Five Wave grapplers compete for state title
Five Greenwave wrestlers will step on the mat for the final time this season in today’s state tournament in Las Vegas.
Fallon and the rest of the 3A collide at the Orleans Arena beginning at 9:45 a.m. in the one-day tournament that will see careers end for two Fallon grapplers — seniors Mason Smith and Marcel Poracky.
Sophomore Tommy McCormick (132 pounds) and juniors Sean McCormick (160) and Ben Dooley (285) each won the regional title in last week’s tournament at Spring Creek and are the top seed from the north. Smith (120) fell in the regional championship and is the No. 2 seed while Poracky (170) won the third-place battle to earn the No. 3 seed.
“A team title is going to be tough this year with only qualifying five boys,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “It’s not totally out of the picture but we need help from other teams taking down kids from Spring Creek and Virgin Valley. I’ve seen it happen but we also need to win our matches to make it happen.”
Smith, who took third in last year’s state tournament, will face Xavier Gonzalez (Desert Pines), the south’s third seed in the top bracket. The winner advances to the semifinal and will face either top-seed Ty Smith (Virgin Valley) or South No. 5 Donnie Miller (Pahrump). Rival Josh Tripp of Spring Creek is wrestling on the other side of the bracket and both could face each other again either in the championship or third-place bout.
“Mason wrestled great and had a tough finals against (Tripp),” de Braga said. “He just has to be ready from the first whistle. He’s going to have a big test this weekend at state but I believe he has what it takes to be on the top of the podium. He needs to stay confident and stick to what he knows.”
Poracky, who moved to Fallon before this season, takes on Mojave’s Gavin Henrie, the south’s second seed, with the winner facing either Elko’s Carl Hansen, the top seed from the north, or Pahrump Valley’s Angel Pinzon, the south’s fourth seed.
“Marcel has been a blessing to our team. He’s been a little inconsistent but he has every tool to win state,” de Braga said. “Confidence is big for him. If he wrestles like he drills and practices, he can win a state title.”
Tommy McCormick, who finished second at state last season, faces Isaak Cruz (Pahrump), the south’s No. 4 seed, in the opener with the winner taking on either Marc Gonzalez (Chaparral), the south’s second seed, or Lowry’s Cade Bell, the north’s third seed.
“Tommy has been wrestling very well and has really turned it on the past month,” de Braga said. “He needs to keep the foot on the pedal and I believe he will get his state title this weekend.”
Going for his third state title in as many years, Sean McCormick faces the south’s fourth seed, Desert Pine’s Geovanny Salazar in the opening bout with the winner facing either Mojave’s Sabastian James (No. 3, south) or Sparks’ Brandon McCraney (No. 2, north).
“Sean just needs to continue what he’s been doing all season long — dominate,” de Braga said. “Sean has been impressive and really proved that he’s a national-caliber kid.”
Dooley, who suffered an injury in last year’s state finals and finished second, encounters Pahrump Valley’s Armani McGhee, the south’s fourth seed, and the winner will meet either Mojave’s Ivan Parra, the south’s second seed, or Spring Creek’s Cody Jenkin, the north’s third seed.
“Ben has been tremendous,” de Braga said. “He’s a big strong and athletic kid, and he’s going to be tough to beat. He can’t think too much about each match. He just needs to go out and wrestle like he knows. A state title is his goal and if he goes out and wrestled to his ability, he will be a champion.”