Truckee wrestling | Curtis bounces back from first loss to win Dublin Tournament

Special to the Sun

A shorthanded Truckee wrestling team competed in two tournaments in the past couple of weeks, the Dublin High School Tournament this past weekend and the Lassen Tournament on Jan. 12.

With Javier Virrey sidelined with a knee injury, the Wolverines competed with only two wrestlers at both tournaments, Tyler Curtis and Dylan Clifton.

Curtis, who was previously undefeated on the season, suffered his first loss in the finals of the Lassen Tournament. He rebounded well, however, as he went on to capture the championship in his 182-pound weight class at the Dublin Tournament and improve to 15-1 on the year.

At Lassen, Dylan lost by pin to the No. 1 seed in his 126-pound weight class, Zack Ruybal of Del Oro High. He then lost by pin to Razi Lovett of Central Valley in his second match and was eliminated from the tournament.

Curtis, seeded No. 2 in his weight class, won his first match by pin. He then defeated Etna’s John Souza with another pin, putting him in the finals against No. 1-seeded Zack Ewelt of Damonte Ranch.

The match started well for Curtis, as he found himself up 2-0 at the end of the first period. But in the second period Curtis made a mistake that cost him six unanswered points as he fell behind 6-2.

“Tyer was the aggressor the whole match. Ewelt was mainly defensive the whole match,” said Truckee coach Al Salas.

Curtis made a gallant comeback but came up short, 4-6, for his first lost of the season.

Curtis took his 12-1 record into the Dublin Tournament.

“I asked coach Mike Halket (a former Truckee High wrestling coach) to not seed Tyler No. 1,” said coach Ron Curtis. “I did not want to jinx anything. But when we arrived at the tournament he told me they could not do anything other than seed him No. 1.”

The senior did not disappoint. Curtis got back on the winning track with a pin over Miguel Chavoya of Liberty. He made quick work of his opponent in his next match, pinning Jeff Brinkley of Granada in 25 seconds to advance to the finals.

Curtis earned a tough decision in the final match, 15-10, over Jesus Izazaga of Hilmar to take the crown in the 182-pound class.

Clifton, meanwhile, who was second last year at the same tournament, began with a narrow 10-9 win to set up a match against No. 1-seeded Daniel Barker of California High, who defeated Clifton by pin.

“There’s a reason he was seeded No. 1,” coach Curtis said. “He was really good.”

Clifton lost his next match to Athenian’s Miguel Rodriguez by pin. He still had one more match, though, and he secured fifth place in the tourney with a 15-10 decision over Victor Verissimo of Hilmar.

Both Clifton and Tyler will compete in the divisional duals at Spring Creek this weekend, where they will face eight grueling matches.

“Each match means so much, our kids come out limping after the weekend,” said coach Salas. “We must wrestle every team in our league on one weekend – by far the toughest weekend of the season.”

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