weather icon Clear

Trojans wrestling start 2015 season with confidence

Wrestling has been going full bore now for a couple of weeks and the Trojans team is still riding the wave of success that hit them last year after winning the 2014 state title. Last year they sent eight wrestlers to state.

On the first day, over 70 wrestlers showed up to compete for 24 openings on the junior varsity team and a varsity team with 28 spots open.

Although the team graduated 10 out of 14 team members last year, the Trojans are not thinking they are out of anything.

Trojans coach Craig Rieger and his coaching staff are confident they will have more than a good year.

“We have won the league championship three times in a row and were undefeated three times in a row,” Rieger said.

Rieger didn’t even talk about the missing seniors (he only has 3 that are coming back). Rather, he talked about what he had and what those boys were capable of and he was very positive.

“We have Antonio Sandoval, who was fifth at state and Gino Gusman, who was third at state,” the coach said proudly. “The program has a lot of history and practically runs itself. We had 77 wrestlers come out on the first day. The kids come here and they know we work hard. We have a reputation of hard work. That’s what this program does.”

Rieger is depending on the three seniors, Gusman, Antonio Sandoval and Kevin Daffer to lead the team.

Senior Gino wrestled his junior year with the Trojans as a transfer student.

“Yes, I was mad at first for moving from Palo Verde High School, but when I got here this wrestling program was different,” he said. “When I found out about the wrestling coaching out here and how serious the school is about wrestling, I changed my mind. My old coach let us do whatever we wanted, but Rieger works us hard and is tough.”

Gusman said the team has a lot of freshman this year but he’s not worried about the team doing well.

This year Gusman will wrestle at 126 pounds. Gusman’s signature move is the “tilt.” This is where a wrestler takes control of one of the opponent’s arms in order to take control of his body and hips, and then turns him to his back. Gusman going into the regional tournament last year was 16-3.

Sandoval was a leader last year as a junior. At 126 pounds he finished fifth overall at the regional tournament with 4-2 record and was 15-5 going into the regional tournament.

Although Daffer was not a regular with the varsity team he did wrestle at the regional tournament last year as an extra, where he went 2-2. At the regional he gained much-needed varsity experience for this year. He comes from a tradition of Daffer wrestlers, having two older brothers, Kory and Kyle and a father that wrestled with the team.

He described his living room as a big wrestling arena and said he is outsized by his older brothers.

“I can hold my own with my brothers, but I’m not sure if I have ever beaten them,” Daffer said.

Rieger said his heavyweights dominated. That is, everything past 170 pounds usually won. This year there is a shift. He said the team is strong in the middle.

“We have a lot of depth in the middle,” he said.

Rieger said because of the toughness of the program he has never had to worry about filling the team.

“The football players know that wrestling helps make them better ball players,” the coach said. “They know we condition hard. Our workouts are twice as hard as any meet they go to.”

-Contact sports editor Vern Hee at vhee@pvtimes.com

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Zuloaga, Dilger team to win Jefferson’s Halloween Haunt

DJ Zuloaga and Lathan Dilger defeated Dennis and Chad Andersen for the second time to win Jefferson’s Halloween Haunt horseshoes tournament Friday, Oct. 30 in Pahrump.

Pahrump Valley Rodeo Club seeking sponsors, raising money

The Pahrump Valley Junior High and High School Rodeo Club will host its annual high school rodeo in conjunction with Pahrump Valley Days in February, and sponsors are needed to help fund the event.

Jared, Debbie Ward hold top two positions in Hobby Stocks

Jared Ward’s third consecutive Hobby Stock victory added a point to the slimmest margin between first and second place of any class during the Nov. 7 racing at Pahrump Valley Speedway.

Inexperience shows as Pahrump Maroon goes 1-3 in Bullhead

The Pahrump Trojans Maroon baseball club was back in Bullhead City, Arizona, last weekend, and on the paper the trip was not a pleasant one. The Trojans ended the first day 0-2, seeded 10th of 12 teams, and managed just one win in four games, a one-run game Sunday morning, as they finished the Double Play 16+ tournament by being outscored 30-13.

Fifteen Nevada horseshoe pitchers head to Utah for Western Open

There are perfectly fine horseshoe pits at Petrack Park in Pahrump. There is a larger set of pits at the Joe Friel Sports Complex in Tonopah. They have fixed up the large set of pits in Beatty.

Ward, Daub win at Speedway, increase season points lead

Jared Ward in Hobby Stocks and Mark Daub in Coupes added to their season points lead by posting victories Oct. 24 at Pahrump Valley Speedway.

Pahrump Gold baseball splits pair in Vegas Valley League

The Pahrump Gold baseball club started the fall season playing in tournaments in Bullhead City, Arizona. The results were mostly good, reaching the final of one tournament and winning another, but there was a sense that nothing much was being accomplished.