Wrestling tourney in town
Nevada Union wrestling fans, who have watched the Miners dominate the Metro Conference in lopsided dual meets for the past three years, will get a rare chance to see the local grapplers face some stiff competition on their home turf in this weekend’s Sac-Joaquin Subsection tournament.
Action in the Northwest Subsection tourney is set to start on three mats at 9 a.m. Friday at Nevada Union and continue through Saturday’s 4 p.m. championship finals.
“That’s really cool being here at Nevada Union,” said NU head coach Shane Valdez. “We get the big spotlight to showcase wrestling in our community. And our entire wrestling family is involved.”
Valdez said wrestlers and parents from the high school program, Lyman Gilmore’s middle school team and the Gold Mine wrestling club will be on hand to offer volunteer support.
“The wrestling community here is real excited about it,” Valdez said. “As a wrestler, the only part of it I saw of these tournaments was to go make weight and wrestle. As a coach, I can see it’s a huge deal for everybody. I’d like to thank Brett Fariss for being the tournament director.
“He’s one of our assistant coaches, a volunteer coach who also took on the Mother Lode Duals, as well as this tournament. Taking this tournament on is unreal. There’s a lot to do with it, but he does it because he loves wrestling and loves to help us out. Tournaments don’t happen without people like him.”
Teams from the Delta League, the Monticello Empire League, the Solano County Athletic Conference and the Metro Conference will compete in the 16-man brackets of this subsection, one of four scheduled throughout the section this weekend.
The top six wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament, held at Pitman High School on Feb. 25-26.
Valdez said moving all nine Miners onto the section meet would be tough to do.
“That would be tall order, but it’s not impossible,” he said. “If everyone wrestles well and is peaking at the right time. Sometimes in these tournaments, you beat kids you weren’t supposed to beat. I think the guys that are expected to go will go (to sections) and maybe we’ll have some surprises.
“Everyone is capable, but Vacaville will be there, Elk Grove will be there and Folsom will be there. Everybody is going to have tough wrestlers to face and everyone will be challenged.”
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
Seven Miners were crowned Metro Conference champions at last Saturday’s league meet, but nine of NU’s roster will be competing on their home mats this weekend. NU’s league champs were freshmen Jake Cena (103) and Matt Manuel (112), juniors Luke Manuel (135) and Zack Callas (160) seniors Drew Maraglia (140), Jon Bird (145) and Brian Wheatley (171).
Also qualifying for the subsections were Nevada Union’s Kyle Brady at 130 pounds and Matt Lessard at 152 pounds.
In the 2004 subsection tournament, Luke Manuel was the only Miner to earn a championship, taking the 119-pound title. Maraglia earned a second place finish at 135 pounds. NU graduates Mel Bird (152) and Wade Sauer (275) – who eventually won the 2004 California state heavyweight championship – finished second and third in their respective weight classes.
The Miners advanced eight wrestlers to the section tournament in 2004.
Bruins to send 11 to subsection
Bear River will have 11 Bruins hit the mats at this week’s Small School Subsection at Lindhurst High School.
One of those wrestlers, freshman Addy Gemignani (103), was crowned Pioneer Valley League champion in last week’s league meet at Lincoln.
Also competing this week will be Bear River freshman Matt Bevington (112), sophomore Brady Lazalier (119), freshman Johnny Lascoe (130), freshman Joe Perna (140), John Kammerer (145), junior Joe Sciacca (152), sophomore Garrett Bentley (160), junior Jeremy Newton (171), 215-pound junior Jordan Beaver and freshman heavyweight Chase Duncan.
The Bruins advanced four wrestlers to the section tournament in 2004.
Wrestlers from the Golden Empire League, the Mother Lode League, the Trans-Valley League, as well as the Pioneer Valley League will compete.
Action begins at 9 a.m. Friday and will continue through Saturday’s championship round, set to begin at 4 p.m.
To get to Lindhurst High School: Take Interstate 80 west to Highway 65 near Roseville. Go north on Highway 65 to McGowan Parkway, turn left and continue on McGowan to Olive Avenue. Turn right on Olive Avenue to reach Lindhurst High School.
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Hank Sowell’s introduction to the game of golf came early as a set of clubs was among the gifts he received on his very first birthday.