SWEET HOME — Newport head coach Rick Hernandez had made all the arrangements — time off work, places to stay — to attend the OSAA state wrestling championships.
Whether he would be coaching or spectating would entirely depend on how his team would wrestle at the 4A Special District 2 conference tournament.
The four seeded-Newport wrestlers — Jared Dyer, Cole Wiles, Ayite Mettle and Jimmy Acevedo all found themselves in the same situation: wrestling in the fifth-place match where a win would send them to state and a loss would end their seasons.
“Before each match, I grabbed everyone one of them and looked them in the eye and told them that this was the most important match of their lives,” Hernandez said. “It’s do or die. It’s going to determine your history in the record books forever in Lincoln County.
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