The Trojans wrestling rebounded nicely on Wednesday after losing two matches to Spring Valley (54-18) and Clark (38-36) the night before. The Pahrump Valley matmen hosted Cheyenne and Western on Wednesday.
They beat Cheyenne soundly 63-18 and then wrestled Western for a close 45-34 win. The Trojans had a narrow lead going into its last three bouts and it took the heavyweights to seal the deal.
Senior Isaac Davis (170 pounds) got a second round win by pin. Then sophomore Jeremy Albertson (195) won by points. The last win came after a close loss by Trojans freshman Christian Monje who lost his bout by pin. Freshman Brandon Bunker (285) took out his opponent in the second round by pin.
Trojans coach Craig Rieger was pleased with the results.
“We have a young team this year that is still learning,” he said. “I really can’t get too upset with them when they lose, like they did the night before. I remember last year was different. I had a very different team that was filled with veterans. I could get on them and I did. This team is different and I have to have more patience with them. The younger wrestlers have come a long way this year.”
He talked about Brandon Bunker and pointed out that this 285-pound freshman had never wrestled before.
“This kid came to us from South Carolina and played football and now he is wrestling for us,” Rieger said. “The young man is very coachable and listens well to what we tell him and he is a fast learner.”
Could he be a champion?
Rieger was slow to answer and said there are a lot of factors that come into play.
“He is good, but has a long way to go,” he said. “I have coached champions and they all work hard. Brandon could be one. He certainly works hard at it. The kid never misses practice and he works hard, but then I have had some wrestlers who start off well and then lose interest. If he sticks with us, Bunker can be good.”
Although Rieger is pleased with the way his young team is headed, he still thinks they need work.
“It’s really hard to explain, but these kids need that killer attitude,” he said. “I want my boys to always think ‘PIN’. There are some that need to get that killer attitude and go for the pin and that takes experience. I do like the fact that many of my starters are not giving up. I can’t get mad at that. These guys are all past the basics. They got that. So now they just need the experience.”
Rieger said he was much more on the edge of his seat last year because he knew he had a good team.
“I am a bit more relaxed this year,” the coach said. “I can sit back a bit and watch my team learn and just be positive.”
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