Halket inherits stacked wrestling team
Youth and experience are the defining aspects of this year’s Tahoe-Truckee high school wrestling team.
Mike Halket, 29, recently moved to Truckee and replaces Bob Liebentritt as the Wolverines’ new head coach.
Halket wrestled all through high school and for four years at Humboldt State where he was a two-time western regional champ. He moved to Truckee only a few months ago from Concord, Calif. and is teaching physical science and biology at the high school.
Halket is coaching a Wolverine team that comprises five freshmen, seven sophomores, four juniors and only one senior.
The team’s young roster does not reflect inexperience.
Many of the team’s members have been wrestling since an early age. In fact, a majority of the team’s wrestlers have been coached by Halket’s assistant coach, Ron Curtis, since they were toddlers.
“He’s been working with these guys for a long time … 10-plus years in cases,” said Halket. “That’s part of why they’re so good. I attribute a lot of the success here to his years of effort.”
Curtis has been coaching wrestling in Truckee since 1979. He began coaching at the high school level in 1985 and served as a head coach for the Wolverines for five years. He has since been an assistant coach for the team.
Curtis helped coach last year’s team – which finished sixth in the Nevada state tournament – and his son, Danny Curtis, was the 171 pound weight class state champion.
Danny was one of four seniors from the team that graduated.
“I think we’ll be better this year than we were last year,” Curtis said. “We’ve got five or six kids that can place fourth or higher this season. Our goal is to try to place third or higher in state competition. If everyone stays healthy and eligible, we have a real good chance.”
Brian Kendrick, a junior, is this year’s team captain. Kendrick, who will be wrestling in either the 125- or 130-pound weight class, finished sixth in state last year with a 45-12 record.
Returning, after missing last season with an injury, is Jesse Helsdon. Helsdon, a sophomore wrestling in the 215-pound weight class, is a seven-time junior state champion in California. He was a six-time junior Olympic champion in the western division (which includes 11 states) and finished eighth in nationals last year. According to Curtis, Helsdon should be able to adequately “fill Danny’s shoes.”
Stanislaw (Stas) Bolton, a junior who finished last season ranked second in the 140-pound weight class with a 50-12 record, will also be returning this season.
Junior, James Curtis, is wrestling in the 160-pound class. Curtis finished sixth in state with a 50-21 record.
Ian Wrenn, a sophomore wrestling in the 140-pound weight class, finished with a 45-12 record. Ray Mroczkowski, the team’s only senior, finished with a 50-18 record.
Justin Lawrence will be wrestling in the 112-weight class along with Mike Acuff. Dennis Graham will be wrestling in the 103-pound weight class.
Brad Sauser will wrestle at either the 119- or 125-pound weight class along with Todd Seaborg. Josue Rodriguez will be wrestling in the 135-pound weight class. Josh Roberts will represent Truckee in the 145-pound weight class and Brian Fiffe will step in at the 152-pound weight class.
Tony Diaz and Rich Grossman will wrestle in the 171 and 189 classes, respectively.
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