Thomas Ranson
Fallon's Jack Swisher, who took second at state last year, wrestles against a Reno opponent in Wednesday's scrimmage.

Coach Trevor de Braga doesn’t want last season to be a fluke.

After capturing the school’s first state wrestling title in Primm, seven of the 10 state qualifiers return as the Greenwave gear toward building another run this year.

“Approaching this season is a little different than last year,” the second-year coach said. “I told the kids on Day 1 of practice that we now have targets on our back being the incoming state champions. We have to have high intensity-filled practices and keep our conditioning top notch. I’m not easy on the kids and I expect them to be at every morning run and go 110% every practice after school. We have to pick up where we left off and the kids are reacting well. I’m very happy with how these past few weeks have gone.”

Fallon surprised the competition during state after finishing third in the regional tournament. The Greenwave seemed destined to win state after a strong first two rounds that pushed Fallon into a large lead.

“I hope I have many individual champions and hope we can win again as a team. I told the kids last year that I don’t want this to be a one-time thing being state champions, it has to be the beginning of a dynasty.”Trevor de BragaFallon wrestling head coach

Of those seven returning, five placed at the state tournament, including champions sophomore Sean McCormick and junior Matt Goings. Junior Mason Smith and senior Jack Swisher finished second while senior Terry White was third. Seniors Dylan McAfee and Kobe Abe qualified for state but didn’t place.

“All of those kids will be expected to be leaders,” de Braga said about his state returners. “They’ve competed with the best and know how to win. They know what I expect as a coach and I expect them to be leaders and get everyone to where they need to be to be champions.”

Fans will have a lot to be excited about this season; the program has grown two-fold. Fallon finished with 14 wrestlers last year and has almost 30 this year.

“We are at 27 kids, which is phenomenal because last year we ended the season with 14,” de Braga said. “The kids don’t seem to be overwhelmed with the 6 a.m. runs and high-intense practices. The great part is all of the kids in the room have wrestled at some point in their life so it’s great as a coach, because I don’t have to start at square one with them. I’m very excited for this season.”

De Braga will count on White or freshman Tommy McCormick wrestling at 120 pounds and Smith at 126. Junior Tallon Amezquita and McAfee will start at 132 and 138 pounds, while junior Leo Schultz or freshman Tanner Stritenberger will wrestle at 145. Junior Blane Schultz and freshman Christian Sage will battle at 152, while Swisher is at 160. Senior Conley Hyde will wrestle at 170 followed by Goings at 182. Senior Chase Hyde is slotted at 195, sophomore Ben Dooley at 220 and Abe is the heavyweight.

“I believe every newcomer and freshman is a huge contribution to the team,” de Braga said. “The more numbers in the room, the better we will be as a team. You have more kids and different styles to wrestle with.”

The goal this year is the same as last: win state.

“I hope I have many individual champions and hope we can win again as a team,” said de Braga, who’s assisted by Dan Shaw, Ryan McCormick and Darren Lewis. “I told the kids last year that I don’t want this to be a one-time thing being state champions, it has to be the beginning of a dynasty.”

Like with last year, de Braga wants the team to grow and get better. After going through the gauntlet of tough tournaments last December, including the Reno Tournament of Champions and Sierra Nevada Classic, Fallon found its groove and ended with multiple champions in every tournament through state.

“For my young kids, I hope I can see them get better and better each year and potentially become champions as well,” de Braga said. “I want to see my returning kids win the big tournaments as well as state.