Michelle O'Donnell / Special to the Tonopah Times Bonanza - Tanner Otteson wrestles with his cousin Tristan during a recent Muckers practice.
Muckers Coach Duffy Otteson knew some minor changes had to be made. He also knew his team would learn from their mistakes and move on after the first match only a week ago.
Last Saturday, the team faced off at the Carlin Duals and Otteson was satisfied with the results. Otteson looked at his team’s errors for each team member and gave each wrestler advice on how to improve prior to the Carlin match. According to Duffy, his team has made some great strides in just a week.
“The team wrestled much better this weekend than in the Ely Lions Wrestling tournament,” Otteson said. “I feel the athletes improved on their stand-up game and wrestled aggressively in Carlin.”
Freshman Tanner Otteson once again demonstrated that he is one of the best and most experienced wrestlers on the team. He performed well on the mat, winning all his matches by pin in the second round. Also TJ Ayers performed remarkably well. He did much better than last week. The senior won two and lost one due to a mistake that cost him the match.
“He should have won that match,” the Muckers coach admitted.
Another Muckers wrestler that did well was sophomore Koa Elliot who won his first match of this season by pin in the third round. This was a big victory for him because it showed him that his hard work during practice was paying off.
“He is a strong young man that is scrappy. If he can continue to learn moves and is aggressive, I can see Koa also placing in the divisional tournament,” Otteson said.
Two other Muckers wrestlers lost in Carlin. They were Ian Guthridge and Kyle Dennis. Regardless of the losses they showed great improvement from a week ago, according to Otteson.
This is the first year wrestling for junior Kyle Dennis and he has one of the best attitudes on the team said Otteson.
“This young man has a never-say-never attitude and he will do whatever I tell him too. It will take him a while to adjust to wrestling but I think he will do a great job,” the Muckers coach explained.
Otteson has big plans for him.
“We will try to get Kyle down to the 220-pound class this year. If he can get there and gets a good grasp on moves, he will probably be a division placer,” the coach said.
Also Guthridge is doing well for a wrestler with limited experience.
“He has been getting the moves down fast in the last few weeks of practice. He will continue to improve throughout the season and I see him also being a division placer,” Otteson said.
Tonopah wrestlers minimized some of the mistakes made during the first tourney of the season.
“The boys didn’t make as many mistakes as in Ely but they still need lots of mat time to figure out every situation,” Otteson explained.
The coach believes the team needs to continue to work on the basics.
“We also need to wrestle more live in practice so the team knows what to do at the tournaments. Strength and conditioning will be a regular weekly thing and these boys will be ready for the end of the season,” he said.
The next clash for the Tonopah wrestling team will be Jan.10 at Pahranagat Valley High School.