PORTLAND — Corbin Sedlacek’s final match at the OSAA 5A state wrestling tournament ended with him getting pinned.
The junior from Central High School was the only Panther to move on to Saturday’s battles, located at Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, but the sixth-place spot he clinched wasn’t the position he wanted to end up in.
“I got pinned,” Sedlacek said afterward. “I’d say I wasn’t dominating, but I think I kind of ruled the first round, had a good take down on him, and we were close all the way through, and I just made one mental error and moved the wrong way and he grabbed me and he pinned me. So. It stung. It’s one I’ll hold on to for a little while and think about it.”
After his match, he crouched against the wall and hung his head while the raucous cheering and screaming continued on the mats. His season was over.
It was an emotional finish.
“It’s just the hours of blood, sweat and tears, literal tears,” he said. “It’s easily one of the hardest sports in the world. It’s a lot of hard hours of constant hard work, and when you lose your match, you’re going, ‘was that for nothing?’ You kind of feel like a failure almost, but you just gotta keep going, you just pick your head back up and you keep driving on.”
Sedlacek came to this tournament with the hopes of going to finals, and even though he didn’t make it that far, he said he was still proud of all his hard work throughout his season.
“I obviously expected that I’d get to the finals and the championship side, but I’ve wrestled my butt off and nobody’s an easy match here. They’re all really good wrestlers, so I have no shame in losing these matches.
“I’m just blessed to be here. All glory to God on this one. This is awesome. This is the chance of a lifetime.”
Brock Pierce and Ty Pearson were the other Panthers who qualified for state, but were eliminated Friday night.
“I am proud of how the three Panthers competed,” said head coach Van Holstad. “We really wanted to get Ty and Brock to Saturday, and they had really close elimination matches on Friday night, but it didn’t go our way. That’s the way it goes sometimes at the state tournament with the best kids in the state. In the matches that he won, Corbin was able to capitalize on his opponents’ mistakes and won when he had to in order to place. He likes the big moves, and sometimes they work well and other times, you get caught and that’s what happened in his last two matches. All three will be back next year and hopefully will be able to grow from their tournament experience and use it as motivation in the off season and into next year.”