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Trojan wrestlers begin playoff run

The Pahrump Valley wrestling team is gearing up to begin their playoff run in the regional tournament this Saturday, Feb. 12, at Virgin Valley High School.

With the 2021 wrestling season being canceled due to COVID-19, this will be the first regional tournament since the 2019-20 season.

The Trojans finished the regular season with a perfect 9-0 record in league duels this year. They will have a representative in all 14 weight classes, including seven wrestlers who are entering the regional tournament with undefeated records.

Pahrump Valley will be returning five wrestlers who participated in the 2020 regional tournament. All five returners will be wrestling in different classes this year than they did in 2020.

Senior Coby Tillery, one of the undefeated Trojans this season, has moved up in weight classes since the last time out. In 2020, Tillery finished in third place in the 132-pound division, but this year he will be going after the 145-pound championship.

Henry Amaya is another Trojan senior hoping to improve from his last time out. In 2020, Amaya participated in the 138-pound division along with his teammate, Wyatt Plant.

Although he was just one win away from having a chance to wrestle for the championship, Amaya ended the tournament with a sixth-place finish.

Tannor Hanks, who wrestled in the 285-pound division during the 2020 regional tournament, will actually be going down a weight class for this year’s tournament.

After a sixth-place finish two years ago, he’s hoping to make his mark this year in the 220-pound division. His brother, Ty Hanks, will be representing the Trojans in the 285-pound division this year.

Trojans senior Chris Vega, who also finished undefeated this year, is looking to improve from his performance in the 120-pound division.

In 2020, Vega fell short in the second round of the tournament after being pinned by SLAM Academy’s Luke Van Orden, who went on to be the regional champion of the 120-pound division.

Following the loss, Vega moved to the consolation side of the bracket, where he defeated Felix Cisneros from Mojave High School to finish in fifth place.

Vega will be wrestling in the 126-pound division in the regionals this year.

Kyle Heaney, Gunner Cortez, Brennan Benedict and Abraham Oliveros will be the other undefeated wrestlers who will be representing Pahrump Valley as first-time regional participants.

Ethan Hutchinson, who will be wrestling in the 182-pound division, is the only freshman for the Trojans in the tournament. He finished with a record of 8-1 during the regular season.

The first rounds of the regional tournament will begin on Saturday at 9 a.m. and the championship rounds are set to begin at 5 p.m.

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