Culver wrestling continues on upward trend
For a team to raise funds, travel out of state and compete, it has to be worthwhile.
After last Friday wrapped up at the Sierra Nevada Classic, Culver wrestling can say with confidence the trip had plenty of purpose.
The 86-team tournament boasts some of the best individuals and teams from around the western United States. Culver finished 25th among the massive field of teams, and had the Bulldogs been able to more evenly distribute their top guys across weight classes, that ranking easily could've been higher.
"We saw some promising things from literally everybody," Culver head coach J.D. Alley said. "I think we're still progressing in the right path. It was worth our time to go down there."
Lorenzo Vasquez led Culver with a third-place finish in the 120-pound bracket. His lone loss was against William Edelblute of Lakeland (Idaho), by a 5-2 decision. Still, Vasquez managed to win his next two matches in the consolation bracket and score Culver 27.5 team points.
Cylus Hoke (195) won four straight matches to advance to the semifinals, before ultimately placing sixth.
Victor Torres (160) rounded out the scoring placers for the Bulldogs, with a seventh-place finish.
"When Victor screws his head on straight and makes his mind up to do something, he's probably the most offensively minded wrestler we have," Alley said.
A host of others — Brody Piercy (106), Anthony Hood (120), Cooper Becker (132), Lane Downing (138), Jorge Olivera (152), Jerron Rhen (160), Joey Navarro (170) and Cole Little (220) — won at least one match, if not more.
In the cases of Hood and Rhen, their efforts didn't translate into points, because they were in the same brackets as their teammates, Vasquez and Torres, respectively. Only the latter two counted for the team score, but that didn't keep Hood and Rhen from doing damage on the mat.
Hood won his first two matches by fall on Thursday, both of them coming within the first two rounds, before he was eliminated later that day.
Rhen, meanwhile, ran into Brayden Ebbs of McNary in the second round, with Ebbs pinning Rhen in 3 minutes, 49 seconds. Rhen managed to win his next three in the consolation bracket, with two pins and another by major decision (9-0).
Although the Bulldogs bunched up in a couple weight classes, they hope it will sort itself out as the season rolls on. They certainly would like to avoid a situation in which two teammates battle their way to the state finals match, only to wrestle each other for a title.
"As cool as it sounds to have two guys in the state finals, it ain't very cool," Alley said.
This week, Alley will travel to Boise, Idaho, with a few wrestlers, likely Vasquez, Olivera and Torres, for the Rollie Lane Invitational. The rest of the team heads to the Jo-Hi Tournament in Joseph.