Lebanon's Privratsky expects a finals rematch

2013-02-12T23:45:00Z 2013-02-13T08:50:55Z Lebanon's Privratsky expects a finals rematchBy Jesse Sowa, Albany Democrat-Herald Albany Democrat Herald
February 12, 2013 11:45 pm  • 

Tamen Privratsky has a history with Wyatt Passantino, some he would like to remember and some he wouldn’t.

Privratsky, a Lebanon senior, has split two previous Mid-Willamette Conference district finals with Passantino, a senior from Dallas.

They could make it a third Saturday night if both make their way through the 152-pound bracket in the district tournament at Corvallis High School.

The rivalry goes back to middle school.

“They’ve been butting heads since they were in fifth or sixth grade,” Lebanon coach Michael Cox said.

Passantino is seeded first and Privratsky second at 152 pounds.

Passantino won their first district final, by a score of 15-5 in the 135 championship in 2011.

Privratsky avenged that loss last year, taking the 145 title with a 3-2 win.

Passantino went on to take second at state, while Privratsky fell one win short of placing for the second straight year.

Cox says Privratsky has an edge on offense, while Passantino might be a little better on defense.

“They’re very even,” the coach said. “They could wrestle 10 times and we would win five and they would win five.”

On Dec. 21, it was against Passantino that Privratsky fractured his pelvis in two places.

Last week, Privratsky was leading a match between the two before Passantino got the upper hand and a pin.

Lebanon has 13 seeded wrestlers in the district tournament, including junior Charlie Vandetta, the top seed at 120.

Teammate Nathan Oakeson, a senior, is seeded third at 120.

Oakeson, who didn’t start wrestling until high school, struggled early in his career but continued to work hard.

“Nathan’s come a long ways,” Cox said.

Lebanon’s Andrew Nelson (113), KiAnte’ Davis (160) and Tim Ferrell (182) are all seeded second and will try to make return trips to state.

The top four placers in each of the four 5A special districts qualify for the state tournament, held Feb. 22-23 at Portland’s Memorial Coliseum.

West Albany is down in depth from recent years, and the Bulldogs return just 9 of 28 wrestlers from last year’s district lineup for a variety of reasons.

West started the season with little varsity experience but has made improvement.

“Our kids just keep getting better,” Bulldogs coach Casey Horn said.

Leading the way are juniors Jackson Soto (195) and Steely Smith (220), both second seeds who were state runners-up in 2012.

Horn said the two have been good team captains and willing to continue to work hard and learn.

“I thing those guys have really wrestled all year to put themselves in position to be successful,” Horn said.

Matching up with Soto and Smith in the practice room for the past month has been junior Devon Wade, the third seed at 220.

Wade returned around Christmas time after recovering from a football injury.

“Devon’s our darkhorse. We think he can do some special things for us,” Cox said.

South Albany junior Chris Morgan will try to get back to state after missing out last year.

Morgan is seeded second at 120 behind Lebanon’s Vandetta.

“He’s had a solid season. He’s well deserving of the second seed,” Rebels coach Jeff Moseman said of Morgan. “He has really worked hard. He’s in good shape.”

Junior teammates Dakota Carter and Adrian Lyons-Lopez will also compete for a return to state after going in 2012.

Carter is seeded fifth at 152.

Lyons-Lopez, going for a third state berth, is fourth at 138, possibly the strongest bracket in the tournament.

Defending 138 district champion Garrett Lawrence of Dallas is the first seed. Teammate Gunner Wyatt, third at 132 in 2012, is the second seed. Lebanon’s Austin Kleint is third.

Lyons-Lopez worked the entire offseason to improve, and it’s paid off.

Moseman said Lyons-Lopez’s work ethic is a good example to his teammates.

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