LAS VEGAS — Tommy McCormick didn’t like climbing onto the second-highest step of the podium last year.
McCormick, a freshman at the time, had won the 3A regional wrestling title and advanced to the state championship, only to fall short of winning the title like his older brother, Sean, did during his freshman year in 2016.
“It hurt last year getting second. I didn’t want to feel that again,” McCormick said.
Since that loss at Spanish Springs High School, McCormick began the new season inconsistent, which he attributed to being not in the right shape. But after the Sierra Nevada Classic in late December, his fortune began to change. Winning was contagious. He went undefeated in the 3A league duals, won the regional title for the second year in a row, and most importantly, he reached the highest step of the podium on Friday at the Orleans Arena.
McCormick kicked off Fallon’s four state titles by winning the 132-pound weight class, scoring a 7-2 decision over Boulder City’s D.J. Reese. McCormick pinned his first two opponents, including Lowry rival, Cade Bell.
“Tommy finished the year stronger than I’ve seen most kids and it showed with standing on the top of the podium,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “He was dominant on his feet and killer on top.”
McCormick dropped to a lower weight class late in the year and it proved vital for him and the team as Fallon placed fifth and was only seven points away from second. De Braga wished the season hadn’t ended because he felt McCormick would thrive on the national stage like his brother did by winning the Sierra Nevada Classic and becoming an All-American at the Reno Tournament of Champions.
“I knew he would be placing high,” de Braga said. “Now, he got the monkey off his back and I know two more (state titles) are in his future.”
With McCormick setting the tone for Fallon’s run of championships, older brother, Sean, was up next and didn’t disappoint either.
“Just seeing that gives you a lot of energy and makes you feel good. He wrestled tough,” Sean McCormick said of his brother. “Just coming into my match, it made me feel good.”
McCormick, who advanced on a forfeit in the quarterfinals, pinned Sparks’ Brandon McCraney in the semifinals before pinning Pahrump Valley’s Braylan Durazo with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in the first period of the championship. It was the junior’s third title in as many years as he will look to become the school’s first-ever four-title winner next season.
“Sean had one of the best seasons I’ve gotten to be the coach of, or ever witness,” de Braga said. “He was nothing short of dominant at state and I don’t think anyone would expect anything less. He’s a phenomenal kid with a huge work ethic and it pays huge dividends.”
While a four-time state champ hasn’t been accomplished at the school, de Braga’s confident a new record was set on Friday: two brothers winning a state title in the same season.
“The McCormick brothers are truly what make coaching so rewarding,” de Braga said. “It’s a reflection of their hard work and of course their parents and family. Not only are they state champions but they are academically at the top of their classmates. I’m excited to have them back next year I know it’s going to be a great one.”