South Lake Tahoe wrestlers heading to state championship |

South Lake Tahoe wrestlers heading to state championship

A couple of South Tahoe wrestlers will find themselves in familiar territory Friday and Saturday. After taking regional championships in their respective weight classes this past weekend in Truckee, senior Andrew Herrera and sophomore Jose Leon will head to Spanish Springs High School in Sparks to compete in the state championship. Herrera, the lone senior this season for the South Tahoe Vikings, will look to defend his state title in the 195-pound class. He has made it to the state championships all four years at South Tahoe High. "Andrew is the school's first two-time regional champion and he's the first South Tahoe wrestler who has a chance to repeat [as state champion]," said Sean Griffis, Vikings coach. Leon also competed in the state championship in 2016. Unlike last year, however, he enters this year as the No. 1 seed in his class. Leon is competing in the 170-pound weight class. "Jose … had a really good season, Griffis said. "He dominated everyone in our northern league throughout the year." Both athletes are healthy and feeling good coming out of the regional competition in Truckee, Griffis added. Herrera and Leon were not the only two South Tahoe wrestlers who competed in the regional finals this past weekend. Joshua Brackett (106 pounds), Nate Singelyn (113 pounds) and Josiah Brackett (152 pounds) all placed fifth in their weight classes. Kody Griffis (126 pounds) and James Knudson (132 pounds) placed sixth in their classes. As a team, Griffis said he is optimistic given the overall strong performance and the relative inexperience of the young Vikings. "Next year we're looking really strong."

