The Trojans wrestling team won two matches by pin and one by decision to hand Sierra Vista the loss on Tuesday, 46-33.
The match was the last regular season match of the year. The Trojans are 3-4 for the year, getting all three wins at home.
Trojans coach Craig Rieger was delighted with the home win.
“Again, we are a young group and lack the experience with many freshman wrestling at varsity,” he said. “We made a lot of mistakes and felt that two of our juniors, Drew Walker and Garrett Monje should have had wins. But the one thing I like about our guys, despite the lack of experience, is we fight and don’t give up.”
He added the losses that were sustained wouldn’t have happened with more experience.
“The majority of our varsity wrestlers are young and have less than a year of varsity experience,” he said.
Senior Gino Gusman (126) led by example. His pin ignited his team. Gusman is favored to go all the way to state. He is rare four-year letterman. The pin on Tuesday gave him an undefeated record in his weight division and the number one seed at the zone tournament.
Gusman was excited about his prospects.
“I tried to pin my man early but he kept eluding my moves,” he said. “I was able to get him later in another move.”
When asked if he was worried about any of the other wrestlers he will face at zone, he replied, “There was one kid from Cheyenne that I had trouble with. I pinned him in the third round, but other than that things should go well.”
Another wrestler the Trojans will be depending on to do well at zone is senior Antonio Sandoval (138). He is a four-year letterman and has a career record of 72-30.
Sandoval said he should be going as the third seed at zone.
“I just want to go to zone healthy,” he said. “I was a little bit bothered by an injury during my match and that’s why I probably didn’t get my pin.”
Sandoval won by decision 13-4. He was able to get so many points through his quickness and knowledge of wrestling. As he wrestled last night, he would be on the bottom, but not for long. Within seconds he would be on top, leaving his opponent scratching his head wondering how Sandoval got on top. He said the two weeks should allow himself to heal and be ready for competition.
Senior Isaac Davis (170) got his only other pin for the Trojans and it took him only 49 seconds in the first round to do it.
According to Rieger, those three wrestlers should do well at zone and then there is senior Kevin Daffer (152). He is the last of the Daffer boys out of four, Kody, Cory, Kyle were the others. All four boys wrestled for the Trojans along with their father, Marty Daffer.
“Daffer should do well, after all he has the experience of going last year,” Rieger said.
He also mentioned sophomore Jeremy Albertson (195).
“Albertson had a lot of good matches this year and I want to see him get to the top four at zone,” the coach said.
It was senior night for the team and the Trojans honored six seniors: Ryan Martinez, Nick Iwinski, Kevin Daffer, Gino Gusman, Antonio Sandoval and Isaac Davis.
The team now has two weeks to prepare for the zone meet on Feb. 12-13 at Spring Valley. Zone determines which wrestlers will go to the state meet, which will be at Primm this year on Feb. 20.
Rieger has gone through lulls like this before and said he will make sure his team is prepared.
“I know two weeks is a long time, but from experience we will have intense but not long wrestling sessions,” he said.
-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com