Concluding an emotional week on top Friday at Virgin Valley, members of the Boulder City High School wrestling team competed with the late, longtime coach Chuck Brown in their hearts, escaping Mesquite, Nevada, with a 39-36 victory.
“I’m very proud of the way these guys handled themselves, with all things considering,” head coach Jim Cox said. “To have Chuck pass the following Friday and for the whole team to be at his funeral on Thursday, it’s been an emotional time for us. Traveling up to Mesquite with everything still fresh in their hearts, they all battled and did the best that they could. (It was a) great group effort overall.”
Pulling out their final league victory of the season over the rival Bulldogs, the Eagles finished with an unblemished league record, with their only loss of the season coming to 4A opponent Las Vegas.
On the receiving end of a handful of Bulldog weight forfeits, seniors Devin Fox (220 pounds) and Dillon Viera (160 pounds), junior D.J. Reese (126 pounds) and freshman Ladd Cox (138 pounds) all picked up much-needed victories for the Eagles on a day where the Bulldogs had their number.
Highlighting the Eagles’ efforts against the Bulldogs, sophomore 195-pound wrestler Ryan Vanario picked up Boulder City’s lone pin over Nathen Abbott in 1:35.
“Ryan just loves wrestling,” Cox said. “Every day he’s striving to get better, always pulling me aside for extra practice time. He’s dedicated to the sport; he wants to be the best he can be. I’m glad to see the results are coming in for him.”
Junior 120-pound wrestler Zayne Dennington picked up a crucial victory as well for the Eagles, landing a 3-0 decision over Vicente Pinto to seal the victory.
Senior Octavian Trumbo (145 pounds) and sophomore Jimmy Dunagan (152 pounds) also picked up decisions.
“It came down to the wire, but our guys battled,” Cox said. “Nothing more you can ask of them but that. Moving forward, the adversity we faced tonight will only push us toward success in the future.”
The Eagles enter Friday’s 3A Southern Region meet at Western High School as the favorites out of the Sunrise League to come out on top.
“I think that we have all worked hard for this moment and are excited to be here,” junior 113-pound wrestler Garrett Leavitt said. “The team is definitely the best in our division, and I know that we will have multiple successful individuals as we begin competing this weekend. We just love being here doing what we do best.”
Of those individual looking for an opportunity to compete at state, senior 132-pound wrestler Jimmy Brown will lace his shoes up for his final postseason, hoping to extend it with the thought of his grandfather Chuck in his heart.
“It’s bittersweet right now,” Brown said. “I’m very excited to reach my goals, but I wish my grandpa was here to share it with me. I’m staying positive, though. I couldn’t have asked for a better last wrestling season of my high school career.”
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.
Friday-Saturday, regional championships at Western High School, TBA