Fallon wrestling medals 8 in 4th-place finish
MINDEN — Carrying a smaller lineup than usual in the final tournament before the holidays, the Greenwave saw eight wrestlers medal on Saturday in the Douglas Lion’s Club Invitational.
Fallon crowned four champions and two each medaled third and fourth as the Greenwave finished fourth as a team with 134.5 points. Fernley won the two-day tournament over Douglas by one point (155.5-154.5) and Yerington followed in third with 151.5 points.
“This weekend went pretty good. We got some great mat time, especially for my young kids,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “I saw a bunch of good things from my young kids that I haven’t seen yet out of them.”
Mason Smith (126 pounds), Sean McCormick (160), Marcel Poracky (170) and Ben Dooley (285) finished undefeated to win their weight classes while Wyatt Hatch (120) and Tommy McCormick (145) each took third. Blane Aicher (152) and Sione Otuafi (285) finished fourth.
Smith pinned his first three opponents before scoring a major decision victory over Sparks’ Walter Gudiel, 18-6, in the championship. All three pins came within the first minute of the opening round to set up the title bout with Gudiel.
“For him, I think it is confidence he lacks a little bit and pinning his way through the tournament should open his eyes to see that he can’t let nerves get to him,” de Braga said of Smith, who’s starting to wrestle like he did in last year’s state tournament.
Sean McCormick won his first two by pin within the first 45 seconds before needing to go the distance in the championship. McCormick won by technical fall, 21-6, over Sparks’ Brandon McCraney. Poracky won all three of his matches by pin, including a first-period victory over Douglas’ Chad Singer.
Dooley went undefeated in round-robin play to finish first with all four bouts coming by pin. Teammate Otuafi went 1-4 in the 285-pound division to finish fourth.
Hatch came back in the consolation with wins over South Tahoe’s Noah Ramos and Skyler Bledsoe, winning the latter, 10-5, to take third. Tommy McCormick lost a close match, 5-3, to Manogue’s Anthony Rosas but battled in the consolation to earn third place. McCormick pinned Douglas’ Mason Melhus in the second period and decisioned Hug’s Dale Chapman, 7-6, in the third-place bout.
De Braga said Hatch wrestled to his potential this weekend and expects his lower-weight wrestler to continue to improve.
“I knew all along he has what it takes and this weekend proved to him that he just needs to go out there and wrestle to his full ability,” de Braga said. “He’s getting better and better each week and he’s going to be tough to beat come regional time. I have big expectations for him.”
Aicher lost his first match of the tournament but came back with back-to-back pins to advance to the third-place match against Douglas’ Gabe Wetzel. Aicher, though, lost by decision, 6-3.
Josiah Rosario (113) finished 1-2, and both Case Cornmesser (113) and Mark Moyle (220) finished 0-2.
Fallon travels to Reno on Thursday and Friday for the Sierra Nevada Classic.
“The year is still early in my eyes but I’m seeing what I like to see,” de Braga said. “We’re down in numbers but the kids are starting to climb in their potential. We are not where we need to be but we are working to get there.”