Wolverines open wrestling season at home, look to build tradition at Truckee

Senior Kevin Castellanos wrestles against a South Tahoe opponent. Castellanos is Truckee’s only senior wrestler.
Courtesy of Hans Baumann / Abdiver Photography

The Truckee wrestling team opened the season on Tuesday, hosting two other schools at the Wolverines’ lone home meet of the season.

Featuring a young roster of grapplers, Truckee may not have had a lot of individual success to open the season, but the squad, which includes some first-time wrestlers, picked up important mat time against competitors from South Tahoe and Quincy.

“We’ve got a lot of potential. We only have one guy with three years of experience. We’ve got a handful of guys with two years of experience, and then we’ve got a bunch more freshmen that came out,” said Coach Jim Bennett. “We’re still young. This is the fifth year that I’ve done this, and we’re still looking to have that senior group, where we’re senior heavy … we’re still looking to get the tradition going.”

Because of the small roster sizes of Truckee and Quincy, many matches resulted in forfeits due to the team’s not having wrestlers at several weight classes. Truckee ended up taking a 36-30 victory. The Wolverines finished the night by facing South Tahoe, which has a deep roster of wrestlers, and fell 78-6.

The Wolverines’ lone senior, Kevin Castellanos had a standout evening, winning a match against the Vikings by fall, and then later picking up another win in an exhibition match against a South Tahoe wrestler.

“My first two years were hard,” said Castellanos, who’s been with the program since his sophomore year.

As a senior, he said his mentality going into matches is simply, “Don’t be nervous, and let’s go!”

Castellanos, who wrestles at 220 pounds, has also moved into a leadership role for the program, helping younger athletes learn the sport.

“Sometimes during practice, I’m trying to explain to others how to do things and it’s sometimes difficult because of my English,” said Castellanos, who isn’t a native English speaker. “Sometimes it’s hard to explain to others, but every time when someone needs help, I try to help.”

Aside from Castellanos, the team has juniors Keihan Infantes, Joaquin Mendoza, and sophomore Campbell Walter, who each have two years of wrestling experience.

The Wolverines will have a busy start to the season with a tournament at Hug High School in Reno this weekend, followed by a trio of meets next week.

“That’s what these guys need,” said Bennett. “They need experience. We’ll get a lot of mat time next week.”

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at or 530-550-2643.

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