Brothers unite to win together at state
Bigger brother was looking out for little brother.
As he awaited his championship bout in the 170-pound class of the Division I-A state wrestling tournament in Primm, senior Sam Goings wasn’t worried how he would end his high school career. No, younger brother Matt was on his mind as the sophomore wrestled in not only his first state tournament but also he was competing for the top medal.
Considering how the season began, the odds of both brothers making the state tournament were slim. The odds only shrunk if one were to put money on them to wina state title in the same year. But wrestling 30 minutes away from the betting capital of the world, the unimaginable happened.
“It was crazy,” said Matt Goings, who won the 152-pound division. “At the beginning of the year, I was not wrestling very well and got hurt. I didn’t know if I was going to win a state title. (Sam’s) been my inspiration. It feels really great.”
Matt Goings encountered Lowry sophomore Cade Billingsley for the third-straight weekend and after two misfires, Goings won the match that matters most. And his previous two bouts in the state tournament went into overtime, just like the championship bout that he won, 3-1.
“Matt wrestled great all year,” said first-year coach Trevor de Braga, who ultimately dropped the younger Goings from 170 to 152 because he stood a better chance in the postseason. “I knew that was the weight he would be good at. He should have beaten that kid at regional and got caught at the beginning. He beat that kid in overtime. It paid off.”
As soon as his younger brother claimed his first title, it was back to work for Sam Goings.
“We wrestled hard, had the right technique and gave it our all,” Goings said. “We knew we had a good shot. We have a solid team this year and coming to state, we knew we had a good shot.”
Goings also met a Lowry rival, senior Shaun Mentaberry, and after two rounds of limited action, Goings caught Mentaberry in a lock and pinned him in the third period for the victory. Goings goes out a three-time champion and now part of the school’s first-ever team championship.
The reason for his and team’s success this season was wrestling tough competition early in the season and a rigid conditioning program.
“Wrestling those tough kids gives you confidence and you start winning,” he said. “For the conditioning, we practiced all year. We ran hard. We had swim conditioning practice. We worked hard all year long and we were in better shape than anyone who wrestled (Saturday).”