In nearly two full days of wrestling last Friday and Saturday (Feb 14-15), the Trojans varsity wrestlers placed first over the other five teams in the Sunset conference and all of the 6 teams of the Sunrise conference, giving them the title of first in the Southern Nevada Region. Their victory was resounding and decisive, with a total Trojans team score of 275 points, versus the number two school, Virgin Valley, at 189 points and Boulder City at 154 points.
The accomplished Trojans grapplers clearly took an immediate early-on lead in this regional competition by the close of the first day of wrestling (Friday). Twelve of the fourteen varsity wrestlers went into the semifinals on Saturday. Before the semifinals, total scores were: Pahrump 120; Boulder City 77; Faith Lutheran 65; Virgin Valley 57; Moapa Valley 52; Desert Pines 49; Clark 41; Mojave 36; Chaparral 29; Cheyenne 15; and Sunrise Mountain 8.
During a break before the semifinals and finals, Trojans Coach Craig Rieger had the team lay down and take a short rest in a separate gym room and then go outside the gym, taking a gentle jog and then walk before returning to the high school to finish the deciding competitions.
With the close of these Region bouts, Coach Rieger is very proud to have four Trojans wrestlers place 1st, three place 2nd, three place 3rd and one place 4th as follows: Senior Stephen McCormick at 145 lbs. Champion 1st place by beating his final opponent with a Major Decision 11-2; Senior Scott Maughan at 170 lbs. Champion 1st place by beating his final opponent by Decision 10-6; Junior Abraham Preciado at 182 lbs. Champion 1st place by beating his final opponent by Decision 5-0; Junior Jace Clayton at 285 lbs. Champion 1st place by pinning his final opponent in the second period; Junior Jonathan Corrow at 160 lbs. for 2nd place; Junior Jaxon Clayton at 195 lbs. for 2nd place; Junior Jeremy Coates at 220 lbs. for 2nd place; Junior Levi Gundacker at 120 lbs. for 3rd place; Junior Nick Nelson at 132 lbs. for 3rd place; Junior Samuel Tuscnak at 152 lbs. for 3rd place; and Junior Nick Nelson at 132 lbs. for 4th place.
The coach is nothing but pleased with his wrestlers’ performance at Pegion. He said each of the team wrestled hard and smart and with a determined drive, approaching each match one round at a time, and taking every opportunity to go for pins in efforts to earn team bonus points. He said he was approached throughout the two days of Region by several people he didn’t know, who commented how well the Trojans team wrestled on the mat and on how the boys conducted their warm-up drills and moves. The coach said the Trojans will face accomplished champions of Lowry High School, Winnemucca at the State Championship this Friday.
He commented “Lowry has good coaching, good kids.”
Each of these 11 wrestlers will face their 1-A contenders of the north division, at the state championship to be held in Primm, NV on February 22nd.
At 106 Joseph Zarabozo is a junior and first-year wrestler. Zarabozo finished with two losses at Region. Coach Rieger said Zarabozo learned a lot as the season progressed and he’ll come back next year with more experience and learning under his belt.
At 113 David Martinez is a senior. He beat two region opponents and lost two. In a close decision of 6-8, Martinez lost his second Region match in the semifinals to his Desert Pines opponent who eventually earned second place in the finals. From Martinez’ loss, he worked his way back to earn 4th at Region.
At 120 Levi Gundacker is a junior. Coach Rieger said the 120-pound weight class is filled with very tough opponents across the state. Gundacker wrestled five matches at Region, losing the semi-final by a nail-biting 7-2 decision and kicking him back on a hard path to eventually earn Region 3rd place. Gundacker’s wins were by a pin at 1:38, a decision 7-2, and major decisions of 10-1 and 8-0.
At 126 Antonio Sandoval is a sophomore and second-year wrestler. The coach said Sandoval had a really tough weight class at Region, losing to his Chaparral opponent who eventually won Region 2nd place and doing very well against, but losing to last-year state champion opponent Crandall from Virgin Valley in a major decision 7-16. Coach Rieger is very happy with Sandoval’s performance. At Region 5th place, Sandoval will be available as a backup wrestler at state in the event a spot opens, among the first four placements in 126 pound class, due to sickness or illness.
