Truckee wrestlers take on the state
While the Wolverines did not send any wrestlers to the finals of the NIAA 3A Nevada State High School Wrestling Championships at Moapa Valley this past weekend, the Truckee team walked tall as it received the state’s Wrestling Academic Leader Team Plaque.
Truckee was led by freshman Alexander Engler, who earned a spot on the All State Academic Team.
“I was very proud with the team winning the award this year,” said Truckee head coach Ron Curtis. “I’ve been coaching since 1979 (high school wrestling since 1985) and this is the first time a team has won such an award. That highlighted the state tournament for us.”
On the mat, junior Dylan Crosby led the Truckee squad with a third-place finish.
Crosby, entered as the third seed from Northern Nevada in his 215-pound weight class, lost his first match 4-2 against Virgin Valley’s D’Andre Mathews.
“Dylan was aggressive throughout the match, but Mathews got a small lead and stretched it out by a stalling technique to win the match,” Curtis said.
In Crosby’s second match, he pinned Lowry’s Charles Nicholaus in the second period to set up a match against Kenny Miller of Spring Creek. Crosby made quick work of Miller, pinning him just 12 seconds into the match.
The win set up Crosby in the consolation finals, where he was to battle for either third or fourth place. Facing Matthews again, Crosby took a 4-1 lead. He then allowed his opponent to get back into the match in the third period with a penalty point and two technical violations, bringing the score to 4-4 by the end of the final period.
The first round of overtime ended with neither wrestler scoring, bringing the match to a double-overtime format in which each wrestler is put in the top position for a 30-second period. Whoever scored the most points in the period wins.
Crosby scored a two-point reversal in the first of the 30-second period and had to stay in control, on top, for the final 30-second period. With Crosby winning the get-even match, he earned third in the state meet.
Truckee junior Bobby Waters, at 145 pounds, may have competed in the toughest weight class of the year, his coaches said.
“I believe all eight wrestlers entered in the tournament can beat each other at any given time,” said Truckee assistant Danny Curtis.
The fourth seed from the North started out with a loss to the No. 1 seed from the North, Kyle Firestone of Dayton. That dropped him down into the consolation bracket, with his next match against Matthew Bevington of Yerington.
Showing the parity of the weight class, Waters narrowly won with a 4-3 decision. With his next match against John Peters of Faith Lutheran, Waters won by a surprising pin. Then, in the finals consolation match, Waters wrestled as if his energy was spent, losing by pin to Spring Creek’s Jordan Kendall to earn a fourth-place medal.
Truckee junior Robert Raber, wrestling in the 160-pound weight class, was hit with unfortunate outcome.
“I felt Robert was wrestling the best of any of the team’s qualifiers,” Ron Curtis said. “He had peaked at the right time and was in a good position on his bracket.”
Raber began by defeating Mike McNeill of Boulder City 13-4 in his first match.
His next match was against the No. 1 seed of the south, Anderson Floyd of Pahrump Valley. In the first period of the match, Raber was injured by an illegal slam. Raber tried to get back into the match but could not overcome the injury and lost by pin.
“Before his next match we tried just about everything to get him ready to wrestle pain-free, but the pain was too overwhelming, and Robert lost to Chase Saxton of Spring Creek,” Ron Curtis said. “Robert could have easily earned a third-place finish if not for the injury. This was really unfortunate.”
Truckee’s Ricky Cooper (112 pounds) and Kyle Mullen (125 pounds) both wrestled hard, though neither was able to place.
“Both had a very good year and definitely earned the right to be in the state meet and are both sophomores gaining from the experience,” Ron Curtis said. “They will be stronger next year, as will the team, because we had no seniors.”