Instead of hours riding in a bus, the Fallon wrestling team makes the short trip to Fernley for the first time this season.
The Greenwave will compete today and Saturday in an individual tournament, similar to last week’s competitions in Spring Creek and Temecula, Calif.
Fallon coach Mitch Overlie said he hopes to avoid what has become the norm for Northern Division I-A wrestling, which is competing against the same athletes week in and week out.
Nevertheless, his grapplers may face familiar foes, but the Fernley tournament also provides an opportunity to go up against many Division I and California wrestlers.
“It’s going to be nice to get to Northern Nevada competition,” Overlie said. “I think this is the point in the season where you have to put it on the other team. You want to put the fear in them.”
While the repetitive nature of the league is overbearing at times, Overlie said this tournament allows the squad to assess where it stands in comparison to the other teams.
Although the Wave does not sport a full roster, Nathan Heck (152 pounds) is expected to return after a nagging ankle injury. Heck, Overlie said, still feels pain on lateral movement, but will attempt to wrestle.
“Hopefully Nate’s feeling better,” Overlie added. “I think it will be a confidence booster for our kids.”
In addition to Fallon’s corps, Overlie said the tournament also provides an opportunity for the younger wrestlers to shine. Specifically, the long-time Fallon coach said he is looking forward to see how Jack Swisher (132), Jordan Schultz (145) and Brock Uptain (152).
“I’m looking for him (Swisher) to go deep into tournaments and take away points from other teams,” Overlie said. “Brock is one of those kids who can really excel. We need him to be that surprise.”
Now, though, is the time for the Wave wrestlers to start being a little more selfish, he added. His meaning, however, it is time for the top grapplers to think of their game, how to improve, what moves to perfect and to drive for state titles.
“We don’t have a full team and score 300 points,” Overlie said. “If Winnemucca (Lowry) can do that, we’re not the team that’s going to stop them. We don’t have the numbers but what we do have is quality kids.”
As for the competition, the scouting starts with Lowry and moves toward Spring Creek, Overlie said. He added his club and the Buckaroos matchup well in the middle weight classes (126-152), but Lowry has the depth at the heavier weights.
Spring Creek, meanwhile, is another tough club with several state returners on the roster.
“There is a lot of people you keep your eye on,” Overlie said. “We don’t know about the south. Hopefully we can qualify all of our wrestlers.”