The Pahrump Valley High School wrestling team had a big year in 2014 when they won the state championship and since then it has been hard times trying to get back up to that form.
The main problem over the past two years has been senior wrestlers. For the past two years the team has been hard-pressed to keep the kids wrestling into their senior year. According to Trojans wrestling coach Craig Rieger, this year is different.
“We have 55 boys out for the team this year,” Rieger said. “This year we have 10 seniors leading the team. So we have the experience.”
The coach said there are only two weight classes where the team is weak.
“We are thin in the lightweights, 106 and 113-pounders,” Rieger said. “We have a freshman girl that is 103 pounds. I don’t have a 113. At 120 we have a lot of kids and we are strong in the middleweights.”
Watch out for the two Dylans
Rieger said there is a good battle for the 145-pound spot on the roster. At this position, there are two Dylans battling it out. It will be between junior Dylan Grossell and freshman Dylan Wright.
“One of those wrestlers, who are both good, solid wrestlers, will have to go down in weight,” Rieger said. “Wright is solid as a freshman.”
Grossell is looking forward to the competition.
“One of us might have to go down a weight to 138 pounds because only one of us will make it,” Grossell said. “I am 150 today and I have to get to 145. I started off at 160. I have been wrestling only since my freshman year and he has been wrestling since he was a little kid. But I come from the mindset that anyone can beat anyone on any given day. It is all in the mind. And right now we are pretty evenly matched. One day he wins and another day I win. I am ready for him.”
At the heavier weights, it is a battle to see who makes weight. Jeremy Albertson is watching his weight carefully. Last year Albertson went to state at 195 pounds and is looking forward to winning that spot again for the Trojans.
“Senior Jeremy Albertson at 195 is looking good,” Rieger said. “He was at state last year and is trying to shed the pounds.”
“I am looking good and my conditioning is really good,” Albertson said. “I am 220 and I need to be 195. I need to lose a few pounds. I am trying to eat clean, a lot of protein and vegetables and no carbs. I get up and run in the morning and do sit-ups. I have already lost 20 pounds.”
Albertson remembers how tough his opponent was at the regional tournament.
“One kid from Boulder City is back this year and he will be a junior,” he said. “He wasn’t a great wrestler, but he is really strong. I worked a few things to counter him.”
Another wrestler who made state last year was senior Cole Walker.
“He made it to state last year and he has really stepped up this year,” Rieger said.
“It is promising but you have to keep working hard,” Walker said. “Dieting is the hardest thing about wrestling. I eat a lot of chicken breasts. No red meat now. No carbs. I am at 200 and I need to get to 182. I was at 225 a week ago.”
Walker said he should make weight and isn’t concerned about losing too much strength, which is a concern for those that have to drop a lot of pounds.
Junior wrestler Tristan Maughan has a lot to prove this year. He was on his way to the regional tournament when he had to drop wrestling because of a fungal infection that prevented him from wrestling. This year he is working hard to wrestle at 152 pounds. At the moment he is not having any problem with his weight and he says he is on track.
“I don’t have much of a weight battle, I am at 160 and dropping to 152 pounds,” said Maughan. “I wrestled to regionals but missed the last part because of a fungus. I want to make it to state and not have problems with weight. I will go down if I have to.”
The wrestling staff has been consistent for the past few years with returning coaches Mike Colucci, Fred Schmidt, and Rick Marshall.
On Thanksgiving, while other teams are eating turkey, about 100 people gather in the wrestling room to get together and wrestle.
“Every Thanksgiving we gather together to talk and catch up on old times,” Rieger said. “It is open to all alumni and we get together here at 9 a.m. Every year people come with their parents. It is like standing room only. People will come around, drink coffee and just talk, and of course there is wrestling.”
The Trojans are on the road and travel to the Boulder City Duals on Dec. 2 for their first match of the season.