Bruin grapplers ready for PVL championships |

Bruin grapplers ready for PVL championships

When Bear River’s wrestlers land at Whitney High School this morning for the Pioneer Valley League championships, two of the Bruins will take the mat with the top seeds.

And five more will be seeking a return to the Division IV tournament, after qualifying out of the PVL championships a year ago.

But perhaps even more promising for coach Kevin Figueroa is the fact that just one of the Bruins toeing the line today is a senior.

“We’re a young team,” Figueroa said. “But those guys are definitely going to be getting some character (today) against the best of the league.

“And I believe I’m going to take about 80 percent of my guys on to the (divisionals).”

Opening-round action is set to start at 10 a.m. today.

Sophomores Kyle Anderson, Bear River’s 103-pounder, and Nick Sauers, who mans the 125-pound spot in the lineup, both will begin PVL competition as the top-seeded wrestlers in their respective brackets.

Among the Bruins hoping to make a trip to the divisionals for the second straight season is junior 119-pounder Juan Gudino, who enters as the No. 4 seed. Figueroa said the way Gudino performed at the Foothill Invitational in January leads him to believe there are big things on the horizon.

“He made it to the second day at Foothill, which is a very tough tournament,” Figueroa said. “If they can get to the second day there, I think they have a great chance at getting to the (section) Masters.”

Jacob Robinson, a junior who also advanced to the Division IV tourney last year, is seeded second at 145 pounds. Braden Scinto, also a junior, is another 2009 qualifier and is seeded third at 189 pounds. Sophomore Michael Merrell, seeded sixth at 215 pounds, and senior Justin Chiriogitis are also both looking for a second trip to the divisionals.

The rest of the Bruin lineup will consist of junior Jory Gemignani (seeded fourth at 112), sophomore Jordan Halleib (4th, 130), sophomore Harley Sauers (6th, 135), junior Ari Terrell (5th, 152), freshman Skylar Silva (7th, 160) and junior Dino Quaintance (6th, 171).

“Beyond (divisionals)? I think there’s a good possibility of taking two onto Masters. But if two other guys do what I believe they have in them – which is heart – we could take four.

“But it’s all about heart from here on out.”

Contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4240.

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