Alder Creek Middle School crowns two state champions
Alder Creek Middle School wrestlers Brooks Hudson and Javier Virrey can now call themselves state champions after earning individual titles in the state tournament at Yerington High School on Saturday.Seven others Cougar wrestlers battled their way to top-4 finishes, distinguishing themselves as state medalists Justin Carter, Scotty Lebel, Max Collinson, Stein Retzlaff, Blake Crosby, Alex Davis and Nico Duner. Alder Creek sent 21 wrestlers to the state championship. Brooks Hudson, a 100-pound wrestler who carried a 10-1 record into the championship, defeated his opponent 17-6 in the semifinal to set up a final match with an opponent wrestling out of Fernley. Hudson won in dominant fashion, recording a pin in the second period. I felt kind of bad for him, Hudson said of his opponent. But his coach, Danny Curtis, told him to not feel bad because the kid he beat was a good wrestler.It was a tough feat, but Brooks made it look easy, Curtis said. For his effort, Hudson was voted Outstanding Wrestler of the state championship tournament. He is the first Alder Creek wrestler to get that award.I was shocked when Brooks was called for the OW, Curtis said. I didnt even vote for anyone, which means he won that award without his own coach voting. Most coaches vote for their own kids, and Brooks did it without any help from me. Im very proud of Brooks. Ive been coaching him for three years and hes really starting to blossom. Hudson had only three losses last year, when he took second at state. Javier Virrey, in his third year of wrestling, finally reached his goal of becoming state champion after finishing runner-up last year. He went to wrestling camps over the summer to improve his skills, and it showed. He finished the season undefeated, at 20-0.Virrey, Hudson and Morgan Nevin are the only state champions to come out of Alder Creeks three-year-old program. Justin Carter made it to the finals by beating the No. 1-ranked wrestler in the state at 95 pounds en route to a second-place finish. He also had to go through teammate Scotty Lebel in a tough match in which no one wanted to go home beaten. It was an exciting match to watch, and the whole team sat and watched these two go at it. Neither wrestler had a coach in their corner. They were left to fend for themselves. Carter came out on top to make it to the finals. Scotty Lebel placed fourth in the same weight class. In Lebels first year wrestling, he competed like a seasoned vet, finishing with a 15-9 record. Max Collinson took third at state. His only loss came against the eventual champion from Winnemucca, who placed second at Nationals last year. Collinson lost to him by only four points. I think Max wrestled a great match. He worked his hardest to have no mistakes and keep the match close, Curtis said. Maxs record is 14-5 and he has been in the finals in four different tournaments. Stein Retzlaff placed third at state in the 115-pound weight class. Retzlaff finished with a record of 16-3 and is 13-1 since the second tournament of the year. He worked his way through state with great tenacity. He has been wrestling better every week, said assistant coach Dave Lade. Stein leads the team by example. He shows the team how hard to work in practice. Stein has been wrestling for three years and has a bright future in high school. Blake Crosby, who entered the tournament undefeated, placed third in the heavyweight class. Blake has shown great ability in controlling his opponents, Curtis said. Blake wrestles at home with his older brother Dylan, who also placed third at the high school state championship. Alex Davis had a record of 17-9 and placed fourth at the state championship. He recorded many of the Cougars pins this season. Alex has developed a reverse cradle and is pinning his opponents in it all the time, Curtis said. Alex is also a Junior Olympic swimmer and was competing the day before state and the day after state. He truly loves competition. Nico Duner placed fourth at state and finished with a record of 10-6. Duner never stops working out and loves to compete against anyone, Curtis said. Nico is a first-year wrestler and is improving his skills every day. There were a number of wrestlers who were just one match away from placing at state. Some of the wrestlers had a tough day but still gave all they had. None left anything out on the mat.