Miners’ storied wrestling streak snapped by Casa Roble
As Nevada Union wrestling coach Steve Pilcher said, all streaks have to end sometime.
Tuesday, an amazing string of 75 Capital Athletic League dual-meet victories spanning 11 seasons came to an end for Nevada Union at the hands of host Casa Roble, 45-25.
“It is kind of a relief, in a way,” Pilcher said. “Because now we can start a new legacy. And this crew will have a great legacy in the next two or three years.”
NU’s starting lineup featured two seniors, one junior, the rest sophomores and freshmen. The inexperience, which had been tested in preseason tournaments, finally got caught by a Ram team that features three wrestlers currently ranked among the top 10 in Sacramento.
The match started with a 171-pound forfeit for the Rams. They clinched the win at 145 pounds, when 2001 CAL individual title holder Chad French pinned NU’s Buddy Brady midway through the second period. Brady had recently returned to the line-up after missing some matches after the holidays with a concussion.
The exact time of the fall was anyone’s guess, for as soon as the referee slapped the mat, pandemonium broke out on the Casa side of the gym, and the girl running the clock forgot to stop it.
“We’ve been second to them for the past five years, and every year we’ve gotten a little closer,” said Casa Roble coach Jerry Sinkey. “I thought the heavyweight and 135 pound matches were the key for us.”
NU tried to shuffle its wrestlers to catch up from an early deficit, but to no avail.
In a back and forth match at heavyweight and that went an uncustomary three periods, Ram George Walker caught Mike Bock for a pin at 4:43. At 135, Dustin Scherburne defeated Michael Halby with a second-period fall.
The winners for NU Tuesday were: Chris Mossbacher at 189, Wade Sauer at 215, Robert McDaniel at 112, Anthony Archuleta at 125, Drew Maraglia at 130 and Melvin Bird at 152.
NU still has a shot at the team title, despite the setback. There are still CAL dual meets to be wrestled, and that accounts for only half of the criteria to determine the champ. Added to that will be the team’s performance at the league meet at season’s end.
“This is by far the best young group of kids I’ve ever had,” Pilcher said. “The kids just wrestled their hearts out. We lost to a better team tonight.”
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