Unexpected title is sweeter than sweat
For those who have followed Fallon wrestling THIS SEASON, you will remember a strong Greenwave program that competed well in both the former 2A and 3A leagues in the 1970s and 1980s.
Each league meet with powerhouses Yerington or Lowry became a battle royal down to the last match. The late coach Earl Wilkens, the father of Greenwave wrestler, preached both mental and physical toughness on and off the mat— both from the training regiment to the actual wrestling on the mat.
For a brief spell in the early 1980s and then again for almost a decade beginning in 1999, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association moved Fallon and several other 2A high schools to the state’s larger conference because of enrollment. While other sports struggled, the Wave prospered.
Greenwave fans saw new rivalries develop with Wooster and Carson City and then Spanish Springs. In 2008, though, Spanish Springs snapped a 42-dual meet winning streak.
In addition to the league wins, Fallon also competed well in the Sierra Nevada Classic, the Reno Tournament of Champions and other invitationals.
When the green and white arrived in the gym, both teams and the fans knew the Greenwave was there to wrestle and win.
Fallon has won its Share of regional (or division) championships, some of them going down to the wire. Since 1999, Fallon has been so close to winning a state title, first in 1999 at Super State when the Wave fell to Cimarron-Memorial by three points and then a decade ago in North Las Vegas when Fallon placed third, ironically at Cimarron-Memorial’s gym.
Speed dial to 2016. The Fallon wrestling program competed during the season as one of the teams to watch, but Fallon stumbled at the regionals, which were held at the Elmo Dericco Gym, and placed third behind Spring Creek and Lowry. Yet, those who follow Fallon wrestling know … don’t count out the Greenwave.
The stars aligned themselves perfectly Saturday night, and the beginning of a full moon was emerging over the southern Nevada sky.
Through determination and guts — characteristics preached 25 years ago by Wilkens, the Wave grappler won their matches, and when the final bout ended, Fallon had won its first state wrestling championship.
As with the other athletic teams before you, we — and this community – are very proud of all the wrestlers, those who qualified for state and those who competed during the season and offered their support to their teammates.
Nothing is sweeter than winning a state trophy when a title is not expected. It’s like Cinderella meeting her Greenwave prince at the ball.
On behalf of past and current wrestlers and coaches, the community and current and former residents of Churchill County, we congratulate the wrestlers and coach Trevor de Braga and his assistants for the wonderful gift that required hard work, dedication and grit to earn …and to keep.
Editorials appear on Wednesdays in the Lahontan Valley News