Given its recent success, it’s no surprise it has dominated HDL dual meets. Spanish Springs ran its winning streak in league duals to 26 thanks to a 58-18 romp at North Valleys Wednesday night.
“The kids know we’ve been riding along with a pretty good league win streak,” Cougars coach Joe Imelli said. “We all want to see it grow each year. These kids feel like it’s their responsibility to keep it going. They get themselves ready to go.”
The two teams started the dual with the 152-pound match. That draw helped North Valleys get off to a hot start. The host Panthers won three of the first four matches of the night. North Valleys led 18-4 after getting a third-round pin from Andres Chavez in the 182-pound match.
Spanish Springs lone win in those initial four matches came from Jacob Jones at 160 pounds. He picked up a 13-1 major decision win.
“We preach about getting ready, even this early in the year, for regionals and state,” Imelli said. “We made some early season mistakes, even in some of the wins, but it’s just about getting mat time and positioning. With that said, we’ve got high expectations and the kids want to be a little bit further along. But we’ll get there.”
Unfortunately for North Valleys, it was all downhill from there. Spanish Springs bounced back in a big way, rolling to wins in 10 consecutive weight classes to wrap up the dual’s action.
Tyler Beaulac got the run going for the Cougars with a first-round pin at 195s. A second-round pin by Anthony Walsh (220 pounds) and a first-round pin by Chase Hauder saw the SSHS grapplers forge ahead, 22-18.
The Cougars never relinquished the lead. Spanish Springs’ Ryan Long (106 pounds) racked up a 5-2 decision victory in one of only two matches on the night that went the distance.
At 113 pounds, Austin Lee won with a third-round pin and at 120’s Cougar wrestler Tyler Poalillo was awarded a win by forfeit.
Joei Jones won with a second-round pin at 126s and Austin Yohey provided an encore with a third-round pin in the ensuing matchup.
The dual concluded when Blake Nauman (138s) won by an 8-4 decision and Zach Perez cruised to a first-round pin at 145s.
“Our early work has been outstanding,” Imelli said. “The way the kiss are working and conditioning, the way they’ve been drilling, it’s been at a high level ... We have quality workout partners and when we go live, these kids get after it. they’ve been doing everything they need to be successful.”
Spanish Springs will send a group of varsity wrestlers to compete in the Tournament of Champions Friday and Saturday at the Reno Livestock Events Center. The Cougars will also send a varsity group to Winnemucca for a tournament hosted by Lowry High. The SSHS crew has its next HDL dual Dec. 21 at home against Hug.