Wolverines wrestlers near season’s end, look toward future
The Truckee wrestling team locked horns with experienced league foes last weekend to close out the season, but had a rough go while competing in the Class 3A Northern League duals.
Wrestling with mostly freshman and first-year grapplers, the Wolverines found little success against the Northern League’s more established programs, going 1-7 as a team.
“Our freshmen and first-year wrestlers went toe-to-toe with the top seniors in our league as the older, stronger and more experienced teams in our league prepared for state,” said Truckee Head Coach Jim Bennett in an email to the Sun. “It was (a) tough two days, but it was a good measuring stick for the young Wolverines to see where they need to be in the next 2-3 years.”
The Wolverines found their most success against Dayton, claiming a 47-6 victory over the Dust Devils.
Senior Reed Belardi, the team’s most experienced wrestler, led the squad throughout the season, providing leadership and knowledge to the group’s younger wrestlers.
The Wolverines will close out the season at the Redwood Empire Classic at Ukiah, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 3.
“We have had a great year, but the reality is that we are very young and inexperienced,” Bennett said. “We sill have some growing and building to do.”
Part of that building starts with the youth program, and the young Truckee wrestlers again had a standout performance last weekend.
The team competed at the Sierra Wrestling Association Championships in Fernley, Nev., and had each of the squad’s wrestlers pick up a win in at least one match.
“Most importantly, even when they lost, they listened to instruction from the coaches, learned from their mistakes and/or built on their success, and put the match behind them and focused on the next matchup,” said Coach Aaron Svitana in an email.
“That is showing great emotional growth in what can arguably be one of the most physically and emotionally taxing sports out there. And the other thing that I was impressed by is the great sportsmanship that our kids (are) showing, whether it was someone saying good luck to their opponent before a match to giving them a hug afterward.”
Sammy Svitana led the team with a first-place finish and a fourth place, which included the fastest pin in the division at 10 seconds.
Hank McDaniel also picked up a first-place finish with a pair of wins by fall. Joseph Svitana rounded out the team’s champions with a pair of pins to capture first place.
Jack Ridgel finished with a pair of third places, Lucas Scapini took second, and Bodi McThorn took third. Tanner Schmidig went 2-2 and Lucas Dembroge went 1-2.
* This post corrected Truckee’s record at the Northern League Duals. The printed story stated Truckee went 0-8. The team actually finished the meet at 1-7 with a win over Dayton.