Wolverines hit mats for season opener | SierraSun.com

Wolverines hit mats for season opener

The Truckee wrestling team hit the mats for the 2017-18 season opener in Granite Bay, Calif., last weekend, and put together several strong performances.

The program has more than doubled in size since last season, and now has 31 wrestlers, including four girls.

While Truckee's numbers are strong, the team is largely inexperienced, with only a handful of returning wrestlers from last season. Still, the Wolverines put on a solid showing in their first meet, competing in varsity, junior varsity and girls' brackets.

Senior Reed Belardi led the Wolverines with a third-place finish out of the 160-pound division, going 3-1 on the day.

Belardi would fight off nearly being pinned in the second round of his first match to come back and win by fall.

"He bridged and held off the pin for nearly 1 minute before the referee stopped it because of an illegal choke hold," said Head Coach Jim Bennett in an email to the Sun. "Reed came back to pin that kid from El Camino a round later and won the match. Reed showed what wrestling is all about, you have to have heart, grit and a never give up attitude. It was a great match for our younger kids to see."

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Belardi would then be topped by Union Mine's Michael Griffiths in the next round, but the Truckee grappler bounced back with a win over Granite Bay's Anathony Perez in the consolation bracket's first period. Belardi then captured third place by pinning Lincoln's Blake Lukins.

On the girls' side, junior Miranda Parkhurst competed in her first match ever and pinned her opponent from Rocklin High School to take first place at 195 pounds.

The junior varsity squad would have a strong day as well, with freshman James Atkinson pinning two opponents to claim first place out of the 106-pound division.

Senior Thomas Daly defeated his first three opponents at 145 pounds to make the finals, but had to settle for second place after being topped in the championship match.

At 132 pounds, junior Evan Fiddyment picked up a pair of wins by fall in winning two of his four matches.

"Evan showed great improvement in his second year of wrestling," Bennett said. "He pinned both of his first opponents … he then lost to the eventual champion in the semis and the third-place finisher in (consolation) bracket."

At 145 pounds, freshman Micah Ivens pinned two opponents to go 2-2 on the day.

"Ivens showed great potential and heart," Bennett said. "After losing to the eventual champion from Rocklin in his very first match, he went on to pin his next two opponents. In the (consolation) semis, he was leading 7-1 after two rounds before getting caught in a head and arm, and was pinned. He made several of the first time wrestler mistakes. It was a great learning experience for him. He is only going to get better and better."

At 195 pounds, senior Andrew Parkhurst also picked up a win for the junior varsity squad.

"As a young team, we went in with three goals — learn as much as we can, get better, and have fun," Bennett said. "We reached all of those and the kids all battled! No one went down without a fight! I am very proud of this team."

The Truckee wrestling team will next be at McQueen for a junior varsity tournament on Saturday, Dec. 9.

The Wolverines varsity squad will host a meet against South Tahoe, Sparks and Excel Christian on Tuesday, Dec. 12 from 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. The junior varsity squad will host a tournament on Friday, Dec. 22 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Staff writer Justin Scacco can be reached at 530-550-2643 or via email at jscacco@sierrasun.com