By Vern Hee
The Pahrump wrestling community led by the Junior Trojans Wrestling organization and assisted by the Trojans high school wrestling team held a tournament last Saturday.
It was their first and only home tournament of the season. Close to 250 wrestlers from all over Southern Nevada descended on Pahrump from ages 5 to 14.
For Eli Prunchak, head Junior Trojans coach, it was his first time organizing this event. He said he had 28 wrestlers from Pahrump in the tournament and his team finished third overall.
“It is the first one that I have put on. I plan on putting one on at home every season. The majority of the teams come from Vegas. A team from Moapa came out and one from St. George Utah. It’s pretty good, it’s about half of the league but considering the distance, I think it is a very good tournament turnout,” said Prunchak.
Many of the wrestlers from Pahrump hope to one day become Trojans in high school. Garrett Monje is one of those future wrestlers. He currently is in eighth grade at Rosemary Clarke Middle school.
“I have been wrestling now for two years. I won my first bout by pin and have one more. My sister got me into this through a friend. I am in the 139 class and I hope to wrestle in the future in high school,” said Monje.
The youngest wrestlers at the tournament were 5 years old and they seemed to be having the best time. Aiden Hallahan was in his first year with the Junior Trojans.
Leslie Hallahan, his mother, said she loves the program.
“This is Aiden’s first year and he is in kindergarten. His cousin was in football and he told us about it. He has been loving it ever since,” said Leslie.
John Gundacker, father of Trojans wrestler Levi, feels the program is important to the high school program and was out helping with the organizing that day.
“I think this is great for developing varsity wrestlers. I think this is a great thing because this will feed directly into our high school wrestling program. It will make the team stronger than it ever is. Levi did two years in it,” said John.
Joe Clayton, assistant Trojans wrestling coach, feels the same way as John. His two boys, Jace and Jax both went through the junior program and our now wrestling on the varsity team.
“I think the Pahrump Junior Wrestling program is awesome. Some of them wrestle since they are 5 or 6 years old. The program is well organized. My kids have been wrestling since 5-6 too,” remarked Clayton.
Coach Rieger, head Trojans wrestling coach was also giving a hand. His varsity team was there on Saturday to do the officiating. Rieger agrees with John and supports the junior wrestlers 100 percent. He also has a second grade son in the program.
“It seems it is doing great and I am proud of the high school wrestlers, who are doing the officiating and running the tables,” said coach.
Pee Wee 36-38:
Aiden Hallahan 3rd
Noah Amaya 4th
40-43: Preston Rickmans 4th
40-41: Bryson Koivu 3rd
42-45: James Macfarlane 3rd
37-41: Maddox Prunchak 3rd
49-51. Gunner Cortez 1st
51-54: Brandon James 2nd
76-80: Matthew Decker 2nd
61-63. Coby Tillery 2nd
78-80: Dylan Wright 1st
85-89: Trevor Brown 4th
92-96: Darin Legrand 2nd Bradley Johnson 3rd
119-124: Angel Pinzon 1st
81-85: Spencer Lane 5th
101-104: Austin Keifer 2nd
133-139: Garret Monje 4th