Viking wrestlers Singelyn, Rohrbacher each earn 3rd at state
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Two South Tahoe wrestlers ended their careers with wins on Saturday at the prestigious state meet.
Viking seniors Nate Singelyn and Ben Rohrbacher each finished in third place, earning those medals with hard-fought, come-from-behind victories at the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Class 3A State Championships in Mesquite.
Singelyn, a 145-pounder, had won 46 matches on the year heading into his consolation finals match, but all of those wins pale in comparison to number 47.
Singelyn was matched up with familiar foe, Bear Browne, of Spring Creek, who he was 0-2 against.
“We worked all week expecting to go against him for gold,” Singelyn said.
Unfortunately, both suffered losses in the semifinals dropping them into the perilous single-elimination consolation bracket. After winning their consolation semis, the rematch was set.
“The first time they wrestled, Browne was more composed, more technically sound, and had a better game plan,” said Vikings head coach Ryan Wallace. “Last week, we closed the gap especially in composure. At State, it all finally came together for us.”
Singelyn bested Browne 6-5, the same score as their last match-up but the opposite result. Singelyn was trailing by three with about a minute left in the match when he earned a reversal, then turned his opponent to his back earning four quick points.
He maintained control of Browne for the remainder of the match to secure the victory.
Rohrbacher had a disappointing semifinal match in which he’d love a do-over.
Rohrbacher, a 182-pounder, was ahead 9-2 when his opponent countered his pin hold and pinned him.
“He was forced to pick himself up and finish the tournament strong,” Wallace said. “We are using this sport to teach lessons first and foremost and there were many in this situation. We had to recognize that mistakes are made all the time. It is not what happens but how we react to it that matters. He was up to that challenge and gutted out two tough victories.”
In the last match he would ever wrestle for South Tahoe, Rohrbacher’s heart was on full display when he squared off with Virgin Valley’s Jaren Hafen, the top seed from the South region.
Rohrbacher secured a takedown with 10 seconds remaining to go ahead by one point and stunning the home crowd.
Aiden Breen and Brandon Ruiz both lost both of their bouts but ended with smiles on their faces are realizing how close they are to the top kids in the state.
“Aiden and Z (Ruiz) both put out tremendous effort and looked good against the best kids,” Wallace said. “When coaching a guy who is facing an opponent who is seeded higher than them, the challenge is for them to not lose that match before it is wrestled, belief is a huge factor. We went out with an all-in mindset and they both ended the match with a chance to win it. They should have a lot more confidence moving forward now.”
The Vikings finished in 10th place out of 19 scoring teams to cap off a successful season.
“We doubled the number of wrestlers, of qualifiers, of placers, and laughs this season,” Wallace said. “Next year we are looking to double again, add varsity girls’ wrestling and finish top 5 with another sportsmanship award to pin to the wall.”
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