Robert Perea, The Fernley Reporter
Fresh off a pair of second place finishes in their last two tournaments, the Fernley High School wrestling team will start the postseason with the Northern 3A Divisional Duals this Friday and Saturday in Elko.
Wrestling will begin at 2 p.m. Friday and 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Individual records in the duals will weigh heavily in the seeding process for the Northern 3A regional tournament Feb. 7 and 8 in Sparks.
The Vaqueros finished the regular season with a pair of strong performances, finishing second in the Spring Creek Kiwanis Invitational Jan. 18 and second behind defending 4A state champion Spanish Springs in last week’s 20th annual Walter Marrietta Vaquero Classic
After having eight individual placers in Spring Creek, the Vaqueros had 11 in their own tournament last weekend, including two individual champions.
Brodie Garrett took first place at 106 pounds, pinning Titan Kennedy of Elko in 1:09 in the championship match. In addition, Brady Garrett finished sixth, losing the fifth place match to Isabelle Silva of Wooster, 4-2.
Jackson Chapin won the championship at 160 pounds with a 7-4 decision over Tyler Green of Sparks, and was named the Outstanding Wrestler in the upper weight classes, after defeating Green, last year’s defending state champion.
The Vaqueros had two second place finishers. At 170 pounds, John Owens finished second, losing by pin in 4:31 to Brayden Murdock of Bishop Manogue, while at 182, Nathan Glass finished second, losing the championship match by pin in 1:14 to Anthony Peterson of Lowry.
Other placers were Kale Kreller, third at 195; Setriano Piroddi, third at 220; and Alec Carr, third at 285; Morgan Zolyniak, fifth at 113, Bronson Lyman, sixth at 138 and Robert Selby, sixth at 195.
The previous week, the Vaqueros placed second at Spring Creek’s Kiwanis Invitational. Fernley coach Ernie Garcia said it’s the first time he’s aware of that the Vaqueros have ever won a trophy at the Kiwanis Invitational.
In that tournament, Owens was the only individual champion for Fernley, at 170 pounds, while Chapin and Piroddi each finished second, Glass was third at 182, Brody Garrett came in fourth at 106, Kyle Jones was fifth at 138, Kreller was fifth at 195 and Carr was sixth at 285.
“We are getting better each week and it’s showing,” Garcia said. “We’re starting to get momentum and that’s scary for other teams. I’m excited for the future of this team. We are only going to get better.”