“We felt like the competition was good,” Sparks coach Ric Fehr said. “Lots of action. It was very competitive for the matchups and by the time we got to the final rounds. It was just very well participated in and well run, so we had a lot of fun.”
With 19 teams taking part in the two-day tournament, including a second squad from Reed which also sent a team to the Doc Buchanan Invitational in Clovis, Calif., the competition was tough.
Three first-place finishers helped the squad from Yerington wrap up the invitational with a first-place trophy, scoring 198 points. Reed came in seventh with seven wrestlers placing and 123 points, while Sparks finished 13th with 60 points.
In the 145s, Raider Eric Stockwell faced off against Railroader Luis Aguilar. In a hard-fought match, Stockwell outlasted Aguilar for the third-place finish.
“The tournament was good,” Stockwell said. “We went through about four rounds Friday and I won two. Then today we got through it all and I took third place. It was tough, the kid was good, but I pulled it through in the end.”
Later in the afternoon, Reed’s Damon Gebhardt and Jeremy Macauley each capped the tournament with a second-place finish at 195 and 285 pounds respectively.
“It actually went really well,” Gebhardt said. “I had a lot of great matches. I felt really good and got a couple pins. I was glad to make it to the finals. It was a tough match. The guy I went against was strong, long and tall, and I got my hips out and got out of position and he could turn me really well.”
Cameron Jones also placed third at 106 for the Raiders.
“They wrestled hard, for the most part,” Reed assistant coach Quinten Quiggle said. “They learned a lot, were able to try out some moves in competition. It is nice for them to get in to a match they could actually feel competitive in. I’m hoping they learn from this, both what they did right and what they did wrong.”
For Sparks, Aguilar and Michael Aravalo both took fourth at 145 and 160 pounds. In the 152s, Mario Guadron finished fifth.
“We have an eight-man squad right now and we had six athletes competing in it,” Fehr said. “Four of them were seeded, and three placed. Last year we didn’t have anybody placing, so those guys did well. So that’s a comparative improvement from last year.
“We do a lot of goal setting, strategy, so in that regard, what I would like them to take a way from the tournament is progression. I want them to identify the successes that they did have and build upon that. We still have a lot of work to do though.”