PREP WRESTLING: Bear River wins by forfeit, puts on show for Senior Night |

PREP WRESTLING: Bear River wins by forfeit, puts on show for Senior Night

Bear River senior wrestlers back row from left: Drew Engberson, Jon Good, Reid Johnson with coach Kevin Figueroa, front.
Submitted by Brian Shepard |

The show must go on.

A forfeit by Colfax Thursday, Bear River’s Senior Night, gave the Bruins’ wrestling team a victory, but the mats were still rolled out for a memorable evening.

“The team knew that we were going to take a forfeit Senior Night,” said Bear River head coach Kevin Figueroa. “I put out a text (Wednesday) and called up all my past wrestlers, had 13-14 show up today to at least represent.”

Several Bruin alumni returned and suited up for an entertaining dual-scrimmage of sorts, which enabled Bear River seniors Drew Engberson, Jon Good and Reid Johnson to take the mat one last time at Jack R. McCrory Gymnasium.

“That’s a blessing, even though four or five of them about died with their lungs,” added Figueroa. “Lots of fans, half the stands were full. We didn’t charge anybody. I appreciate it a lot. It showed that were building a better community.”

Everyone was able to get in a match with an opponent of similar size but varying talents, while perhaps putting some bragging rights on the line as well.

“It was really good,” said Johnson, who plans to attend Sierra College this fall and eventually join the Navy. “I got to wrestle my cousin. He’s the one who introduced me to wrestling. He’s the reason I wanted to wrestle because he always beat me up when I was little.’

Despite the friendlier competition there was still great intensity, not to mention some entertainment on the mat, and the seniors were especially grateful.

“It was nice to go on the mat one more time and just see what I can do,” said Good, who plans to attend Arizona State University to study chemistry or meteorology and join the Navy after graduating. “It was surprising how many people came. Everyone kept talking, ‘It’s cancelled. It’s not going to happen.’”

With the end of any senior season in high school athletics comes a bittersweet feeling looking back on all that’s been accomplished, yet the realization that it’s almost over.

“It was really cool, but kind of disappointing we didn’t get to wrestle Colfax,” said Engberson, who will attend Sierra College to study business and continue wrestling. “But (Colfax) had two of their guys still come so it was nice having them here.”

The Bruins, who finished 4-1 to take second place in the Pioneer Valley League, now set their sights on the PVL team duals Saturday at Lincoln High School in Stockton where they’ll have one last opportunity to tune up before the postseason.

After team duals the season shifts to individuals at the Pioneer Valley League tourney Feb. 13 at Placer High School, with only the top four of each weight class advancing to Sections.

Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.

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