Alder Creek wrestlers earn State berth
The Alder Creek Middle School wrestling team sent 13 wrestlers to the finals and collected 22 medals at the state qualifying tournament at Douglas High School this past Saturday.
The Cougars placed second as a team, losing to Carson Middle School by just a few points. They did, however, outdistance the third-place team by 86 points and the fourth-place team by 142 points.
“We won this tournament last year with less team points,” said Alder Creek head coach Danny Curtis. “This year the competition was greater, and we place a satisfying second.”
Alder Creek crowned seven tournament champions: Alex Davis (70 pounds), Thor Retzlaff (90 pounds), Stein Retzlaff (115 pounds), Brooks Hudson (100 pounds), Javier Virrey (125 pounds) and Carlos Ramirez (150 pounds).
Runner-up finishers included Scotty Lebel (95 pounds), Ty Englert (115 pounds), Nick Arnone (120 pounds), Julian Thomas (135 pounds), Max Collinson (125 pounds) and Sam Mohun.
Almost the entire roster had qualified for State.
“I believe we have a stronger team this year than last year,” Curtis said. “Many of the wrestlers seem focused and determined to go far in the Championships.”
Ranked No. 1 in the state, Virrey is undefeated with a record of 10-0 and leads the Cougars in team points.
“I run on my own after practice,” the team captain said. “I watch videos of my wrestling to see how I can improve, and I lead the team by example. I try to help each wrestler to become the best they can be.”
Stein Retzlaff, 8-2 with seven pins, is ranked second in the state and is 7-1 since taking third in his first tournament of the year. His younger brother, Thor Retzlaff, is ranked fourth and has a record of 8-3. Thor has been in the finals every weekend he has wrestled.
Brooks Hudson is ranked seventh and has been undefeated since dropping two pounds to a lower division.
“I feel stronger in the 100-pound weight class,” Hudson said.
Ramirez, ranked second with a record of 9-2, has been improving his leg snags for takedowns.
Max Collinson is ranked third in the state and has a record of 7-2. He also leads the team in near falls.
Mohun has a record of 13-7 and leads the team in takedowns and wins. Mohun received his first medal (second place) of his career at the qualifier.
“I believe Sam will have a great tournament,” said Alder Creek coach Dave Lade.
Lebel is a top-prospect sixth-grader who took second place at the qualifier and always works hard at practice. “It helps to have good practice partners,” he said, referring to teammate Thor Retzlaff.
Tyler Curtis placed third in only his second tournament of the year. He is looking to compete at State and bring home a medal.
Other qualifiers were Zakk Ray (third), Spencer Pearson (fourth), Tyler Cavaness (fourth), Justin Carter (fourth) and Steven Baker (fourth).
The Cougars have a tournament at Modoc High School (Calif.) on Saturday. The state championship is the following weekend at Yerington.