Three South Tahoe wrestlers will be making the nearly 500-mile journey to the 2014 NIAA Division I, I-A and III/IV Nevada State High School Wrestling Championships.
The Vikings compete in Division 1-A, an eight-man tournament consisting of the top four wrestlers from the south and top four wrestlers from the north.
Addison Day qualified by taking third place last weekend at the regional tournament in Sparks competing in the 106-pound division.
“I am excited, it is going to be great!” he stated in a press release. “I already get to add a state qualifier patch to my letterman’s jacket, and possibly the state champion patch. I’m just very excited for this opportunity in front of me.”
James Sorensen also placed third. He wrestles in the 132-pound class that included multiple past state medalists, two of which were 2013 finalists.
“I have two guys in my bracket that I haven’t beaten yet. I have focused this week on improving,” Sorensen stated. “This means a lot to me. All year all we’ve talked about is February. I have had no social life. I have to make sure every meal is healthy. I’ve been running every day and coming to practice every day.”
At 152 pounds, standout freshman Andrew Herrera put together an impressive tournament. After earning a tightly contested 6-5 victory over Lowry’s Tristen Waller, he fell to Elko’s Jacob Owen in a 4-2 decision. He never looked back producing four straight victories including a third-period pin in his consolation finals match over Spring Creek senior Anthony Collins.
Coach Ken Robbins was among those Andrew impressed, “Herrera was exceptional, having to wrestle six matches where most kids wrestled three, to be able to make it to state as a freshman at 152, the hardest class, surrounded on the podium by seniors, that was awesome. That was good stuff.”
Herrera is eager to get back on the mat, “I can’t wait to wrestle in the state tournament as a freshman. I can’t wait to be a sophomore qualifying for state, and a junior and senior qualifying for state.”
It wasn’t just the state qualifiers that caught coach’s attention.
“The underclassmen I thought wrestled very well. For each of them to make the podium was a great sign. The future is looking very good,” said Robbins. “Unfortunately, we had to watch the clock run out on a few of our guys which is always a sad, but overall they can be proud of their dedication and the sacrifices they made.”
Dakota Moss placed fifth at the regional tournament and will be an alternate at states. Miguel Leon, Michael Herring and Blair Binns also made the podium with sixth place finishes.
Coach Robbins is optimistic about this weekend, “I hope they are confident. That’s what we’ve tried to instill all year. I know they are anxious but they have looked great in practice and they all know that this is what they’ve been dreaming about.”
The wrestlers intend to have a quick workout Thursday morning then make the eight-and-a-half-hour drive down to Primm, Nev. Wrestling begins at 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the Primm Valley Resort’s Star of the Desert Arena. Finals begin at 6:30 p.m. and the results will be posted live on trackwrestling.com.