In its last dual meet of the season, Spanish Springs wrestled just four matches with Reno as the Huskies did not dress wrestlers in 10 different weight classes.
“We’ll put our fourteen guys out there and wrestle whoever they have on the other side,” Spanish Springs coach Joe Imelli said. “It’s real disheartening. It’s your last dual of the year and you get four matches.
“For the guys who did wrestle tonight, I thought we did well. Considering that we live off of momentum and it was hard to get momentum going when you’re running through and you’re getting forfeits. I thought each one wrestled well.”
Despite the High Desert League match consisting of a mere four bouts, the Purple and Teal still took care of business.
After heavyweight Chase Hauder received a forfeit victory, 106-pounder Ryan Long earned a first-round pin with five seconds left on the clock, putting Spanish Springs on top 12-0.
Forfeits over the next five weight classes to Austin Lee (113), Curtis Lampert (120), Joei Jones (126), Austin Yohey (132) and Blake Nauman (138) handed the Cougars a 42-0 advantage before action hit the mats again.
The only blemish on the evening for the Cougs came in the 145-pound match when Zach Perez was pinned by Joey Lavallee in the first round, leaving the scoreboard reading 42-6.
A pin with 1:00 left in the first-round by 152-pounder Tony Paccella put Spanish Springs back in the win column. Two forfeits to 160-pounder Jaycob Jones and 170-pounder Brik Chesley brought the Cougars’ lead to 60-6 before Tyler Beaulac (182) sealed the final match of the night with a second-round pin.
Michael Clemens (195) and Conrad Tanyi (220) also received forfeit wins, leading to the 78-6 final.
The victory not only clinched the league title for the Cougars, but also allowed them to hold onto the purple and teal pool cue that goes to the winner of the rivalry between Spanish Springs and Reno.
“If Reno gets it, they’ll be able to paint it whatever colors they want,” Imelli said. “They haven’t touched it though. Since it’s been made, they haven’t even been able to hold it.”
Now with one goal checked off and the pool stick back in storage, the Cougs turn their attention to regionals in Carson City next weekend.
“We’re going to take this weekend off and get everybody healthy,” Imelli said. “We’ll have a little team social, a little team barbecue and bring everybody together. That’s the biggest thing that we promote and teach, that we will be a team — one unit. That’s why I think that we are always fielding a team. Reno has a national level kid, but we have 14 pretty darn good kids. That’s always going to give us a shot at regionals and things that we want to accomplish like a High Desert League championship. Our next focus right now is getting healthy and working hard over the next week and a half.”
The Northern 4A Wrestling Championships begin next Friday in Carson City with weigh-ins set for 2 p.m. and the opening ceremonies scheduled for 3 p.m.
The Reed wrestling team also won its High Desert League match Wednesday, defeating McQueen 40-36.
“It feels good to finally beat McQueen,” Reed coach Dan Barraza said. “I know I said that when we beat a Reno, but I don’t like losing and I’ve been losing to these guys pretty much ever since I’ve been at Reed the last four years. It felt good to finally get a win over them and coach Mumm. It was good to get the win.”
The hard-fought match started off with 138-pounder Erik Stockwell earning a second-round pin. After a loss with a 7-4 decision at the 145s, Roberto Landa (152) grabbed a second-round pin to put the Raiders up 12-3.
Three straight pins by the Lancers gave McQueen the advantage at 21-12, but a forfeit to Broc Westlake (195) followed by a first-round pin from 220-pounder Spencer Empey put Reed back on top, 24-21. A forfeit to Reed heavyweight Jeremy McCauley pushed the lead to 30-21.
On a roll, 106-pounder Cameron Jones kept the momentum going in favor of the Raiders with a 17-3 major decision before Gavin Chickering (113) took a forfeit to put the score at 40-21.
McQueen took the final three matches by a decision and two pin falls, but the Reed advantage stood the comeback attempt.
Reed now heads into the Northern 4A regionals next weekend looking to build on its already successful season.
“I want my older guys to keep doing what they’re doing,” Barraza said. “I want my three big boys to keep going the way they are and not let off the gas at all. They need to keep on cruising and doing what they are supposed. That is good, solid mistake-free wrestling. As for my younger guys, they are very much coming along. They’re definitely doing their best wrestling right now which is great. They have grown a ton during the season. I’m impressed with these young kids.”