.com/bpoehler