Nevada happy with recruiting class

This is the time of year that Brian Polian lives for. "I love the recruiting process," said Polian, who announced his second Nevada Wolf Pack recruiting class on Wednesday. "It's fun. I had a blast last week. I was out on a shooting range in Overton, Nevada, shooting a rifle for the first time in my life. I was in Hawaii and Alabama and Louisiana. Recruiting is the lifeblood of your program. That's why I don't get bothered when people say, 'Oh, he's just a recruiter.'" The Wolf Pack announced the signing of 27 players from nine different states to National Letters of Intent. The class consists of 24 players who will be freshmen in the fall and three junior college transfers. Among the signings are northern Nevada players Hunter Fralick, a quarterback from Spanish Springs High and defensive lineman Cliff Porter of Hug High. "A year ago we had 25 days to put together a recruiting class," said Polian who succeeded former Wolf Pack coach Chris Ault last January. "This year we had a full calendar year and that makes a huge difference." The last Letter of Intent the Wolf Pack received, from Oakley, Calif., defensive end Patrick Choudja, arrived as Polian was announcing the class to the media on Wednesday afternoon. "We know these guys," said Polian, who coached the Wolf Pack to a 4-8 record last year in his first season in Reno. "We know their families. We were in a much better position this year as compared to last year as far as getting to know these guys as people because we had a whole year to recruit." Polian said 18 of the players who signed on Wednesday were offered scholarships as early as last spring. "Despite going 4-8 last year these players believed in what we're building here," Polian said. "Their faith in us is a real big deal to us." Polian hinted that he is most proud of the collection of seven defensive linemen the Wolf Pack was able to sign. The seven defensive linemen are Choudja (6-foot-3, 225 pounds), Porter (6-5, 260), Kalei Meyer (6-1, 285 from Hawaii), Jeremy Miller (5-11, 300 from Tyler, Texas Junior College), Malik Reed (6-1, 220 from Dothan Ala.), Korey Rush (6-1, 260 from Salt Lake City) and Jordan Silva (6-4, 240 from Murrieta, Calif.). Polian said Choudja, Porter, Rush and Reed are projected as pass rushers while Miller, Meyer and Silva will be run-stopping tackles. Porter, Polian said, is a special talent. "His ceiling is very high," Polian said. "I can't tell you where he'll end up playing. We'll start him on the defensive line and see what happens. But he has an incredible wingspan. it's something like 80 inches." Rush originally gave a verbal commitment to Arizona State last summer but suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury last season and Arizona State withdrew its offer. "We are fortunate to get him," Polian said. "This is better than Christmas for (defensive line coach) Billy Teerlinck," Polian said. "He couldn't have gone through a drive-through and ordered a better group of defensive linemen. I didn't count on recruiting that many defensive linemen but you don't pass up good defensive linemen." The Wolf Pack also added a pair of tight ends in Matt Moen (6-3, 240 from Cibolo, Texas) and Brandon Scott (6-3, 225 from Yucaipa, Calif.). Moen, Polian said, is more of a blocking tight end while Scott is a "pass-receiving tight end." "Moen is very physical," Polian said. "In our offense you have to have a blocking tight end and he is it." The Pack signed two running backs. James Butler (5-9, 200) comes from Bloomingdale, Ill., and Blake Wright (5-10, 200) comes from Edison High in Fresno. Butler, Polian said, had to sit out his junior year in high school because of an Illinois transfer rule. He rushed for 1,185 yards and 19 touchdowns last year at St. Francis High in Wheaton, Ill. As a sophomore at Bartlett (Ill.) High he rushed for 933 yards and 16 touchdowns. "Had he played as a junior, he would be a Big Ten back right now," Polian said. Fralick is one of four high school quarterbacks the Pack signed along with Cristian Solano of San Fernando, Calif., Kelton Moore of Arlington, Texas and Asauni Rufus of Bakersfield, Calif. Fralick passed for 5,388 yards and 36 touchdowns combined his junior and senior seasons at Spanish Springs. He also rushed for 