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Reed wrestlers settle for third at Sparks Invitational
by Dan Eckles
Jan 26, 2008 | 1322 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<B>Tribune/Chris Ellis</b> - Reed junior Brandon Gebhardt gets Mario Perez of Lowry in an arm lock during their 189-pound match at the Sparks Invitational Saturday.
Tribune/Chris Ellis - Reed junior Brandon Gebhardt gets Mario Perez of Lowry in an arm lock during their 189-pound match at the Sparks Invitational Saturday.
A pair of Reed wrestlers took home championship medals, highlighting the list of accolades for local athletes at the annual Sparks Invitational Saturday.

Derek Ratto and Brandon Gebhardt earned that distinction, winning all of their matches at the weekend tournament.

Ratto beat Justin Freeman of Douglas in the championship match of the 145-pound weight class thanks to a first-round pin.

"What I like about Derek is he is an entertainer. He always goes out and looks for the extreme opportunity. But that also means he catches his opponents with unexpected moves and he sets the pace," Reed wrestling coach Ric Fehr said.

Gebhardt won the 189-pound weight class by pinning Tony Ferris of Douglas in the second round of the championship match. The Raiders' talented junior improved his individual record to 37-3 this winter.

"Brandon is just really settling into his weight class. His strength, size and skill, everything is just perfect for him right now," Fehr said. "He's setting the tone and able to get his opponents down early in matches."

Gebhardt's championship match win was the 100th victory of his prep career. He was also named the tournament's outstanding wrestler for upper weights.

Reed's Mitchell Payne saw his tourney title hopes derailed with a semifinal loss in the 140-pound bracket. Payne bounced back to pin Pat Theilan of Douglas in the first round of his next match and earn a third-place medal.

Reed got six other wrestlers to place in the two-day tournament. Reese Dassinger was fourth at 125 pounds. Mathew Roberto was also fourth for Reed in the heavyweight division.

Four Raiders took home fifth-place honors: Keon Brown (103), Todd Good (112), Shanice Vernon (130 pounds) and Cameron Taylor (189).

Reed finished third in the team standings, racking up 150 points.

"I feel pretty good. We were missing one kid that could have helped us compete for second," Fehr said. "The last couple weeks we are wrestling well. I feel like we are picking up momentum."

Douglas won the team championship, accumulating 225 points. Lowry was second with 200.5 points. Spanish Springs, the tournament's defending champion did not compete this year. Tournament host Sparks, which has just six wrestlers on its roster, finished 11th (50.5 points) among the 15 teams on hand.

The top finisher for Sparks came in the 103-pound weight class. Freshman John Stralla beat Incline's Cody Feliciano by technical fall, 16-0.

Trevor Cody finished fourth for Sparks at 145 pounds, Jacob Butler was fifth at 125s and Ian Butler put up a sixth-place effort at heavyweight for the SHS grapplers.

"I think we did OK. We had some good wrestlers. We placed four out of our six kids so that's good. The finish was about what I expected," Sparks coach Doug Walsh said.
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January 29, 2008
that's heavy !
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