Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Fernley’s Lonnie Slapinski celebrated he New Year’s weekend by leading the Fernley wrestling team with an eighth place finish at the Sierra Nevada Classic wrestling tournament at the Livestock Events Center in Reno.
Slapinski placed eighth in the heavyweight division, after losing a close match to the 4th seed during the first day of the tournament, which would have put him into the quarterfinals.
“Lonnie did an awesome job,” coach Scott Gillespie said. “His hard work has really paid off. We are all extremely proud of him. With the big guys, that’s how it happens sometimes. Lonnie proved, with his performance, why he is one of our team captains.”
The Vaqueros also had a wrestler compete in the first annual women’s Sierra Nevada Classic. Paiten Smith competed in the 140 pound girls division.
“The girls tourney was an awesome atmosphere,” Gillespie said. “These final matches were legit. I think our kids got more hyped for some of the final girls matches than the boys.”
Many of Fernley’s wrestlers competed in the SNC and then the JV tourney the second day at Spanish Springs High School.
Kyle Jones, a freshman 132 pounder, was one match from making the second day of the SNC, wrestling 5 matches on Thursday.
“He was adamant that he wanted to wrestle the next day at Spanish Springs, as he said, the grind never stops,” Gillespie said.