Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
The Fernley High School wrestling team took 27 wrestlers to last weekend’s Sparks Invitational, and 17 of them came home with individual medals, including five champions.
Their accomplishments added up to a runaway team championship for the No. 2 team, and a 6th place finish for the No. 2 team.
The Vaqueros won the team championship with 314 total points. South Tahoe was a distant second with 200.5, Douglas was third with 152.5, Yerington was fourth with 138.5, Sparks was fifth with 114 and the Fernley No. 2 team scored 93.
Five Vaqueros made it to the championship match of their weight classes, and all five came away winning first place, including Brodie Garrett (106 pounds), Angel Guzman (125), Kyle Jones (145), Jackson Chapin (170) and Setriano Piroddi (220).
“Our varsity guys did what we expected them to do, run away with the team title,” coach Ernie Garcia said. “We’re looking to come away with a team trophy at the state tournament. We know we are capable of that. And right now, that’s all that matters, our belief in ourselves.”
Garcia said it was particularly a great tournament for the younger, less experienced wrestlers.
“They showed how much they’ve been working and improving,” he said. “We brought 27 guys and almost everybody found at least one win. Including some guys who hadn’t managed to find one yet this season. It’s great to see their work starting to pay off.”
Garcia said his favorite match of the tournament was Jones’ championship match against South Tahoe’s Nate Singelyn, a returning state placer from last season.
Jones scored a reversal with five seconds left in the first period to take a 4-2 lead, and then dramatically scored the winning points of the hard-fought match with a takedown with 15 seconds left in the third period.
“That’s a good win to get under your belt at this point in the season,” Garcia said.