By Alex Guadarrama
The Missouri wrestling state championships were this weekend. It was a three-day tournament, and a lot went down. Everyone there had one goal in mind, and that was to come out on top. That’s what happened to our schools very own, Oscar Ortiz.
McDonald County has had a wrestling program for many years now, and in all those years, we’ve had many great wrestlers qualify for the state tournament. However, we’ve never had a state champion.
Oscar placed second at districts. His opponent who bested him at districts was a freshman from Rolla, and he was heading into the state tourney undefeated. Oscar had faced him three times during the season, and all those times he beat Oscar. I overheard Oscar’s father talking about how Oscar’s been trying to close that gap. That’s what Oscar did every time that they faced off, he closed the gap smaller and smaller each time. Oscar came through and showed up when it mattered the most.
Fast forward a week later, and it’s the state tournament. A year prior, he placed third as a freshman, but this time around he was envisioning something much more, a state title.
Oscar won every single one of his matches and made it to the finals. His opponent that he had to wrestle was the same kid that beat him at district finals. He was finally getting his rematch that he so desired. Then it came down to it all. The finals match came along, and Oscar was aggressive from the getgo. The match began with a takedown by Oscar to Pulliam’s (Rolla) back, then Oscar held on to the lead in the last period, securing his two point lead and the victory (4-2). He did it. He won state.
We can all learn something from this. Oscar lost to this kid at districts, but that didn’t stop him. He wasn’t satisfied. He knew that he had it in him to be a contender, and he came through when it mattered. In the process, he also ended his opponent’s winning streak. Oscar proved that one loss to someone doesn’t mean your season will go downhill. That goes for anyone in any sport. It doesn’t define you. Very well deserved. Congrats Oscar!