Nevada Union’s Will Sumner is the last prep wrestler standing from Nevada County and his biggest test of the season is on the horizon.
The 170-pound senior will put his skills to the test today against the very best in the state at the 42nd CIF State Boys Wrestling Championships at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
“This has been a dream my whole life,” Sumner said of making it to the state competition. “I usually set my goals high, so my goal is to win state and I think it’s attainable.”
Sumner enters the competition riding a string of successes, winning the Sierra Foothill League title, the Sac-Joaquin Section D-IAA championship and placing first in his weight class at the section’s Masters event.
“Right now the sky’s the limit for me,” Sumner said. “It’s my goal to be NU’s second state champion.”
Wade Sauer won a state championship for NU in 2004 as a heavy weight.
Throughout the week Sumner said he has been traveling to Folsom to train with other state tournament-bound wrestlers to prepare for the competition.
Throughout his four-year varsity career Sumner had averaged 40 matches per season as a freshman, sophomore and junior, but has wrestled just 25 this season and feels healthy heading into the state competition.
“Everyone is beat up by this time of the year,” he said. “But, I’m confident and ready.”
Sumner is currently ranked No. 10 in the state by calgrappler.com, but has victories over the No. 4 and No. 2 wrestlers in his career. But, if Sumner is to claim a state title it will likely go through Anthony Valencia from St. John Bosco. Valencia is ranked No. 1 in the state and No.1 in the nation by several ranking websites.
Sumner has been watching tape of Valencia this week, studying his technique and skill set in anticipation of a meeting with the St. John Bosco grappler.
Nevada Union wrestling head coach Gary Sumner, Will’s father, said his son is confident heading into the tournament.
“I’m probably more nervous than he is,” Gary said. “He’s pretty confident right now.”
No matter how Will does at the state tourney, he has already earned a bid to a national tournament after placing high enough at the Reno Tournament of Champions earlier in the season.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I usually set my goals high, so my goal is to win state and I think it’s attainable.”
Nevada Union wrestler