1,222 yards and 19 touchdowns. "Hunter is the best player to come out of this area this year so that is big for us to get him," Polian said. "But he not just the best player from our area. He is truly a Mountain West quarterback. That's why we're excited to have him with us." Solano (6-1, 170) passed for 4,162 yards and rushed for 1,427 yards in his high school career. "He has a lot of upside," Polian said. "He's a dual threat guy who can run and throw. But he can use another 25 pounds. He's a little skinny now." Moore and Rufus will not likely play quarterback in college, Polian said. Rufus rushed for 1,857 yards and threw for 1,504 last year as a senior at Bakersfield High. "Asauni is a dynamic athlete and we project him to play safety in college," Polian said. Moore passed for 1,620 yards and rushed for 2,135 yards last year in Texas. "He'll play somewhere," Polian said. "I love quarterbacks. They are great athletes. They are smart and they are leaders." The Pack signed 13 offensive players and 14 on defense. "We had needs across the board," Polian said. Two of the players — Reed from Dothan, Ala., and defensive back Kendall Johnson, from Lafayette, La., are from the South, an area of the country the Wolf Pack doesn't normally recruit. "We really were not players for those two guys until they stepped on campus," Polian said. "But once they stepped on campus they fell in love with the place. Our university and our community really sells itself." Polian gave a lot of credit to his assistant coaches for their recruiting efforts. "We're a little bit more of a known quantity as a staff now, as opposed to last year," Polian said. "And a lot of these recruits are here because of our assistant coaches. Our whole staff in general had a better year (in recruiting) just because we are all more comfortable with each other. And I'm more comfortable in my role as the closer." Polian added that "the goal is not to play the true freshman right away." The three junior college transfers — defensive back Duran Workman (Saddleback College), Miller (Tyler J.C.) and offensive lineman Humberto Lopez (College of the Desert) could be needed to play a significant role in the fall. "We won't know how good this class is for three or four years," Polian said. The Wolf Pack's 2014 football recruiting class . . . James Butler (5-9, 200), running back, Saint Francis High, Bloomingdale, Ill. Andrew Celis (5-11, 185), wide receiver, Marin Catholic High, San Quentin, Calif. Patrick Choudja (6-3, 225), defensive end, Freedom High, Oakley, Calif. Wyatt Demps (6-4, 200), wide receiver, Pleasant Grove High, Elk Grove, Calif. Daren Echeveria (6-5, 270), offensive line, Antelope Valley (Calif.) High Hunter Fralick (6-2, 210), quarterback, Spanish Springs High, Sparks, Nev. Kendall Johnson (6-0, 180), defensive back, St. Thomas More High, Lafayette, La. Jarid Joseph (6-2, 220), linebacker, Lakewood (Calif.) High Jacob Lacaden (5-11, 215), linebacker, Saint Louis School, Kapolei, Hawaii Humberto Lopez (6-5, 305), offensive line, College of the Desert, Desert Hot Springs, Calif. Mat McDermand (6-5, 265), offensive line, Moapa Valley High, Overton, Nev. Kalei Meyer (6-1, 285), defensive line, Kamehameha High, Waipahu, Hawaii Jeremy Miller (5-11, 300), defensive line, Tyler Junior College, Arlington, Texas Matt Moen (6-3, 240), tight end, Byron Steele High, Cibolo, Texas Elijah Moody (5-11, 175), cornerback, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly High Kelton Moore (5-11, 200), quarterback, Juan Seguin High, Arlington, Texas Ahki Muhammad (5-9, 180), defensive back, James Logan High, Hayward, Calif. Cliff Porter (6-5, 260), defensive end, Hug High, Reno, Nev. Malik Reed (6-1, 220), defensive end, Dothan (Ala.) High Asauni Rufus (6-0, 185), defensive back, Bakersfield (Calif.) High Korey Rush (6-1, 260), defensive end, East High, Salt Lake City, Utah Brandon Scott (6-3, 225), tight end, Yucaipa (Calif.) High Jordan Silva (6-4, 240), defensive end, Murrieta (Calif.) Valley High Cristian Solano (6-1, 170), quarterback, San Fernando (Calif.) High Chad Specht (6-5, 305), offensive line, Clovis West High, Fresno, Calif. Duran Workman (6-0, 200), defensive back, Saddleback College, Charleston, W.V. Blake Wright (5-10, 200), running back, Edison High, Fresno, Calif.

