Alder Creek wrestlers cap strong season
Alder Creek Middle School sixth-grader Amanda Novick took fifth place in the 79-pound weight class at the California Girl’s Middle School State Wrestling Championship in Vallejo on April 14.
“(That is) a remarkable feat as a sixth-grader,” said Jason Guiducci, the tournament’s director. “More importantly, as Truckee’s pioneer female wrestler, she has opened the door and paved the way for future Alder Creek girls in the sport of wrestling.
Novick defeated Heidi Solar of Springtowne Middle School by a score of 11-1 to reach the semifinals. After losing in the semifinals, Novick beat McKenzie Chavez in a dramatic match by pin in the second period to give her a fifth-place finish.
“Amanda is a great competitor,” said Alder Creek wrestling coach Danny Curtis. “She works hard in the practice room. Most girls give up easy when wrestling against boys, but Amanda just keeps fighting and will not give up for the life of her.”
Novick wrestled all season against the Alder Creek team, taking on boys who were some the best wrestlers in the state.
“Amanda loves to beat up on the boys,” Curtis said. “She shows them that it’s a woman’s sport as well as a man’s.
Said Michael Novick, Amanda’s older brother: “I was so nervous watching my little sister wrestle out there in the middle of the mat. It was the first wrestling match that I’ve seen. It was like watching a fight and my sister was winning!”
The championship tournament marked the first time Amanda Novick had wrestled a girl.
“I wanted to show these girls what I’m made of,” she said. “I wanted them to know where I’m from.”-
Novick, the only girl to finish the season with the Alder Creek team, was the only girl to beat other boys in live matches and the only girl to get a pin against boys. She pinned several boys during the season while proving to other schools that she was not an easy match.
Alder Creek wrestler Justin Carter knows as much from firsthand experience.
“Wrestling a girl is a scary thought, especially when she is good,” said Carter, Novick’s practice partner who was ranked fifth in the state. “It’s a lose-lose situation. If I win then the my friends say ‘so what, she’s a girl’ but if I lose then I will be teased for the rest of the season about the match.”
A week before Novick’s championship tournament, a number of Alder Creek wrestlers competed in the nation-wide World of Wrestling Reno Championships at the Reno Livestock Event Center.
The Cougars had several wrestlers almost place at the national tournament, which hosted more than 2,500 wrestlers over three days.
Morgan Nevin, Alder Creek’s first state champion, was one match away from placing sixth in the nation.-
Alder Creek’s Griffin Brown and Max Collinson placed among the top 14 in the nation, while many other Cougar wrestlers placed in the top 20 to 30.
“I was very surprised to see our wrestlers get this far in the tournament,” Curtis said. “Just making it to the second day was a big deal. But our wrestlers almost placed, which would have put them in a magazine with a picture and have a little article written about them.
“I was pleased with the team and how they have become a family,” Curtis continued. “It is the best team I have ever coached, even though it’s my second year coaching a team.”