Wrestlers right on track
If last weekend’s tournament was a precursor for the postseason, the Greenwave wrestling team is sitting in great shape.
“We are right where I expected to be at this time in the season,” Fallon coach Trevor de Braga said. “We are getting more and more kids on the podium each week and that’s huge leading up to our league/state tournaments.”
After finishing ahead of the 3A pack at last month’s Sierra Nevada Classic, Fallon amassed 178 points to nudge Spring Creek’s 170 for fourth place on Saturday at the Kiwanis Invitational in Spring Creek. Minico, Idaho, won the 21-team tournament with 235.5 points followed by Caldwell, Idaho (202.5), and Reno (193). The rest of the 3A fared out as the following: Virgin Valley (sixth, 163), Lowry (eighth, 114.5), Elko (10th, 99), Fernley (53, 15th) and Moapa Valley (47, 16th).
The Greenwave placed eight wrestlers out of 14 weight classes after sending four to the championship. But de Braga was hopeful for more placers.
“We really have to finish a tournament strong and come out on top of those tough matches,” he said. “All in all, I’m very pleased with how the boys are progressing and competing. These big tournaments, whether we win or lose, are all building blocks for the state tournament. Whether we dominate or take some big lumps, it’s making us better each week and that’s what we need to be the top 3A team in Nevada.
Tommy McCormick (113 pounds) took first, and Sean McCormick (145), Jack Swisher (152) and Matt Goings (160) each finished second, all losing to 4A opponents in the championship. Terry White (120), Mason Smith (126) and Kobe Abe (285) finished fourth, while Ben Dooley (220) was fifth.
Tommy McCormick (27-10 record this season) scored a major decision (8-0) over Minico’s Zak Alfred to become Fallon’s lone champion. After starting the two-day tournament with two pins over league foes, McCormick’s most exciting bout came in the semifinal. The freshman grappler battled Cameron Thompson of Battle Mountain to a sudden victory of 9-7.
After a bye, Sean McCormick (22-6) pinned his first two opponents each within a minute of the first period. McCormick defeated Minico’s Anthony Rawson, 7-5, in the semifinals before dropping a one-point decision to Reno’s Connor Pearson in the title bout.
Swisher (22-6) pinned his first two opponents as well before defeating Caldwell’s Tevin Sio, 5-3. Swisher lost a close battle to Reed’s Israel Casarez, 5-3, in the final match. Goings (26-8) won his first by pin before decisioning Spring Creek’s Trevor Greener, 9-4, and Caldwell’s Ben Solin, 7-2. Wooster’s Christian Hanly defeated Goings, 9-3, to win the division.
White (18-7) lost to Virgin Valley’s Ty Smith in the second round to drop into the consolation bracket but he reeled off three-straight wins to advance to the third-place bout. Reed’s Alejandro Casarez, though, ended White’s run with a 13-6 decision. Smith (23-11) lost in the semifinals to Minico’s Dallas Andrade, 3-0, but won his next match in consolation to set up the third-place bout. Reno’s Frank Giovanetti pinned Smith to take third.
Abe (18-12), like White, was victorious in the championship bracket until the semifinal round. Elko’s Luis Salazar major-decisioned Abe, 14-6, but Abe pinned Fernley’s Lonnie Slapinski in the consolation before losing to Minico’s Juan Ruiz, 6-3, to finish fourth. Dooley (28-8) fell to Pershing County’s Ty Arnett in the quarterfinals but won two of his next three in consolation to set up the fifth-place bout. Dooley pinned Minico’s Regan Strunk.
Chase Hyde (15-10) finished 3-2 in the 182-pound class after suffering an injury in his last match and Mark Moyle (2-7) finished 2-2 in the 220 class. Conley Hyde (12-11) finished 1-2 in the 170s.
Blane Aicher (9-17) and Conley Hyde (12-11) each finished 1-2 in the 152 and 170 weight classes, while Illyes Taleb (0-6), Leo Aicher (9-14) and Tanner Stritenberger (1-11) each went 0-2 in the 132, 145 and 145 divisions.
Fallon travels out of state for the last time when it heads over the pass to Morro Bay, Calif., for a two-day tournament starting on Friday. League duals conclude the month before the regional tournament at Truckee on Feb. 3-4 and then state at Spanish Springs on Feb. 10-11.
“We were the only Nevada team and it was tough as nails,” said de Braga, who wrestled with Fallon at the Morro Bay tournament in 2008. “I think it’s very beneficial for us to wrestle these tough kids to make us tougher, get mat time and to get away from the Northern Nevada competition since we will see them three weeks in a row. I hope we can place my whole varsity lineup in the tournament. Placing here will be big for their confidence and show they can wrestle with the best.”