At home on the mat: South Tahoe wrestling hosts first meet in seven years, beats Truckee

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE — The South Tahoe wrestling team competed in a home meet for the first time in seven years on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and made the most of the occasion. The Vikings beat Truckee 55-18 at the Blue Gym, sweeping each of the contested matches while wrestling within home confines. "It's surreal — it's the best feeling I've had in a while," Vikings senior Michael Valney said. "To be able to perform out in front of my family and friends is beyond me, and it's amazing." South Tahoe (7-3) won all seven contested matches to go along with forfeit victories in three weight classes — 120 pounds, 183 and 220. Truckee's lone points came via forfeits at 132, 138 and 145. "It was really awesome, and this is something we're going to look to do more and more in the future," Vikings coach Sean Griffis said. "We're going to try to get two or three of them each year." The Vikings won five straight matches against the Wolverines to race out to a 29-0 lead on Wednesday. Freshman Kody Griffis led off with a technical fall at 106 pounds, jumping out to a 20-5 lead in the second period. Freshman Skyler Bledsoe (113 pounds) pinned his opponent with 38 seconds left in the first period, and freshman Max Wirth (126) beat the first-period buzzer with a pin in the last second. At 132 pounds, Valney recorded a second-period pin to improve to 14-1 on the season. "We have some good younger guys and some older guys that are mixing in well," Griffis said. After three straight forfeits made it 29-18, South Tahoe added to its lead courtesy of freshman Jose Leon. At 160 pounds, Leon recorded a technical fall in the second period after building a 21-3 advantage. In the only match that went the distance, STHS freshman Chris Chacon outlasted his Truckee counterpart to earn three points. Chacon won the 170-pound match 9-6, a grinder that left both wrestlers exhausted after six minutes on the mat. In the last contested match of the night, junior Andrew Herrera made quick work of his Wolverines opponent. Herrera's first-period pin was South Tahoe's fourth of the meet and punctuated the decisive victory. "We have a pretty good team this year," Valney said. "We have good wrestlers, and most of our kids will go to state." In front of its home crowd, South Tahoe showed exactly why it has high expectations this season. The Vikings are talented and deep, and have the ability to win now while laying a foundation for the future. "It's something we're going to keep trying to build on," Griffis said. "If we can get a large group of freshman next season again, it's just going to continue to build from there." The Vikings return to action after the holidays at the California Coast Wrestling Classic on Monday, Dec. 28. The two-day, double-elimination tournament will be held at Aptos (Calif.) High.

