Subjeck leads the way at Doc BuchananBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Keaton Subjeck is one of the top wrestlers in the area and he learned a valuable lesson at the Doc Buchanan Invitational over the weekend: wrestle your match.
With his eye on winning what many consider the toughest tournament in the state next to the state tournament, Subjeck placed third in the 160-pound weight class, winning six matches and losing only once. That loss came in the quarterfinals against Ray Lomas from Central Catholic, the tournament’s sixth seed. Subjeck, seeded third, didn’t wrestle his best and lost the match, 3-2.
“I didn’t mean to wrestle this way, but I was wrestling not to lose instead of wrestling to win,” Subjeck said. “I was hesitant and wasn’t aggressive enough. When I wrestle my best, I’m attacking and making my opponent uncomfortable. I’m opening up offensively. I didn’t do that in that match.”
Subjeck’s coach, Casey Rhyan, agreed with Subjeck’s assessment of his match.
“When you get to that level of wrestling, just like any athlete, sometimes you doubt yourself and you worry about losing or worry about being taken down,” Rhyan said. “The kid (Lomas) is a returning state placer and is a very good wrestler and Keaton wrestled like he was afraid to lose. That’s tough not to do. When you watch the state finals, sometimes those matches are boring because neither guy is doing anything because they’re afraid to lose.”
Dropping down to the loser’s bracket isn’t something that Subjeck wanted to do, but he didn’t let the disappointing loss get him down. He fought back with three wins before he met Lomas again in the bout for third place.
“We talked about what he had to do,” Rhyan said. “I told him he always wrestles his best when he’s moving quickly and going for it.”
Subjeck wrestled like his normal self the rest of the tournament and capped it off with a 5-2 win over Lomas to place third.
“After figuring out what I did wrong, I opened up that second day and wrestled like I always do and I didn’t fear anything,” Subjeck said. “I wrestled a lot better and when I faced Lomas again, I wrestled my style and not the style he wanted me to wrestle and I beat him.”
Subjeck’s third-place finish equaled his performance from last year and was an improvement from his seventh-place finish as a sophomore.
Subjeck led the contingent of five Oak Ridge wrestlers at the tournament. Brandon Claiborne (138) and Ali Atebar (160) both won three matches, but didn’t place. Zach Claiborne (182) and Jacob Proul (Hwt.) each picked up one win.
Brandon Claiborne lost his first match before winning three straight in the consolation bracket before losing to Paul Fox of Gilroy, the second seed. Atebar won his first match before dropping a close 4-2 decision to Joe Applegate from Laguna Hills. He then won two matches in the consolation bracket before bowing out of the tournament with a loss to Mason Temple of Liberty.
“Brandon wrestled really well considering he wasn’t feeling well,” Rhyan said. “He’s a tough kid. He beat the kid from Folsom (Mason Koshiyama) and then beat the No. 4 kid from Oakdale (Jake Jacobson). He had a tough draw too, as he lost to the kid that placed second in the state last year (Fox).
“Ali was in both his matches that he lost and both of those guys placed high in the tournament. It was good to see him compete at that level.”
For Zach Claiborne and Proul, the two turned in good performances considering they’re still catching up with the rest of the team having come off an extended football season.
“Jacob did a good job reaching the quarterfinals and even in that last match he got caught and pinned,” Rhyan said. “Zach is definitely that caliber of wrestler (that’s competing in this tournament), but he needs more matches and more practices. You can’t go into a tournament like this with four matches and expect to do well.”
Oak Ridge gets back into the Delta River League schedule by hosting Folsom Wednesday with the junior varsity match starting at 6 p.m. and the varsity match following.