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Trojans grapplers are regional champs, again

The Trojans wrestling team won the Southern Nevada Regional Championship on Saturday for the second year in a row.

The Trojans finished at first place with 239 1/2 points, Virgin Valley was in second with 195 1/2 points and Boulder City was third with 158 points.

The team came from behind Boulder City on Friday after the Eagles took an early 7 1/2 point lead, but this lead was erased by Pahrump on the second day.

Trojans Coach Craig Rieger said it was great to repeat.

“It is even better than last year,” he said. “The teams in the South are tough. After the first day, it was very close. Being in 2nd place Friday showed we all had to work hard in every round of wrestling. We had seven wrestlers qualify for the regional finals. That scored a lot of points.”

At the end of the season, the Trojans faced Lowry at the Spring Creek Invitational, where they took second to Lowry’s first place finish. The team knows they have to face a powerful Lowry team who will send 15 wrestlers to the Pahrump 11. Rieger said numbers don’t mean anything to his team.

“The boys feel more confident about the North. It was great that we made the trip to Spring Creek. They know what to expect,” he said.

During the regional tournament, the boys started off behind Boulder City but this only worried Rieger a bit.

“I am always concerned,” he said. “Boulder City, Virgin Valley and Spring Valley – we were all close. I believe all the southern teams have tough wrestlers, but our heavyweights have scored well for the team all year.”

Rieger made reference to his strong lineup from 170 pounds to 285 pounds. This lineup did well all year. Of those last four wrestlers, three are regional champions and all four qualified for state.

The Pahrump team ended up finishing strong at the regional tourney with the heavyweights taking three individual titles.

Two of the titles came from brothers on the team. Jax Clayton at 195 pounds and Jace Clayton at 285 pounds. Both are identical twins.

Jax finished strong and ended up facing Abraham Preciado, his teammate, in the finals for the title. Preciado was sent to the regionals as an extra.

“Abe wrestled well in the quarters and semis,” Rieger said. “It’s great having an extra knocking other individuals out of scoring.”

Jonathan Corrow at 182 was the other heavyweight who also received a title for the team.

Eight other Trojan wrestlers qualified to go to the state finals: Gino Gusman at 120 pounds, Nick Nelson at 132 pounds, Levi Gundacker at 138 pounds, Sam Brophy at 145 pounds, Sam Tucsnak at 170 pounds, Jon Corrow at 182 pounds, Jax Clayton at 195 pounds, Abraham Preciado at 195 pounds, Brandon Dirrigl at 220 pounds, Jeremy Coates at 220 pounds and Jace Clayton at 285 pounds.

The Nevada State Wrestling Championships will be on Friday and Saturday at the Winnemucca Events Center with action starting at 1 p.m.

Rieger was proud of all his wrestlers and the way the team wrestled this year and he extended thanks to all the supporters.

“The Pahrump crowd was rocking,” he said.

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