Fearsome fivesome: South Tahoe sends five wrestlers to state meet

The South Tahoe wrestling team took 10 grapplers to the Div. I-A Northern League championships last weekend at Spring Creek High — and half of that group qualified for the state meet. Five Vikings will wrestle at the Div. I-A state championships this Friday and Saturday — and all have plans to place while competing on the season's biggest stage. "We only have 10 on the team, so bringing five of those guys to state is just outstanding," Vikings head coach Sean Griffis said. "All of them have a legitimate chance of medaling at the state tournament." South Tahoe's state qualifiers include seniors James Sorensen and Miguel Leon, juniors Michael Valney and Blair Binns along with sophomore Andrew Herrera. The quintet earned a spot at the state meet by finishing in the top four at league championships last Friday and Saturday. "All this work we put in the room this year — I believe in it and I trust our conditioning," Sorensen said. "I know that we can go out there, bang with them and do what we do — we're really focused to do as well as we can this weekend." Herrera was the Vikings' top finisher last weekend, taking second in the 170-pound weight class — as a freshman last year he placed at the state meet. The sophomore beat Fernley's Arsenio Reyes 16-1 in the quarterfinals and pinned Lowry's Tristen Waller in the semifinals before losing in the championship match to Fallon's David Hughes via a first-round pin. "I'm pretty stoked — I'm really nervous though, too," Herrera said. "I'm going for first — the best I'm going to see I've already seen." Sorensen finished third in the 132-pound weight class to make a second straight state tournament appearance. The senior pinned his quarterfinal opponent in seven seconds before losing a 3-2 decision in the semifinals — after pinning Elko's Dalton Thomas to earn a state berth, he won a 6-1 decision over Lowry's Quint Bell to lock up third place. "It means a lot — last year I qualified but didn't place, and this year I'm looking to do a lot better," Sorensen said. There are some tough kids from the South that we ran into last year that we're a lot more prepared for this year." Leon delivered a third-place finish at 182 pounds to qualify for state for the first time. The senior pinned his opening opponent in 1:13 before losing a decision in the semifinals, then won a pair of decisions to capture third place — in the third-place match he defeated Fallon's Juan Ledesma 4-3. "It's my first time making it to state and first time placing at regionals — it's perfect timing," Leon said. "It means so much to me — it's just amazing and a blessing." Valney also delivered a third-place result while wrestling at 126 pounds to earn his second state appearance. The junior's three victories came by pin, including a second-round pin of Fernley's Dillon Maguin for third — in the semifinals he lost a 3-2 decision. "There's going to be a lot of good competition — I'm looking forward to hopefully making the semifinals," Valney said. "I've been training so much in the offseason — I deserve it and I put in all my time for it." Blair Binns earned the last qualifying spot in the 195-pound weight class, placing fourth. After a win and loss by pin, Blair Binns beat Fallon's Chase Hyde with a 9-7 decision to earn his first-ever berth in the state meet — he was pinned in the second round of the third-place match. "It's the first time I've been to state and I'm happy about it," Blair Binns said. "It's really important to me — it's a goal I've been aiming for for a long time." Of South Tahoe's five remaining wrestlers, freshman Jackson Binns came the closest to advancing. Jackson Binns took fifth in the 285-pound weight class, earning a spot on the podium by pinning Elko's Byron Hansen in 1:07. Junior Boe Griffis delivered one win in three matches in the 152-pound weight class at the league championships — all three of his contests were decided by pin. Seniors Addison Day (113 pounds) and Mike Herring (160) along with freshman George Rohrbacher (152) each went winless in two matches. The Vikings' five qualifiers advance to the state championships, which will be held Friday and Saturday at the Winnemucca Events Center in Winnemucca, Nev. Quarterfinals begin Friday at 1 p.m. and semifinals start Saturday at 9 a.m. with championship finals beginning at 2 p.m. "It's going to be fun and it's definitely going to make some memories — we're never going to forget this," Leon said.

South Tahoe wrestlers place 10th at Cody Louk Invitational; Valney, Herrera capture gold medals

WINNEMUCCA, Nev. — The South Tahoe wrestling team made the most of a long trip through wintry conditions last weekend, Dec. 11-12. The Vikings placed 10th at the Cody Louk Invitational hosted by Lowry High, highlighted by senior Michael Valney and junior Andrew Herrera finishing undefeated in five matches over a two-day span. "This tournament draws top schools from all levels in Nevada, Idaho and Oregon," Vikings JV head coach Ryan Wallace said. "It is not pretty, it is a test of fortitude." Valney (132 pounds) and Herrera (195) each won gold medals at the invitational held at the Winnemucca Events Center. Freshman Jose Leon (160) wrestled to a fourth-place finish while senior Blair Binns (220) made the podium with a sixth-place result. In the 132-pound weight class, Valney wrestled as the second seed. He used explosive offense and capitalized on his mistakes to pin four of his five opponents, and reached the finals with wins over wrestlers from Yerington, Elko, Reno (Nev.) and Pershing County. In the championship, Valney wrestled against Lowry's Trace Bell. In the past two seasons, Bell had beaten Valney twice — but the South Tahoe standout reversed the result. After a 4-3 first period, Valney took control of the match by scoring eight points and only allowing one-point escape in the second period. In the third, Valney turned Bell twice to seal a 17-4 victory that delivered the first gold medal of his high school career. "He was better in every position and thoroughly outworked an extremely tough kid who had not lost a match this year," Wallace said. "The most important thing is that he showed the uncommon mental toughness required to stay focused in an environment like that." Herrera used his trademark physicality and defense to finish atop the 195-pound weight class at the invitational. The junior used three quick pins to reach the semifinals, where he prevailed after Pershing County's Ty Arnett suffered an apparent collarbone injury. In the finals, Herrera took to the mat against top-seeded Conner Sievers from Carson (Carson City, Nev.). Sievers dominated each of his opponents on the way to the finals, but had no answer for Herrera's intensity. Herrera had a 2-0 lead after the first period, withstanding multiple takedown attempts and capitalizing on an ill-advised throw attempt with 15 seconds left. The Vikings standout had a 4-0 advantage in the second period when he beat the whistle with a pin that delivered the victory. "Andrew works harder year round than any kid I've seen — he does that to eliminate any doubt that he has earned his results," Wallace said. "It is amazing what can be accomplished when the mind takes control of doubt." Leon finished fourth in a loaded 160-pound weight class that featured Div. I and I-A contenders. The freshman used focus and aggression to reach the semifinals, where he lost 13-5 to Cole Drescher of Spanish Springs (Sparks, Nev.). After losing in the semis, Leon gutted out a 6-5 victory over Osvaldo Ponce of North Valleys (Reno, Nev.). In the consolation finals, he fell 6-5 in a gritty match against Blake Murray of Douglas (Minden, Nev.) — the third straight matchup against a Div. I opponent. "He has a remarkable single-mindedness," Wallace said of Leon. "He makes mistakes but doesn't let them negatively influence his next decision." Binns finished sixth in the 220-pound class, and made a lasting impression on his opponents at the tournament. In the semifinals, the senior came out strong against eventual champion Mikeas Summers of Lowry, but aggravated a knee injury that led to three straight defeats. "Blair put his strength behind good technique, and his dominance in the early rounds earned him the medal," Wallace said. "Even at 220s where everybody is strong, when Blair is at his best his power is overwhelming." South Tahoe took six additional wrestlers to the event, five freshmen and one sophomore that were all unseeded. Kai Poletti (120) went 1-2 while Kody Griffis (106), Skyler Bledsoe (113), Troy Gerrard (113), Chris Chacon (160) and George Rohrbacher (182) each finished winless. "Each of our guys had the opportunity to wrestle a top-tier guy," Wallace said. "You just hope they can absorb the lessons a challenge like that can teach." The Vikings return to action at home on Wednesday, Dec. 16, when they host a dual meet against Dayton and Truckee in the Gold Gym. The meet is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

