It was a good week for the Boulder City wrestling program, soundly winning its first league match of the season over Sunrise Mountain, followed by a great showing this past weekend at the Dixie Desert Storm Invitational in Dixie, Utah.
“(I’m) really happy with the effort everyone showed this past week,” Boulder City head coach Jim Cox said. “Slowly we’re starting to turn into a very good program and are looking forward to future success.”
Sunrise Mountain’s Miners weren’t able to field a complete roster against the Eagles, leaving a majority of the boys — sophomore Zane Dennington (113-pound weight class), sophomore D.J. Reese (120-pound weight class), junior Jimmy Brown (126-pound weight class), freshman Jimmy Dunagan (132-pound weight class), junior Octavian Trumbo (151-pound weight class), freshman Thorston Balmer (160-pound weight class), junior David Kleindienst (220-pound weight class) and freshman Mike Kaposta (285-pound weight class) — with forfeit victories.
Throughout the five matches that were scheduled Dec. 16, senior Tyler-James Rushworth and junior Devin Fox scored victories, while the sophomores tandem of Garrett Leavitt and J.P. Valenzuela took care of their opponents handily, as well.
In the 138-pound weight class, Rushworth pinned Sunrise Mountain’s Angel Uresti in 0:38 seconds, while Fox earned a win over the Miners’ 195-pound wrestler Jayce Metcalfe in 1:41. Leavitt earned a fall over Carlos Hernandez in the 106-pound class, while Valenzuela earned a victory over Charlie Avita in the 132-pound class.
“Sunrise Mountain is a rebuilding program, so we didn’t really get an opportunity to showcase our talents and see what areas we still need to improve upon,” Cox said. “The matches our athletes were able to compete in, however, I thought they did a solid job of picking up quick victories and continue to build toward positive seasons individually.”
The Sunrise Mountain meet wasn’t the only job well done the Eagles accomplished this past week, with a pair of wrestlers placing at the Dixie Desert Storm Invitational and a handful of others coming close to the podium in one of the region’s toughest holiday events.
“The Dixie Desert Storm Invitational is no joke,” Cox said. “You have to come into each match prepared and focused like you’ve never been before or your going to get beat. We saw a lot of great individual performances out of our guys this past weekend, but like I said, the mental focus and toughness needs to be there. Too many of our guys could have finished higher had they kept their focus and eye on the prize. The Dixie Desert Storm Invitational was a great showing for our program and a learning experience that’s going to help us reach our goals of becoming a great program.”
As a team, the Eagles placed 19th overall and the fifth Nevada team in the tournament, behind only Division I powerhouse Bishop Gorman (first place) and Division I-A heavyweights Faith Lutheran (sixth place), Virgin Valley (11th place) and Moapa Valley (17th place) with an overall team score of 76 points.
Headlining the Eagles’ efforts were Rushworth and Brown, who made their way to the podium following tremendous individual showings.
Rushworth was nearly dominant over the two-day period, wrestling what coach Cox claimed was the best individual effort he’s seen out of the senior throughout his tenure with the program. Placing second, Rushworth was the Eagles’ higher finisher, with Brown concluding his tournament with a fifth-place finish.
“I felt like both of them displayed outstanding efforts this past weekend,” Cox added. “Both Tyler and Jimmy fought hard the entire time and even when it looked like they might be out of it, they somehow pulled away with victories. (I’m) blown away with their individual efforts.”
Capping off the the Dixie Desert Storm Invitational with solid efforts as well, despite not placing was Fox and Leavitt, Dennington and Reese, who all made significant impacts.
“While these guys weren’t able to place over the weekend, their contributions to our program certainly weren’t overlooked,” Cox concluded. “They all fought hard and displayed what Boulder City wrestling is. Heart, toughness and dedication. As we go into the new year and the rest of our season, I feel confident that everyone will wrestle like that as we try to continue to build a name for ourselves.”
Contact Robert Vendettoli at BCRsports@gmail.com.