At 132 Nick Nelson is a junior and third-year wrestler. Nelson won his first match by a pin at 1:34 but lost his second match to a tough Boulder City opponent. He fought a tough battle back with three more wins by decisions of 8-4 and 13-7 to again face the same Boulder City opponent, this time pinning him in 4:16. The coach commented Nelson’s no-give, hard and smart wrestling earned him region 3rd place.
At 138 Sam Brophy is a junior and an accomplished third-year wrestler. Brophy beat his opponent to the semifinals and then lost an unfortunate match to the Faith Lutheran opponent who eventually took 1st place. This kicked him back where he faced and lost to his Desert Pines opponent who eventually took 4th place. Brophy was able to work his way to finish Region 5th place by resoundly beating his final opponent with a pin in 48 seconds. As with 126 pound Antonio Sandoval, Brophy’s 5th place makes him available to fill a sickness or injury vacancy in the first four places at the 138 pound state championship.
At 145 Stephen McCormick is a senior and a very tough and accomplished four-year wrestler with a now-overall 39-5 season record. To watch McCormick wrestle, one understands what focused, cool-headed, rapid-second nature response really means. The coach commented McCormick displayed his ability to show consistent, explosive moves with quick responses to his opponents on the mat. McCormick said he’s able to rapidly counter responses to his opponent’s moves by instinct from focused training. McCormick wrestled four matches at Region, soundly beating his opponents by major decisions of 8-0, 9-0, 10-2 and finally, 11-2 in his championship bout.
At 152 Samuel Tuscnak is a junior with three years wrestling. Tuscnak soundly beat his first opponent with a pin in 1:04, but followed it with a loss in the semifinals. This sent Tuscnak back where he was able to win the Region 3rd place with a major decision of 9-0 and decision of 6-0.
At 160 Jonathan Corrow is a junior with three years wrestling. The coach is very pleased with Corrow’s wrestling. Corrow soundly beat his first two opponents with pins of 3:58 and 1:52, placing him in the final championship bout. Corrow wrestled strong but was narrowed out of the 1st place by his Moapa Valley opponent by decision of 1-4. Corrow goes to state with a Region 2nd place.
At 170 Scott Maughan is a senior with a very strong four years wrestling experience. He holds a season record of 25-2. Maughan pinned his first opponent in 34 seconds, his second by a pin in 1:43, and his third by a pin in 2:23. In Maughan’s championship round, he faced an Italian judo-experienced exchange student who had very good control and balance. This Moapa Valley opponent was unknown to the coach before it was announced at the start of the bout. Maughan put all his effort into beating this opponent in a gripping decision of 10-6, giving Maughan the Region championship. Coach Rieger noted after Maughan beat this opponent, Maughan told him, “I was on my conditioning there,” meaning the coach’s conditioning training and Maughan’s focus on conditioning really paid off. The coach said it was good to hear from Maughan that Maughan recognizes the value of hard conditioning.
At 182 Abraham Preciado is a junior with three years wrestling experience. Preciado made a path straight to the championship bout with wins by an injury to his opponent, a pin at 3:00, and narrow decision of 5-4 and finally, a decision of 5-0 to give him region 1st place.
At 195 Jaxon Clayton is a junior with three years of wrestling experience. Clayton also made a path straight to the championship bout, but lost in a wrenching close decision of 4-1 in his final match. Clayton’s wins were by pin in 27 seconds, pin in 1:21 and pin in 4:58. Clayton goes to state as Region 2nd place.
At 220 Jeremy Coates is a junior with three years wrestling experience. Coates also made a beeline to the championship match, but took 2nd due to an injury. His path to the final was by three pins at 3:16, 2:39 and 3:25. Coates goes to state with a Region 2nd place.
At 285 Jace Clayton is a junior with three years wrestling experience. Clayton went straight to the championship bout with straight wins of a pin in 28 seconds, a pin in 4:51 and a pin for champion at 3:38. Clayton wrestles powerfully at about 250 pounds, sometimes wrestling opponents up to 35 pounds over his weight.
Four Junior Varsity wrestlers were allowed to wrestle in Region, but not allowed to score points for the team. These JV’s were John Clark at 145 lbs. who wrestled very well and finished 5th place with wins by a pin at 3:46, and decisions of 4-3 and 9-6; Gage Moore at 132 lbs.; Anthony Vega at 152 lbs.; and Brian England at 160 lbs.