The Pahrump Valley Junior Trojans Wrestling team held its annual “Country Boy Classic”, which was held at Pahrump Valley High School over the weekend.
The tournament was a huge success in attendance and results. Head Coach Ray Cortez said about 221 wrestlers came from all over Southern Nevada to wrestle. He said there was also a pleasant surprise in the results.
“With the parents and the gym busting at the seams the tournament went well and we won the tournament,” the coach said.
It was the first time the junior Trojans had won their own tournament.
Cortez said the tournament couldn’t be done without the help of the Pahrump Valley High School wrestling team who provided help.
“The high school students were there from start to finish. They helped with the mats, helped set up and refereed. I want to extend a big thanks to Trojans Coach Craig Rieger for being the head referee. He handled all the disputes. He was a big help,” Cortez said.
Cortez also said he appreciated all the Pahrump locals who showed up for the tournament and Eric Murphy who volunteered his time as the chief trainer for the tournament.
Cortez said the key to the program and its success is the dedication from the parents and the kids.
“The kids are out here every day for practice. Our good wrestlers practice five days a week for two hours a day. They are working hard six days out of the week,” he said.
Coach Stephen Keefe, who has a son Michael in the program, said the program helps the kids develop good wrestling skills for the high school wrestling team.
He said at each tournament during the year you will regularly see the following excellent programs at the junior tournaments: Green Valley, Liberty, Boulder City, Monster Gym and Cimmaron.
“If you look at these teams and look at the high schools the teams are associated with, all of these high schools have good wrestling teams. These junior programs are the feeder programs for the high schools. The number one junior program in Southern Nevada is Green Valley. If you look at the high school, that is the number one high school wrestling program. It is not just a coincidence that the number one junior program also has the number one high school,” Stephen said.
Stephen said practices are kept simple.
“At practice we practice everyone together. For the smallest kids, occasionally we will take them aside, but that has not happened this year. They have just been wrestling with the other kids doing the same drills and moves,” he said.
Stephen said the kids this year have been excited about their successful year.
“I have noticed a lot of excitement by the boys and what helps us a lot is the coverage in the paper. Every Monday they come to practice with their medals and take a group picture. The guys that won over the weekend and the kids are excited about that and it has been building. At the beginning of the year it was just two or three kids, and now it is half the team,” he said.
Stephen’s son won a third place medal. His father said he really enjoyed watching his son progress during the day.
“This was only his second tournament this year,” he said. “In the first tourney he got beat by a kid that handled him pretty easily. He was wrestling for second or third yesterday and he was wrestling that same kid. He lost in the last 10 seconds of the match. He was in it right to the end and it was very competitive. I felt good about his progress. He lost to a kid in the first match and had to fight his way back in the loser bracket and he beat the first kid later on in the day.”
The fastest pin awards went to Donald Davis in bantam and Darin Legrand in novice.
Pahrump Valley Junior Trojans Tournament Results:
Pre Bantam: 36-39 pounds: Samuel Mendoza 1st, 40-44 pounds: Piper Davis 2nd, 48-53 pounds: Alexander Mahoney 3rd, James Mcfarland 4th; Bantam: 38-43 pounds: Aiden Hallahan 4th, 43-46 pounds: Maddox Prunchak 4th, 46-48 pounds: Caden Briscoe 1st, Donald Davis 2nd, 51-53 pounds: Gunner Cortez 1st, Cameron Briscoe 3rd, 53-56 pounds: Joseph Barton 4th, 56-62 pounds: Brennen Benedict 2nd, Micah Mendoza 3rd, 65-73 pounds: Michael Keefe 3rd, Blake Westcoatte 2nd; Intermediate: 53-56 pounds: Mason Prunchak 3rd, 56-59 pounds: River Cable 3rd, Majson Hinkle 4th, 74-80 pounds: Henry Amaya 1st, 114-118: Rhyon Maher 3rd; Novice: 68-73 pounds: Coby Tillery 2nd, 84-91 pounds: Isaiah Portwood-Encinas 4th, Dylan Wright 2nd, 101-109 pounds: Darin LeGrand 1st; Middle School: 78-83pounds: Brayden McKeough-Williams 3rd, 99-104 pounds: Jordan Stimpert 3rd, 138-142 pounds: Angel Pinzon 3rd.