MESQUITE — The win took only 19 seconds but since his four-year wrestling career to come to an end on Saturday, Tommy McCormick’s going to cherish his state championships for a long time.
The Greenwave’s only senior, who spent his first three years wrestling with his older brother, Sean, a four-time state champ, was on a mission in his final year. He didn’t need to make a name for himself or emerge from the shadows created by his older siblings. He had already done that when he won his first state title as a sophomore and everything came to a close for this Idaho-bound football star when he captured his third 3A state title on Saturday at Virgin Valley High School to become the fourth in program history to win as many.
“It feels great. Even though I didn’t win it my freshman year, winning three is still pretty awesome,” said McCormick, who joins Guy Reilly, Sam Goings and Sean McCormick in winning three. “Three state titles – it’s not something that anybody can do and I’ve very proud of myself for being able to do that.”
For McCormick, who won four regional championships, the state title at 182 pounds was his to win all season and he didn’t show any weakness against his Nevada competition, rolling to a 14-0 record from league duals to state championship with all wins by pinfall. McCormick finished his high school wrestling career with a 174-37 record, including placing fifth at the Reno Tournament of Champions, finishing second at the Sierra Nevada Classic and winning the Spring Creek Invitational and Wiley Dobb tournaments.
“I wouldn’t say this was the toughest year I’ve had but it was still tough, and I still had a lot of tough tournaments,” McCormick said. “I felt good going into the postseason just wrestling Nevada kids.”
McCormick’s opponent in the state championship was a familiar face.
Fernley’s Nathan Glass, who finished fourth in the regional tournament, recorded back-to-back upsets as he became one of the tournament’s biggest surprises. Glass upset the South’s top seed, Jaren Hafen of Virgin Valley, 12-8, and then pinned the 3A Northern regional runner-up, Ben Rohrbacher of South Tahoe in the semifinals.
McCormick quickly erased any thoughts that Glass would pull off another upset.
“I felt really confident going in and that I could get it done,” McCormick said.
After a brief lock to open the round, McCormick jumped Glass, rolled him on his back near the Fernley coaches corner and flattened the Vaquero for the state championship – 19 seconds into the bout. It was the second time both faced each other after McCormick pinned Glass in the league duals.
McCormick breezed through the league duals two weeks ago and cruised to the regional title in Sparks, pinning his opposition. This past weekend was no different as he pinned all three opponents on his way to the top of the podium for one final time.
McCormick opened the quarterfinal round with his longest match of the tournament. Facing SLAM Academy’s Braeden Williams, McCormick was in control from the start and pinned his Las Vegas opponent 1 minute, 23 seconds into the second period. McCormick pinned his semifinal opponent, Valley’s Keayon Morris, in the second period as well to earn his trip the state championship for the fourth time in as many years.
“The kid was pretty strong (in the first match). I’m glad the two matches went pretty well,” McCormick said.
Diaz, Hatch fall short in advancing
Junior Wyatt Hatch (138) and freshman Isiah Diaz (126) needed to battle in the consolation bracket after losing in the quarterfinal.
Hatch, making his first appearance at state after falling one match shy last year, lost to the champion, SLAM Academy’s Tyler Grady by fall, 11 seconds into the second period. Hatch, though, battled back in the consolation, forcing sudden-death overtime with a late takedown against Brandon Corsaro of SLAM Academy. Hatch came close to control in the overtime period but Corsaro quickly swung around Hatch for the takedown and win.
After falling 41 seconds into his quarterfinal bout against SLAM Academy’s Anthony Aniceite, who won the title, Diaz faced Western’s Acencion Garcia. Both wrestlers battled and Diaz had momentum in the final period, needing a takedown to force the bout into overtime. Garcia held on, ending Diaz’s season.
Hatch and Diaz qualified for the state tournament for the first time in their careers with Diaz becoming the first freshman to do it since McCormick. Hatch will have one more shot next year as a season.
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