Snow daze – Weather forecast confuses tourney participants
In the Mother Lode Dual wrestling tournament Saturday at Nevada Union High School, the showing was a little less than the expected, as only seven of 10 teams which planned to take part showed up. Thanks to a snow scare that packed a punch several degrees milder than foreseen, three schools backed out of the meet.
It was still a success according NU coach Shane Valdez, especially being the tournament’s first year back after a one-year hiatus.
“This tournament is so fun and so great for a program that’s building like ours is,” Valdez said. “Last year we didn’t have it. I tried to organize it, but tournaments are not easy to run, especially when you’re coaching. This year we had an assistant coach – Brett Fariss – run the tournament. With Brett in charge, it’s been easy.”
Competing in the tournament in addition to the Miners were Placer, Oakmont, Folsom, Bethel, River City, and Bear River high schools.
“I think Shane has done a fantastic job bringing this back,” Bear River coach Robert Nebeker said. “We’re all having fun. It’s great to have so many foothill teams in one place.”
Saturday was not the first meeting between the two Grass Valley teams. In early December, the Bruins made the first trip up the highway to Nevada Union, where they battled the Miners in a scrimmage.
“Our relationship with NU is great,” Nebeker said. “We look up to them and respect them, and I think when we’re around them they rub off on us. It’s just a really nice relationship between us.”
As Valdez said he expected, he did see improvement in Bear River since their first meeting.
“We’ve seen them a lot,” he said. “They’ve improved a ton.”
Nevada Union senior Drew Maraglia was grateful for the tournament, even if for different reasons than some of the coaches.
“It’s good for earning money for our team,” Maraglia said. Even though he said he’d seen tougher competition in past tournaments, he found the preparation necessary for the subsection meet of the Sac-Joaquin Section, which will this year best hosted by NU.
“It’s cool,” Maraglia said. “Subsections will be here – that’ll be good competition.”
For Valdez, the preparation involved was in itself enough to warrant hosting the tournament.
“There are huge benefits to running this,” Valdez said. “Subsections are here, so having this will make it much easier when they come.”
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