TTHS wrestlers are Division 1 champs | SierraSun.com
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TTHS wrestlers are Division 1 champs

JAMES BALL, Sierra Sun

At 17-7, the Tahoe-Truckee High School wrestling team can claim for the first time ever that it is the Division 1 champion.

At Divisional duals in Elko last Friday, the TTHS grapplers went 3-0 before losing to Spring Creek in the final match, tying Truckee for first with Spring Creek and Fernley.

In the first round, Truckee defeated Fernley 39-37.

“That was their only loss of the tournament,” said Truckee coach Bob Liebentritt. “We knew we needed everyone to come through for the win and it got us started the right way.”

TTHS handled ROP in the second round with a 42-33 victory.

In the third round, Truckee faced Battle Mountain, the host school, and won 44-33.

“Going into the last round, we were the only unbeaten team and we got beat,” Liebentritt said.

Truckee lost 50-28 to Spring Creek, a team Fernley had just finished beating 45-29.

Liebentritt said two of his wrestlers were injured in prior matches and were unable to compete against Spring Creek.

“We were just too many guys short and couldn’t beat them,” Liebentritt said. “It was kind of strange, because everybody ended up with one loss.”

The result was a tie, and there was no precedent for determining tie-breakers.

Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association representatives opted to go with a three-way tie, giving Truckee its first Div. 1 championship.

Truckee’s Danny Curtis (171 lb.) was the only Wolverine wrestler to go undefeated at the tourney, while several others were 3-1.

Sta’s Bolton (140), James Curtis (152), Ray Maroczski (160) and Neil Seelhoff (189) each lost only one match.

“It was really encouraging,” said Liebentritt. “Our winning was pretty shocking; I think some of the teams there were planning on beating us handily.”

The win may have also shocked some Truckee team members, as well.

Liebentritt said he took an informal poll of the wrestlers on the bus afterward asking how many of them thought they would be returning home as champions.

No on raised their hand, Liebentritt said.

NIAA situation

While it was the first, it could also be the last time a Truckee team takes a Div. 1 championship in Nevada.

Liebentritt, who has coached in the midwest and California, brings an outsider’s view to the situation which proposes kicking all non-Nevada teams out of the NIAA.

“When I first came to interview for this job, I was astounded Truckee competed in Nevada at all,” he said, adding it is not something normally done in the rest of the country.

Still, Liebentritt said he enjoys competing in the Nevada league, adding that Truckee is a perfect fit for NIAA, considering its size and small-town atmosphere.

He was uncertain about Truckee’s future competition in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), but said Truckee wrestlers have been highly competitive against Sacramento-area teams.

Schedule

The TTHS wrestling team faces a short schedule leading up to State championships in Spring Creek.

Tuesday, the team will host a meet in the TTHS gym, with Incline, Portola, Lovelock and yerington. The meet begins at 4 p.m.

On Jan. 29 and 30, the team travels to Fernley for Div. 1 and 2 duals.

They take to the mat at Incline Feb. 3 for a dual and, two days later, trek to Southern Nevada for Div. 1 and 3 semifinals.

The state championship is Friday, Feb. 12 and Saturday, Feb. 13, in Spring Creek.

Super state is Feb. 19-20 in Elko at Battle Mountain High School.

Times for championship meets are to be announced.

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