Bruins prep for bouts
It’s not where you start out that counts, but rather, where you finish. So even though the Bear River wrestling team doesn’t have any No. 1 seeds coming in, coach Robert Nebeker is full of optimism about the Bruins’ chances for success today at the Pioneer Valley League Tournament in Colfax.
The tournament starts at 9 a.m., with the finals tentatively scheduled to go off at 3 p.m. at Colfax High School.
“We didn’t get any No. 1 seeds, but we did very well,” Nebeker said after the league seeding meeting on Wednesday night. “Our goal is to get all 11 of our kids to sub-sections, and I’d like to see a couple of league champions.”
The top four finishers in each weight class qualify for the sub-section tournament next weekend at Oakmont. And if the Bruins achieve all of those goals, they will in all likelihood improve on their regular season statistics (8-14-1 overall, 3-4 in league dual meets).
“Two years ago, we had a dual season kind of like this and finished third at the league tournament,” Nebeker said. “At this time of year, anything can happen.”
Oakmont, with eight No. 1 seeds, and Lincoln, with four No. 1 seeds, look like the league’s top two teams.
Bear River comes in with six No. 2 seeds: Addy Gemignani (16-5 overall, 5-0 league) at 114 pounds, Derek Julian (9-9, 4-2) at 127 pounds, Johnny Lascoe (12-8, 5-1) at 137 pounds, Corbin Shakely (16-7, 5-1) at 152 pounds, Garrett Bentley (18-3, 5-1) at 162 pounds and heavyweight Chase Duncan (23-5, 3-3). Nolan Gail (6-6, 2-2) at 132 pounds, Matthew Belnap (10-9, 4-2) at 147 pounds are both No. 3 seeds. Jordan Beaver (11-3, 2-1) at 173 pounds and Alex Loza at 105 pounds are No. 4 seeds. Jeremy Newton (2-3, 1-2) is the No. 5 seed at 191 pounds.
Seniors Shakely and Beaver, as well as sophomores Gemignani and Duncan look like the team’s best bets when it comes to gold medal prospects, according to Nebeker.
Duncan lost to top-seeded John Hall of Lincoln in overtime on Jan. 5. Lascoe, a league runner-up at 130 pounds as a freshman last year, is seeded second behind Oakmont standout Jerin Miller. Bentley has only lost to one California wrestler all season (his other losses were against opponents from Nevada and Utah), came at the hands of Colfax rival Mike Fucci, a section qualifier last season and a star running back who rushed for more than 1,000 yards and 23 TDs this past fall.
To contact sports editor Dave Price, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 477-4240.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.