With small lineup, Fallon finishes 5th at Sparks
It wasn’t on the schedule until the Sierra Nevada Classic ended mid-last week.
But when the opportunity presented itself to give the younger wrestlers more mat time and exposure to the area’s best wrestlers, Fallon wrestling coach Trevor de Braga didn’t hesitate.
“At this point in the season, you do a lot of situational wrestling, live wrestling and little drilling at practice so competing at tournaments against tough competition is what we need,” the first-year coach said. “I was very impressed how our kids did. Our younger kids won varsity matches and it was great to see. Some of our kids that have been at the varsity level became champions.”
With half of the normal lineup, including a few brought up from junior varsity, Fallon placed fifth at the annual Sparks Invitational on Saturday at Sparks High School. Fallon crowned three champions and third- and fourth-place finishes with only eight wrestlers.
McQueen won the 23-team tournament with 216.5 points followed by Fernley with 172 and North Valleys with 130. Douglas finished fourth with 128 points followed by Fallon with 119.5.
Juniors Terry White (106 pounds) and Dylan McAfee (126) and freshman Sean McCormick (138) each won their respective weight class titles, while sophomore Mason Smith (120) took third and junior Kobe Abe (285) finished fourth. Sam and Matt Goings, Jack Swisher and Trae Workman, who wrestled deep in the Sierra Nevada Classic and Reno Tournament of Champions last month, were given the weekend off.
“We took fifth place finishing below four schools who had 12-16 wrestlers,” de Braga said. “I was very pleased especially since most teams had full varsity squads and had 6 varsity kids not compete.”
White didn’t have much problem in his class as he opened with back-to-back pins before scoring a major decision (15-7) over Sparks’ Anthony Carrilo. White took down McQueen’s J.R. Garcia with a 17-2 technical fall to win the division.
McAfee won all but one match by pinfall en route to his first championship of the season. McAfee pinned South Tahoe’s Max Wirth and Douglas’ Christopher Merritt to get into the semifinal where he had a major decision over Lowry’s Bryan Day, 11-1. McAfee returned to his pinning ways by taking down Pershing County’s BoDean Kendall.
McCormick’s toughest battle came in the semifinal after the freshman grappler cruised in his first two bouts, a 15-4 major decision over Sparks’ Brandon McCraney and pin against Lowry’s Nerio Ceballos. Yerington’s Adan Pineda evenly matched McCormick in the semifinal but McCormick persevered with a 3-2 win before decisioning McQueen’s Nick Aguilar, 13-6, to win the title.
Smith nearly made it to the championship bout after a bye and a pin over Silver Stage’s Trevor Martin. Douglas’ Ryan Adams narrowly defeated Smith, 6-5, in the semifinal but Smith roared back to pin Pershing County’s Kasey Brown and Reno’s Frankie Giovannetti.
Abe was one win away from reaching the championship bout after pinning Pershing County’s Logan Murphy in the first period. McQueen’s Damon Ramos, though, took down Abe in the semifinal with a first-period pin, but Abe came back with a 4-0 win over Fernley’s Christian Quinn. In the battle for third, Abe lost a close contest, 6-4, to Fernley’s Harry McDonald.
Blaine Aicher, a sophomore who wrestled at 138, faced the class’ runner-up, Aguilar in the first round before falling in the first period. Aicher, though, battled back with a pin over Fernley’s Letemi McDonald before falling to McQueen’s Connor Riley. Sophomore Leo Aicher (145) opened with a first-round win over Wells’ Jenny McKinley before falling in the quarterfinal and then losing by decision.
Junior Kendall Rogers (152) advanced to the quarterfinals after pinning McQueen’s Peter Booth but fell to Tim Trainor and then lost a tough, 6-4 battle in overtime to Wells’ Luke Escamilla.
Fallon returns to the mat this weekend for the Douglas Lions Club Invitational in Minden.