Vikings go the distance for their second league win |

Vikings go the distance for their second league win

Matt O'Neill

When the four South Tahoe High seniors walked off the wrestling mat Wednesday night, they did so as winners for the last time in their home careers.

The Vikings defeated the Hug Hawks in the final home match of the season, 36-32, but it was a sophomore, not a senior, who secured the win for South Tahoe.

David Vasquez pinned his opponent, Jake Arnold, in the heavyweight division to get the final six points for the win. The Vikings were down 32-30 heading to Vazquez’s match and needed him to at least get a decision to secure the win.

“Coach told me not to mess around and get the pin,” the sophomore said. “But I got a little scared when he almost pinned me.”

The win for the Vikings was their second league win and it couldn’t have come at a better time as three of the four seniors produced wins for South Tahoe. Cavin Ross and J.T. Davis won by pins and Brad Ross earned a decision.

Cavin pinned Elliot Miller in the third round, while Davis pinned Justin Klatt in the first, and Brad earned a 10-5 decision over Josh Martin.

The Vikings opened up a commanding 25-10 lead halfway through the match before the Hawks came charging back to take the 32-30 lead with only one match left.

“I wasn’t really worried,” said Cavin Ross, who boasts a 36-1 season record. “I have faith in my team.”

The South Tahoe coaching staff circled Wednesday’s match as one it thought the Vikings could win, giving the team some much-needed momentum heading into the zone tournament Feb. 10.

“At the beginning of the season we knew we could win only certain 4A matches,” Viking head coach Jack Lopez said. “Hug was one of them.”

Assistant coach Jim Kouck has seen this group of young grapplers become a cohesive unit throughout the season.

“We’ve been coming together very well,” Kouck said. “The kids have gained a great deal of experience.

“The key for us was to get the kids to learn and that’s what we’ve been able to do with these 23 wrestlers out here.”

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