Submitted by coach Jake McCullar
The main message in the room everyday was its not where you start it’s where you finish. Wrestlers continued to get better every single day. What we accomplished this year was remarkable considering this was supposedly going to be a down year starting so many freshman and sophomores in our lineup. Wrestling has 14 weight classes and out of those weight classes 10 were filled by freshman and sophomores, eight of which were filled by freshman. Kids really grew and got better every week. Team took home a lot of accolades this year alone: 3rd at the Cody Louk, 1st at the Railroad Classic, 1st at the Vaquero Classic, 2nd at League Duals, 6th at the Kiwanis and finished 5th at the state tournament.
Coaches did an amazing job in the room but enough can’t be said about our captains. We had three captains this year, all seniors that laid the foundation for years to come. I would say our captains were probably the biggest reason for our success in the room. Brandon McCullar, a senior captain considered a front runner to wrestle for a state title at 165, qualified for his third state tournament and unfortunately wasn’t able to wrestle due to a shoulder injury. Brandon finished his season with a record of 41–7 and got his 100th win for the program this year. Senior Brady Garrett fell short of making the state tournament but wrestled in the toughest weight class the state had to offer. He finished with a record of 37-17 and reached the 75-win club this year. Senior Nicholas Glass qualified for state and fell one match short of wrestling in the medal rounds at state. He finished the season with a record of 31-11. I will miss our captains and they will be hard to replace.
We medaled six out of our eight qualifiers, and all six will be returning next year. At 106 pounds, junior Camron McMackin medaled 2 and was state runner up. Camron had an amazing year, finishing the season with a record of 35-15, Camron also reached the 50-win club this year. At 120 pounds Fernley had two qualifiers, both freshmen, Nathan Pritchard and Caleb Finley. Caleb Finley medaled 4th and finished the season with a record of 19-18. Caleb put together his best wrestling at the end of the year. Fellow freshman Nathan Pritchard had an amazing season and with a record of 37-8. Nathan medaled 2nd and finished state runner up. At 132 pounds Riley McCullar medaled 3rd at the state tournament and finished with a record of 48–15, which was the most wins out of anyone on the team. At 157 pounds Sophomore Marciano Montano medaled 4th at state and finished the season with a record of 36-12. At 175 pounds Harley Denison finished up medaling 3rd at state, he was also the northern regional champion and finished with a record of 27-13.
Next on to the lady Vaqueros. This was the 1st year the NIAA has recognized female wrestling and Fernley did not disappoint. Fernley qualified five females to the state tournament and had two regional champions. At 100 pounds Sophie Workman a freshman, was regional champion from the north. At 107 lbs. Shaylee Gavin a junior, capped off her season with a northern regional championship and medaled 4th at state. Other qualifiers were at 126 pounds senior Maria Mendoza, 126 pounds sophomore Nadera Muhammad and last at 132 pounds junior Ruby Reece. I am very proud of these ladies they represented Fernley very well.
As you can see the future is very bright for Vaquero wrestling, expectations will be through the roof. We finished the season with 38 wrestlers on the roster and will only lose four seniors. Next season can’t get here fast enough.