Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Led by two regional champions, the Fernley High School wrestling team has eight wrestlers competing Saturday in the 3A State Wrestling Championships in Boulder City.
The tournament begins at 9 a.m., with the championship round scheduled for 5:30 p.m.
The Vaqueros had eight wrestlers finish in the top four of their weight class in last weekend’s regional meet in Spring Creek.
Kale Kreller won the 195-pound weight class, and Nate Glass won the 220-pound class to claim regional championships. Camron McMackin (106), Marciano Montano (152), Brandon McCullar (170) and Tyler Slaughter (285) each placed second. Brady Garrett (132) and Nick Glass (182) both placed fourth.
“For the most part, we did what we were supposed to do on paper,” coach Ernie Garcia said. “We lost a few matches that I believe if we see them again at state we will get the better of them.”
Garcia said the shocker of the weekend was that senior 138-pounder Brody Garrett fell short of qualifying for State.
“He’s won a ton of matches for us throughout his time at Fernley where he qualified for state as a freshman,” Garcia said.
Garrett had a bit of bad luck as a sophomore when he got sick the week of regionals and wasn’t able to compete at his fullest. Then his junior season was cancelled due to Covid.
“And then he wrestled two kids this last tournament that wrestled quite possibly the best matches of their lives to take him out,” Garcia said. “It’s heartbreaking to see when you know how much work he’s put in. He’s exactly the type of person you want on your team; takes care of school, works hard and is an excellent leader. He even immediately went to motivate and cheer on his teammates after he lost. Truly someone we will miss.”
On the positive side of things, Montano cut down to 152 this week and went in unseeded where he beat the No. 2 and No. 3 seeds on his way to a second place finish.
“We haven’t had two regional champs since I’ve been here so that’s a positive as well,” Garcia said. “I think we were in a good position to have 4 or 5 but we’ll take it.”
Garcia said the Vaqueros have a lot of potential to score a lot of team points at state with everyone having a great shot to walk away with a medal.
“We’ll game plan this week at practice and have everyone ready to go by the time we get to Boulder City,” he said.