Viking golfers wrap up spot in zone

The South Tahoe High golf team did what it set out to do – qualify for zone as a team. For only the second time in school history, the Vikings will head to zone. Their seventh-place finish (504) at Sierra Sage sewed up the trip. The team was led by the strong play of Kalotina Monos, who broke 90 for the first time with an 89. Adrian Crist turned in a 97, Misty Butts shot a 93, Lauren Dewing had a 113 and Molly Alameda shot a 112. But the big round of the day came from Sam Urch, who improved her round by nine strokes, shooting a 115. The Vikings will head to Washoe on Thursday for their practice round for Friday’s first day of zone. While the team is happy to qualify for zone, it has its sights on state as well. “On a good day, Kalotina, Misty, or Adrian can make state,” head coach Marsha Butler said. “But the second time to zone is exciting for everyone.” STHS spikers rebound against McQueen The Viking volleyball team blasted the Lancers in three games, 15-7, 15-3, 15-7, on Thursday. The win came mostly on the strong serving of Jessica Urreaga, Rachel Hankoff, Jill Barna, and Tammy Cowan, who all served 100 percent on the day. “We dug really well and our serving just blew them away,” Vikings coach Gary Hankoff said. The win over McQueen came on the heels of a defeat against Galena and was much-needed for Hankoff’s team. Jessica Dilegame led the way with 11 kills, while Urreaga, Hankoff and sophomore Myrna Sanchez, starting her first game, all had four. “Jessica did some great things for us today,” Hankoff said. “Myrna played really well also.” STHS has a full slate next week with a road game at Hug and two home matches against Reno and Douglas.

Barton gets ‘average’ rating

Barton Memorial Hospital received an overall “average” rating from patients in a survey of California hospitals released Wednesday. More than 21,000 patients were interviewed as part of the survey by the California HealthCare Foundation, a charitable organization, and the nonprofit California Institute for Health Systems Performance. Barton’s across-the-board “two-star” rating is a “good, strong performance,” said Marsha Nelson, the institute’s vice president. “We feel pretty proud of it. We went into it never really having a great return rate on customer satisfaction surveys,” said Kathryn Biasotti, director of quality improvement and risk management. The “Patients’ Evaluation of Performance in California” project, called PEP-C, compiled mail surveys sent to patients from 113 of the state’s acute care hospitals. Seven factors were evaluated including respect for patient preferences, coordination of care, education and emotional support. Barton was rated average in each of the seven categories. The Tahoe Forest Hospital District, which operates Tahoe Forest Hospital in Truckee, scored above average in every category. Overall, the study found patients believe hospitals do well attending to physical comfort, including pain control, but they see room for improvement in easing the transition from hospital to home. The study also found that patients admitted for maternity care or surgical procedures had more positive responses than those admitted for medical reasons.

