The White Pine High wrestling team traveled to Indian Springs on Friday, Feb. 5 to compete in league duals, which earn them seeds in the regional tournament this weekend.
“We knew going into the duals that we could not win many because we only had five wrestlers this week, Coach Mark Dolezal said. “The whole goal was to get each wrestler the best seed at the regional tournament we could get.”
Junior Monty Moore led the team with a perfect 9-0 performance.
“Monty dominated his weight class this weekend,” Dolezal said. “But he knows that this weekend he is going to have to continue to wrestle his best.”
Freshman Eric Pickens and sophomore Justin Mabson each finished 8-1, earning both of them a third seed at regionals.
“Eric and Justin put themselves in great position to qualify for state,” Dolezal said. “Both have a good chance to make it to the finals, but this weekend they will need to beat an opponent they lost to last weekend.
Sophomore Jorge Chamorro also ended up as the third seed, but in a higher weight class than he usually wrestles.
“After looking at the field we decided that Jorge would have a better chance at qualifying for state if he moved up a weight. Because of this he got a better seed,” Dolezal said.
Sophomore Wyatt Jordan also moved up a weight class at the duals to help the team, but this weekend he will go down to his regular wrestling weight.
“Wyatt took one for the team and moved up so we could fill more weight classes,” Dolezal said. “This hurt him for his seeding as the 160 weight class has a very strong field. But at 152 he is going to be a lot more competitive and will have a good shot at placing.”
The Bobcats had three wrestlers miss the duals, but all three are expected to return for the Regionals. Senior Jay Mabson missed a couple of weeks with a hand injury.
“Jay got a lot of respect from the other coaches as they seeded him third even though he missed the duals,” Dolezal said. “Jay is very capable of making it to the finals.”
Freshman Kegan Hexem is also attempting to return from a foot injury.
“We are moving Kegan up a weight to give him a better chance at qualifying for state,” Dolezal said. “He is coming off a foot injury and he shown a lot of dedication by not missing any practice while being out. If he keeps this up, he is going a very good wrestler.”
Sophomore Tre Willis will return this week as an unseeded wrestler.
“Tre has the ability to be in the finals at 195,” Dolezal said. “He will face the top seed in the first round so it will not take long to see if he is up for the challenge.”
“The team may be small in numbers, but we have a lot of talent to build on,” Dolezal added. “We only have three returning wrestlers from last year, only one senior and one junior, but we have started rebuilding. We have a strong foundation of younger wrestlers. We know that if we can add more wrestlers to the program next year we will be a contender for the league championship.”
The team travels to West Wendover to compete in the regional tournament Saturday, Feb. 13. The state tournament takes place in Primm on Saturday, Feb. 20 the season.