Truckee wrestling: Wolverines qualify for State Championship
Five Truckee wrestlers qualified in the Northern 3A Zone Tournament at Yerington this past weekend to represent the Wolverines in the State Championship.
Junior Ricky Cooper, the only Wolverine to earn a Northern 3A title at zones, will compete in the 112-pound weight class. He’ll be joined by Truckee teammates Steven Baker (103 pounds), Brooks Hudson (112), Kyle Mullen (130) and Dustin Gwerder (145) at the Winnemucca Convention Center this weekend.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the zone tournament, however, was which Truckee wrestler did not advance to State.
Senior co-captain Bobby Waters, who was sick for the Divisional Duals the previous weekend, was not given a seed by the Northern 3A at its seeding meeting. The Wolverines considered it quite a snub, considering Waters pinned every opponent in the state in his weight class with the exception one wrestler. And while Waters did not pin that one wrestler, Kyle Firestone of Dayton, he defeated him two of three times during the season.
Without a seed, Waters lost to Firestone by one point, 5-4, in a hard-fought first match.
“This match should have been set up for the finals, but the League didn’t stand up for Bobby,” said Truckee coach Danny Curtis. “I was disappointed with how the League treated Bobby. He has been in the finals of every tournament but one ” when he was sick. Bobby is one of the top wrestlers in his weight class and he was not seeded.”
In his second match, Waters lost 2-1 to Fernley’s Tucker Taylor to end his Truckee wrestling career.
It was a career that will go down as one of the best in Truckee history, as Waters wrestled his way into the Wolverines’ Hall of Fame by joining the 100-Win Club. He’s also in the top-10 in several other statistical categories, and took fourth at State as a junior. He finished his senior season at 34-11.
“Bobby will always be remembered as the greatest leg rider in the state,” Curtis said.
If someone in attendance blinked, they might have missed Cooper manhandle his Lowry opponent to the mat in the final and pin him less than a minute later to earn the North’s top seed in the 112-pound weight class.
Cooper, Truckee’s co-captain, was equally impressive throughout the tournament, as he pinned each of his three opponents in less than a minute en route to the Northern 3A title.
At 103 pounds, Baker wrestled his way through the tournament to finish 2-1 and earn the title as consolation champion. Baker’s only loss came in a close match against Lowry, the second-ranked team in Northern Nevada.
“Steven Baker has a good chance in putting himself in the finals at State,” said Truckee head coach Ron Curtis.
Hudson placed fifth at the qualifier in the 112-pound class and will face Cooper in his opening match at State. Only one will have an opportunity to advance to the finals.
“It is a problem that most teams would love to have, two wrestlers in the same weight class qualifying for State,” Ron Curtis said.
Mullen, a junior, placed fourth in a tough 130-pound weight class to earn a return trip to the State Championship.
“Mullen has already been beating State placers from last year and has high hopes of getting to the finals,” his coach said.
Sophomore Dustin Gwerder placed fifth at zones. Gwerder has been improving his cradle skills and has high hopes in getting the medal rounds as he has pinned some top-tier wrestlers.
The 3A State Championship is scheduled for today and tomorrow at the Winnemucca Events Center. Wrestling starts at 3 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday. The finals start at 3:45 p.m. on Saturday.
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