Two months of wrestling in tournaments and duals will be put to the first of two major tests to reaching state for the Greenwave this month.
The Northern Division I-A League Duals kickoff today as all nine teams will face each other once in the next two days to determine seeding for next week’s regional tournament. Fallon will wrestle Fernley, South Tahoe, Truckee and Spring Creek today starting at 1 p.m. at Fernley High School and will take on the rest of the league (Sparks, Dayton, Lowry and Elko) on Saturday beginning at 8:30 a.m. Each team has one bye with Fallon’s coming in the final round on Friday.
The regional tournament is next Friday and Saturday at Sparks High School, followed by the state tournament in two weeks in Primm.
“I think we should win almost our duals,” Fallon coach Mitch Overlie said. “It’s going to be hard to beat Winnemucca (Lowry) and Spring Creek because they have full teams.”
Numbers haven’t hurt the Greenwave this season as much as the past with several wrestlers ranking in the top of their weight classes through the first two months of the season.
Clay Amezquita (126 pounds), Sam Goings (138), Anthony Sabatino (126) and Trae Workman (138) boast one of the best lower-weight groups in the league and should give defending state champ Lowry a strong challenge in both the duals and regional tournament. Robert White has battled all season in the 132 and 138 weight classes as well.
“Really, it’s all about seeding,” Overlie said. “The kids have to have it in their mind they can win. It’s tough because we going to see them (the competition) again and again.”
Sabatino and Workman didn’t lose in last weekend’s duals at Yerington after Workman won his weight class in the Vaquero Classic in the previous week. Goings also won his weight class in the tournament while Amezquita finished second and Sabatino took fourth.
In his previous in-state tournament, Goings won the Sparks Invitational to begin the new year while Workman finished second and Amezquita took third. Sabatino recorded another top-five finish at Sparks.
Workman is also the only Greenwave wrestler to place at the Reno Tournament of Champions this season after he finished eighth in the one of the toughest tournaments in the country.
Fallon’s weakness, though, is depth in the heavier weights as Dakota Schelling (170) has been the main constant. Wyatt Hampton (220), Jesse Francki (182) Richard Rogers (220) and Orion Wolf (285) haven’t been on the mat as often but Overlie feels that the pieces of his roster are finally coming together just in time for the postseason.
“For us, it’s just wrestling up to our potential,” Overlie said. “We want to get a good seed so it’s a little easier to get to state.”
Rogers and Francki went undefeated and Hampton lost only once in the Yerington Duals. In the Fernley tournament two weeks ago, Schelling, Francki and Rodgers each finished fourth. Schelling also has a championship under his belt after he won his division in the Sparks tournament last month.
Sports editor Steve Puterski contributed to this report.