Wave faces TOC test
December 20, 2013
It's the biggest test to date and perhaps all season.
The Fallon wrestling team competes in one of the country's toughest high school tournaments at the Reno Tournament of Champions at the Reno Events Center. The action begins at 9 a.m. today and Saturday.
"It's kind of an honor to wrestle in this tournament," Fallon coach Mitch Overlie said. "It's rated as one of the top 10 (high school) tournaments in the country."
The tournament features several of the West's and country's best high school wrestling programs in a double-elimination tournament. Last year, Fallon's Dalton Johnson placed fifth, one of the best showings for a Fallon wrestler.
This year, however, the Wave returns a talented roster filled with grapplers who are anxious to flex their muscle against some of the elite prep grapplers.
"I think you're going to get into those situations where you have to stand and fight," Overlie said. "Those are the kind of things you look forward to. We just want to see that fight."
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The TOC is a complex tournament from a mental standpoint. Overlie said some wrestlers prepare so much for this event and leave little in the tank for the following weeks.
Since the competition is so tough, keeping a level mindset is key to doing well, and rebounding for the remainder of the season.
"I have mixed feelings about these super tournaments," Overlie said, "because if you win this, it's a let down to win a state championship. It's hard to keep them focused after you win something this big. It's a Catch-22."
Fallon, though, is coming off a fourth-place finish at the Natomas duals in Sacramento last week.
On the mat, the Greenwave are led by a handful of standouts including Clay Amezquita and Trae Workman. Amezquita has compiled a 12-1 record with seven pins, while Workman sports a 13-0 mark with eight pins. In addition to those two, the Wave also lean on Sam Goings (11-2), Ricky Rogers (11-1), Robert White (8-1) and Anthony Sabatino (10-3).
"TOC is defintely tough," Amezquita said. "My goal is to place. We have three or four good wrestlers this year that have the possibility of making the second day and placing."
The preparation, meanwhile, has been intense as the Wave's grapplers enter the toughest stretch of the season, with the Sierra Nevada Classic on the horizon.
While the tournament presents a challenge, Overlie said it also can springboard the team forward through the rest of the season.
"It is a good barometer," he added. "It's a wake-up call too. There's a lot of good wrestlers and they can get better. I really look forward to it when we get there."