South Tahoe Snowboad Series results

USASA South Tahoe Snowboard Series Season Opener at Kirkwood on Jan. 4. Giant Slalom (top 3) Open Class Women: 1, Amy Sage, Mammoth, 87.57; 2, Vanessa Lowe, South Lake Tahoe,148.92 Open Class Men: 1, Ari Giovenco, South Lake Tahoe, 73.24; 2, Peter Butcher, San Diego, 94.23; 3, Agustin Murguia, Mammoth, 109.62 Ruggie Girls (7 and under): 1, Julia Mason , Zephyr Cove, 191.26 Ruggie Boys (7 and under): 1, Nicholas Larsen, San bruno, 366.83 Grommet Girls (8 & 9): 1, Natasha Sagucka, South Lake Tahoe, 134.7 Grommet Boys (8-9): 1, Sammy Mason, Zephyr Cove, 95.92; 2, Mika Hight, Zephyr Cove, 99.53 Novice: 1, Jordan Laub, Glenbrook, 100.45; 2, Geoffrey Smith, Placerville, 115.12 Menehune Boys (10-11): 1, Harrison Kramer, South Lake Tahoe, 102.79; 2, Tanner Hart, South Lake Tahoe, 109.15; 3, Cody Horan, Placerville, 161.38 Breaker Girls (12-13): 1, Jamie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, 92.61 Breaker Boys (12-13): 1, Roger Carver, Placerville, 79.52; 2, Micholas Poohachaoff, South Lake Tahoe, 81.65; 3, David Kapinos, Rohnert Park, 101.55 Youth Women (14-15): 1, Stacie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, 88.41; 2, Elan Whitney, South Lake Tahoe, 92.86; 3, Colleen Sheehan, South Lake Tahoe, 99.57 Youth Men (14-15): 1, Ryan Bosson, South Lake Tahoe, 81.75; 2, Kevin Cain, Gardnerville, 81.97; 3, Ben Goldenberg, 82.52; Junior Women (16-17): 1, Joanie Anderson, South Lake Tahoe, 86.1; 2, Nicole Ricioli, South Lake Tahoe, 96.39; 3, Jacqueline Smith, Pollock Pines, 98.8 Junior Men (16-17): 1, Jesse Hall, Mt. Shasta, 81.99; 2, Jeff Kaczmar, South Lake Tahoe, 83.06; 3, Nickolay Dodov, Bear Valley, 85.52; Women Jams (18-22): 1, Tess Weathers, Mt. Shasta, 103.15; 2, Lena Jordan, Rescue, 113.4; 3, Christina Vu, El Dorado Hills, 131.77; Men Jams (18-22): 1, Jeremiah Ray, Jackson, 98.76 Senior Women (23-29): 1, Andrea Fotrova, Czech Republic, 118.51; 2, Karin Tuxen, Albany, 121.07 Senior Men (23-29): 1, Lee A. Breshears, Reno, 86.96 Master Women (30-39): 1, Nancy Ng, South Lake Tahoe, 108.89 Master Men (30-39): 1, Adam Neil, Zephyr Cove, 80.15; 2, Risley Sams, San Francisco, 82.64; 3, Benjamin Boussina, Greenbrae, 94.17 Legend Women (40-49): 1, Donna Vano, South Lake Tahoe, 104.81; 2, Zippy Neil, Zephyr Cove, 171.81 Legend Men (40-19): 1, Gordon Moncibais, Benicia, 133.68; 2, Tom Collins, Truckee, 155.01 Kahuna Men (50-59): 1, Len Winkler, Placerville, 112.47; 2, Herbert “Dick” Schulze, Palo Alto, 129.33 SLALOM Jan. 5 At Kirkwood Ski Resort Women Open Class 1. Joanie Anderson, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 81.12 seconds; 2. Vanessa Lowe, South Lake, 113.9. Jam’s (18-22) 1. Tess Weathers, Mount Shasta, Calif., 101.0; 2. Lena Jordan, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 112.75. Senior (23-29) 1. Karin Tuxen, Albany, Calif., 124.31. Master (30-39) 1. Nancy Ng, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 105.11; 2. Carol Anne Giustina, South Lake Tahoe, 133.71. Legend (40-49) 1. Donna Vano, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 105.77; 2. Zippy Neil, Zephyr Cove, 183.65. Girls Ruggie (7 and under) 1. Julia Mason, Heavenly, 170.65. Grommet (8-9) 1. Natasha Sagucks, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 139.88. Breaker (12-13) 1. Jamie Anderson, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 96.06. Youth (14-15) 1. Elan Whitney, South Lake Tahoe, 88.44; 2. Stacie Anderson, Sierra-at-tahoe, 88.85; 3. Colleen Sheehan, Heavenly, 89.32. Junior (16-17) 1. Katie Sheehan, Heavenly, 98.32; 2. Jacqueline Smith, Pollock Pines, Calif., 98.64; 3. Melissa Anino, Heavenly, 126.24. Note: Nicole Ricioli, Sierra, total time not listed Men Open Class 1. Ario Giovenco, Heavenly Snowboard Foundation, 71.31; 2. Agustin Murgula, Mammoth Lakes, 89.11. Jam’s (18-22) 1. Justin Alcantara, Zephyr Cove, 93.47; 2. Tyler Summers, Yreka, Calif., 100.93; 3. Jeremiah Ray, Jackson, Calif., 122.16. Master (30-39) 1. Adam Neil, Zephyr Cove, 82.05; 2. Risley Sams, San Francisco, 85.52; 3. Mick Connolly, Twaine Harte, Calif., 100.94. Legend (40-49) 1. Tom Goldenberg, South Lake Tahoe, 132.29. Kahuna (50-59) 1. Herbert Schulze, Palo Alto, Calif., 168.74. Boys Grommet (8-9) 1. Sammy Mason, Heavenly, 93.13; 2. Mika Hight, Heavenly, 98.19; 3. Jordan Laub, Heavenly, 106.53; 4. Geoffrey Smith, Placerville, 160.37. Menehune (10-11) 1. Tanner Hart, Heavenly, 97.37; 2. Harrison Kramer, South Lake Tahoe, 98.22. Breaker (12-13) 1. Roger Carver, Heavenly, 73.77; 2. Nicholas Poohachoff, Heavenly, 79.89; 3. Aaron Orlick, Carson City, 89.91; 4. Chad Cooney, South Lake Tahoe, 99.67; 5. Jack Lyle, South Lake Tahoe, 106.75; 6. Chase Hart, Heavenly, 107.25. Youth (14-15) 1. Greg Dupree, Heavenly, 74.46; 2. Ryan Bosson, Heavenly, 75.01; 3. Ben Goldenberg, Heavenly, 75.99; 4. Abe Greenspan, Heavenly, 78.62; 5. Brian Galea, Heavenly, 80.04; 6. Kevin Cain, Heavenly, 84.05; 7. Casey Weathers, Mount Shasta, 89.65; 8. Aaron Laub, Heavenly, 101.37; 9. John Retta, Martinez, Calif., 103.97; 10. Russell Kaczmar, South Lake Tahoe, 113.33; 11. Cory Mitchelson, Sierra, 130.61. Junior (16-17) 1. Jesse Hall, Mount Shasta, Calif., 74.98; 2. Nickolay Dodov, Sierra-at-Tahoe, 93.06; 4. Jeff Kaczmar, Heavenly, 121.99.

