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Wrestling team grapples with inexperience

Matt Riddle

This year’s wrestling team coaches, Ron Curtis and Mike Halket, are hoping a handful of their wrestlers can take state amid a team of beginners.

“We’ve had one of the biggest turn-outs we’ve ever had,” coach Mike Halket said. “But only four with experience.”

The team has 20 beginners. The roster should be split with 15 varsity wrestlers and the rest going to the JV squad. The only two seniors on the team are both new to wrestling. But until some of the beginners get more experience, they’ll compete at the JV level.

“I’m targeting the JV to bring them up to level,” Halket said.

In the past, it has been a better situation. Halket and Curtis didn’t have to worry about training so many beginners.

“We would have freshman coming in with experience,” Halket said.

For having such an inexperienced team, some wrestlers are expected to go a long way. Rick Sausser has big expectations.

“He’s going to do good this year,” Curtis said.

Buck Claesson last year made it to the quarter final last winter at 106 lbs. before he made a mistake and lost. Claesson, a freshman last year, took third and the two wrestlers that went for first place, Claesson had beaten earlier in the season. Claesson was in his sixth year of wrestling.

“I think maturity was over him last year,” Curtis said. “Nobody was even close to him.”

Despite that age difference, he was Truckee’s only state place finisher.

Saturday, Halket and Curtis took the squad to the Yerington Tournament. Marcus Waters, 152, went 3-2 on the day. Shane Wright, 171, went 2-2. Dan Ballou, 189, went 3-1. Sausser, 160, went 2-1. Miles, heavyweight, went 3-1. Paul Keckley, 140, went 2-1. Claesson, went 5-0 with five straight pins.


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