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Pilcher impressed by Archuleta’s will

With Anthony Archuleta’s semifinal match hanging in the balance, coaches on both sides of the mat barking encouragement, Nevada Union coach Steve Pilcher chimed in with something entirely different.

“Hey, Anthony,” Pilcher shouted. “Have fun out there.”



Pilcher’s reminder was intended to keep Archuleta loose – and it also summed up the style of a coach who wants his wrestlers to succeed, but also to make the experience one that will be remembered as positive, win or lose.




Pilcher should know. The trip to Stockton for the 30th annual CIF State Wrestling Tournament marked the 29 years that have passed since Pilcher placed second in state while wrestling as a 120-pounder for Cordova High School in the inaugural tournament of 1973.

One might think that there was not much left for Pilcher to learn at this stage of his career, but he as he sat in the stands following Archuleta’s fourth-place finish, Pilcher said he learned something from Archuleta this season.

“I learned a lot from him,” Pilcher said. “I learned about camaraderie and friendships, and that is important as a coach, because sometimes you are so focused on winning that you forget other important things.”

Pilcher one might also be surprised to learn that during the course of a state match, it is the coaches who experience the stress of the situation more than the wrestlers.

“When you are a wrestler, believe it or not, it is not nearly as nerve-racking, because you have total control,” Pilcher said. “As a coach, you still have that will to win because you are competitive in nature. It is tough emotionally, especially with a tough loss or seeing a kid get injured.”

A dozen or so NU and Lyman Gilmore wrestlers watched on Saturday as Archuleta grimaced his way to a fourth-place finish.

“They got to see that his heart was into it, and even though he was hurting, he was still going for it and being a man,” Pilcher said.

NEVADA UNION

STATE MEDALISTS

2002: Anthony Archuleta, fourth at 125 pounds

1999: Paul Gross, second at 125 pounds

1998: Paul Gross, fourth at 119 pounds

1997: Wes Mayfield, seventh at 119 pounds

1996: Garry Davidson, sixth at 135 pounds

1994: Joey Hart, fourth at 152 pounds

1994: James Gross, eighth at 119 pounds

1986: Wes Fuhr, second at 132 pounds


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