South Tahoe wrestling armed for present, future success, off to strong start in 2015-16 season

The South Tahoe wrestling team has a balance of experience and new talent on its 2015-16 team. With that combination, the Vikings plan to win matches this season while building for the future. "We have the perfect combination of the ability to win matches now and building blocks for the future," Vikings JV head coach Ryan Wallace said. A quartet of upperclassmen leads the Vikings this season — junior Andrew Herrera (195 pounds) along with seniors Michael Valney (138), Blair Binns (220) and Boe Griffis. Herrera placed third in the 170-pound class at last year's Div. I-A State Championships, and enters his third season hunting for the school's first state title. George Rohrbacher is the team's lone returning sophomore, looking to improve from his debut campaign. South Tahoe entered the season with a strong freshman class of 10 grapplers, forcing practices into the Gold Gym and creating a sense of optimism within the program. "It is great for them to have older guys to emulate, as well as peers who are demonstrating how a young guy needs to work if he wants to make a name for himself," Wallace said. Jose Leon leads the deep, talented freshman class, and is wrestling at 171 pounds while handling the unenviable task of serving as Herrera's practice partner. Fellow freshmen Kody Griffis (106) and Max Wirth (132) have won matches at the club and middle school levels, and early-season results suggest that success will carry over to South Tahoe. A pair of female wrestlers looking to form the foundation of a girls wrestling team at STHS rounds out the Vikings' team coached by Sean Griffis. Sydney Morris and Olivia Herrera hope to start a trend and help build a team that could compete in the CIF Girls Wrestling Championships, in which more than 900 girls wrestled last year. South Tahoe opened the season Wednesday, Dec. 2, with a dual meet against California opposition at Nevada Union High (Grass Valley). The Vikings split matches against the host Miners and Inderkum (Sacramento, Calif.) to kick off the campaign with success. Against Nevada Union in its second match, South Tahoe rallied for a 34-33 victory behind the wrestling of Kody Griffis. The Vikings trailed by five points entering the last match of the meet, and the freshman pinned his opponent to capture all six points and deliver a dramatic win. Herrera outscored his Nevada Union opposition 22-4 while Valney won by a score of 20-4. With the win, South Tahoe bounced back from a 41-23 loss to Inderkum in its season debut. "Inderkum is of the toughest schools in California, and the reason we made the trip," Wallace said. "Coach August had his guys well prepared and they are loaded with dedicated kids. It was both a humbling and motivating experience for all of us." Herrera fell 7-5 to Inderkum's Aaron Chapman, a returning CIF State qualifier expected to crack the podium this season. Valney delivered a sound 28-10 victory over his Tigers counterpart. On Saturday, Dec. 5, South Tahoe took part in one of the toughest early-season tournaments in Northern Nevada. The Vikings wrestled five dual meets in one day at the Earl Wilkens/Stockman Invitational at Fallon, notching wins over Wooster (44-24) and Lowry's gold team (42-34). Herrera and Binns each went undefeated in five matches at Fallon. Valney and Leon finished with 4-1 marks. "At this point in the year we are looking for our wrestlers to demonstrate the things we can't fix — attitude, resilience, positivity and effort," Wallace said. "I am happy with the Fallon results because we showed those qualities top to bottom." The Vikings returned to action Wednesday, Dec. 9, with a sweep of a dual meet at Truckee. South Tahoe beat the host Wolverines 59-12 before needing a tiebreaker to down Sparks after a 42-42 tie. South Tahoe started fast against Truckee, with freshmen Kody Griffis, Skyler Bledsoe (113), Troy Gerrard (120), Kai Poletti (126) and Wirth all recording wins. Valney won by technical fall for the fifth time this season, part of a stretch of 59 takedowns in nine matches. "A lot of guys go their whole careers without recording a tech, so what Valney has done so far is amazing," Wallace said. "He goes into every match with the mindset of working as hard as he possibly can, no matter the level of opponent." Leon, Rohrbacher, Herrera and Binns each delivered victories as the Vikings rolled past Truckee. At 220, Binns delivered four takedowns and a pin in 1:27 to punctuate the win. "We came out fired up," Wallace said. "We treat them as a big rival even though it's been one-sided in our favor the last couple outings." In its second match Wednesday, South Tahoe beat Sparks through a tiebreaker. The Vikings outpinned the Railroaders 5-3 to prevail in the tight match and improve to 6-3 on the season — Valney, Leon, Rohrbacher, Herrera and Binns accounted for the pins. "Our young guys stepped up and our experienced guys were dominant," Wallace said. South Tahoe returned to action Thursday, Dec. 10, with a dual meet against Lowry and Lovelock at Lowry — the Vikings concluded competition in the two-day Cody Louk Invitation at Lowry on Saturday, Dec. 12. STHS hosts a dual meet next Wednesday, Dec. 16, against Truckee and Dayton — the match is scheduled for 6 p.m.

Truckee rallies past Whittell boys

Whittell High couldn’t have asked for a much better start to its boys’ soccer match against Truckee on Thursday. T.J. Kolesnik knocked a shot off the post in the opening minute, and Trevor Fairbank turned a steal into a goal 13 minutes later as the Warriors drew first blood. But Truckee didn’t buckle, scoring three unanswered goals for a 3-1 league-opening physical victory at Whittell. “As far as being down one goal, I was happy that we responded well,” said Truckee coach Hernan Valdivia. “We have a good core of three seniors, so it’s a relatively young team, so I was happy to see us pick it up.” Michael Brixey scored twice and Jose Sarabia added a goal as Wolverines escaped with the two-goal win after tying Whittell in its last visit to Zephyr Cove. “They are really skilled and quick, but we made some mistakes,” said Whittell coach Steve Maltase. “Our weakside defense on offset plays was poor. We were ball watching.” Brixey scored the equalizer at 25:00, beating Whittell goalie Austin Neil with a header just inside the post on a corner kick by Jason Apolinar. Following a shot on goal by Kolesnik in the 36th minute, Sarabia found the back of then net on a cross, giving Truckee a 2-1 lead. Truckee (3-2 overall) put away the Warriors in the 71st minute when Brixey deposited a rebound into the net, with Colton Rodrigue setting up the score with his accurate corner kick. “We knew that they were going to be tough because they were really up-and-coming last year and playing real physical,” Valdivia said. “I think they are going to surprise a lot of people.” Neil made 16 saves to keep the Warriors close. “Austin was in the right position almost all of the time. We just had some marking problems on the weakside,” Maltase said. Whittell will try to even its league record when the Warriors travel to South Tahoe on Tuesday for the first-ever soccer league game between the schools.