There is no pinning down McDaniel, Miners |

There is no pinning down McDaniel, Miners

Eileen JoyceNevada Union's Robert McDaniel (right) works to pin sparring partner and teammate Patrick Cronan.
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Nevada Union wrestling coach Steve Pilcher said he would rather have a wrestler lose a match while going for a pin than win a match by playing it safe.

Aggressiveness, even if it does not always yield the best results, apparently serves the wrestler better in the long run.

The ‘pin to win’ logic will be tested tonight. NU will try to remain a contender for a Capital Athletic League title in a key showdown for second place in the standings against Bella Vista. The meet is at Nevada Union High School. Varsity matches should get started around 7 p.m. The match is a make up of a January showdown that was cancelled when the Broncos showed up late for weigh-ins.

Both teams have only one league loss, that to Casa Roble. The winner has a shot at catching the Rams for the overall title, provided the showing at this weekend’s league meet is sufficient.

“It is important not for the winning sake of it, but where we are now, versus where we were then,” Pilcher said. “They won their tournament this year, and we took eighth. We were a totally different team then. Some people have overlooked us, and it is a matter of pride.”

Among those destined to take to the mats is sophomore 112-pound wrestler Robert McDaniel. If pins is what his coach wants, McDaniel is only happy to oblige.

McDaniel enters tonight’s matchup with a 20-8 record. Of his 20 wins this season, 19 have come by fall. The nails-tough Asics tournament at Foothill High School was the only tournament he has failed to place at this year. He won a tournament at Wheatland, and yes, he won each of those four matches by fall.

“He just hates to lose,” Pilcher said. “Sometimes, he’ll beat himself, but he will fight to the end. He really hates to lose, which means he is a winner.”

After a so-so varsity campaign at 103 pounds last year, McDaniel has emerged with a more diversified portfolio of wrestling moves. Cutting weight is never an issue, for McDaniel usually comes on to the mat below 110 pounds.

His goal this year was to win league. By placing in the top four of this weekend’s CAL meet, he would qualify for the sub-section tournament.

“I know this is an important match for the team, and for me,” said McDaniel, who is unbeaten in league matches to date. “If I win tomorrow, I’ll go into the league tournament as the top seed, an easier way to the finals. If I go in as a No. 2 or No. 3 seed, it is more difficult.

“My goal this year is to win league. So far, I’m doing pretty good.”

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