Coming soon: competition
Fear not, Nevada Union fans, a competitive wrestling match is coming soon to a gymnasium near you.
After three years of dominating every Metro Conference dual meet in which they’ve toed the line, the Miners can finally guarantee local wrestling fans that when they drive over to Nevada Union, they’re going to see some quality competition.
The only problem is fans will have to wait until Feb. 18-19, when Nevada Union hosts the Sac-Joaquin Sub-Section meet.
“We’re looking forward to being able to wrestle in front of our home crowd for that,” said NU head coach Shane Valdez. “It’s a big event for our community to see. That meet will qualify you for section, so it’s going to be really good competition.
“We want our guys to get a chance to perform in front of our home crowd and do well in a highly-competitive tournament like that.”
Until then, it’s most likely more of the same for the Miners, who wrapped up another 5-0 run through the Metro with a 35-20 victory over visiting Kennedy Wednesday.
Nevada Union has produced a 15-0 record in the three years of its Metro membership, but it’s not like NU is exactly new to dominating league competition.
Prior to joining the Metro, the Miners ran off a 75-match winning streak that encompassed 11 years of competition in the Capital Athletic League.
In fact, counting the Metro years, Nevada Union has lost just one league dual meet in the past 14 years. That defeat, a 45-25 loss to Casa Roble in 2002, ended the Miners’ unbeaten streak in league competition.
With only eight wrestlers making the trip for Kennedy, it was clear from the outset that, barring any miracles, Nevada Union was going to end up on the winning side. But, Valdez said, the Cougars that came to Grass Valley gave it their all.
“They beat us match for match,” Valdez said. “The eight kids they brought were solid kids. We only won 35-20 against a team that only had eight kids. So, in my mind, they were tough. I guess their upper weights quit on them, but if they had their guys in the upper weights, I think we might have had a match until the end.”
Instead, NU picked up 24 points on four forfeits for the win.
Among the night’s top performers, NU freshman Kyler Caldwell scored a 13-11 win in overtime at 145 pounds. Caldwell scored a takedown 19 seconds into OT to end the sudden-death period.
“That was my second varsity match,” Caldwell said. “I also wrestled against (Metro foe) Hiram Johnson and pinned that guy in the first period. Once I saw we were in overtime, I knew I had the edge, because he was out of breath.”
Valdez said on the bright side of the typical Metro Conference blowouts, his younger wrestlers, like Caldwell, are getting to perform in the prime-time of varsity action.
“That’s the one benefit is that a lot of our freshmen get to wrestle a lot of varsity matches in the Metro,” Valdez said. “That’s a match (Caldwell) will probably remember for the rest of his life.”
Also picking up wins on the mat for NU were Jake Cena (112), Kyle Brady (135) and Luke Manuel (140).
Still ahead for Nevada Union this week is the section team duals Saturday at Folsom High School. Valdez said the Miners, who will forfeit the three highest weight classes, won’t know who they’ll face until Saturday morning’s seeding meeting.
Metro Conference Wrestling
Nevada Union 35, Kennedy 20
103 – Lemons (K) won by forfeit
112 – Jake Cena (NU) dec. Marchel 12-2
119 – Bland (K) pinned Matt Manuel, 2:58
125 – Pachero (K) tech. fall Randall, 16-0
130 – Horyed (K) dec. Shane Lingo, 9-2
135 – Kyle Brady (NU) dec. Chaudhry, 14-9
140 – Luke Manuel (NU) dec. Cisneros, 12-2
145 – Kyler Caldwell (NU) dec. Cisneros, 13-11, OT
152 – Jon Bird (NU) won by forfeit
160 – Zach Callas (NU) won by forfeit
171 – Brian Wheatley (NU) won by forfeit
189 – Buck Davis (NU) won by forfeit
215 – Double forfeit
275 – Double forfeit
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