In the final tune-up before facing 3A competition, the Greenwave wrestling team returned to the prominent and tough California Invitational Tournament in Morro Bay, Calif., on Saturday.
As a team, Fallon won the Small School trophy after Ben Dooley (fourth), Sean McCormick (fifth), Jack Swisher (sixth) and Tommy McCormick (eighth) placed. Fallon travels to South Tahoe this weekend for the 3A league duals, which will determine seeding for the regional tournament in Winnemucca in two weeks.
“This week starts the three-tournament ladder of becoming a state champion,” second-year coach Trevor de Braga said. “All the tournaments we have gone to this year have been very tough. I have been told by many, and I have to agree, this has been the toughest Greenwave wrestling schedule we have ever had. And that’s exactly what I wanted. I wanted the boys to wrestle top notch competition to help prepare for our NIAA duals, regional tournament and state.”
Fallon traveled outside the state earlier this month when it ventured to Idaho and performed strongly. In addition to the local tournaments (Earl Wilkens, Kiwanis, Reno Tournament of Champions and Sierra Nevada Classic), de Braga wanted his defending state champs to be ready for the 3A.
“Some tournaments we had great success, and some tournaments we fell short of placing but that’s perfectly OK,” de Braga said. “The competition we faced makes us that much better when we wrestle the teams in our league these next three weeks.”
Facing different competition was one of the main reasons for broadening the schedule and challenging the team. De Braga feels Fallon needs to attack each of the last three weekends with the same level of intensity and consistency to, once again, be the last team standing at state.
“Wrestling is very mental and consistently doing the right thing on the mat is key,” de Braga said. “We can’t go into a tournament one weekend and wrestle phenomenal and stand on the podium, then the next weekend not wrestle to our potential and have no success. We have to be consistently aggressive, intense and physical. When we wrestle these out-of-state teams, we see different variations of moves, which are more technical than moves you would see in the NIAA teams so we need to fix some of those mistakes and be prepared to wrestle with any type of move thrown at us.”
Dooley competed in the 220-pound division and finished with a 4-2 record to place the highest among Fallon’s 10 wrestlers who made the trip. Sean McCormick (145) finished 5-2 to take fifth and Jack Swisher (152) finished 3-3 to finish sixth. Tommy McCormick (113) ended at 3-3 for eighth.
Several wrestlers advanced deep in the bracket but fell before reaching the medal round.
Terry White (120) finished with a 3-2 record while Mason Smith (126), Matt Goings (160), Conley Hyde (2-2) and Kobe Abe (285) finished 2-2. Ilyes Taleb (132) was 0-2.
After the Morro Bay tournament, de Braga is confident that his team will be able to garner many high seeds with the league duals and advance double-digits to the state tournament next month at Spanish Springs.
“We want the best seeds going into regionals so I hope my 11 varsity wrestlers will each have individual success and get the top three seeds,” he said. “I have a ton of film I have been watching on my boys and will really break down film this week with my assistant coaches to fix any and all weaknesses each kid has.”