Wildcats take down the Tigers

Millard West battles Fremont in wrestling dual

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Photo by Savannah Brinson

Noah Blair for Millard West wrestled hard against his opponent Angel Mejia from Fremont. Blair was able to pin Mejia for the win, adding to the Wildcats success throughout the dual. “Overall I think our team performed great, we won our last dual of the year and I can’t wait to see what districts hold for us this weekend followed by the state next week. Of course we were happy in the moment with our win, but we came back with that winner’s mentality the next day, there’s always room for improvement and we all know it.”

Joseph Ebmeier, Staff Reporter

On Friday, Feb. 5, the Millard West Varsity Wrestling team took on the Fremont Tigers in a dual meet. Each team consisted of 14 wrestlers, who each competed only one time for their respective weight class. The wrestlers each competed in a match that consisted of three two-minute periods, making up a total of six minutes per match.

The dual began with a match in the 220-pound weight class with freshman Logan Johnson, for the Wildcats, facing off against Garrett Moser from Fremont. This was a very close matchup with Johnson being pinned right at the end of the second period. Moser earned six points for his pin, giving the Tigers an early 6-0 lead. The heavyweight match was between senior Ryan Kocovsky for Millard West and Brandon Estrada for Fremont, Kocovsky dominated the matchup and was able to win by pinning Estrada early in the second period. Kocovsky’s win gave the Wildcat’s six points as well, tying the score at six a piece. The third match of the dual was in the 106-pound weight class with freshman Brian Davis competing for the Wildcats. Davis was matched up against Danny Calderon from Fremont. Both wrestlers battled hard, and the match went all six minutes with Davis winning in the end. This put Millard West up to a 12-6 lead.

The fourth match was between freshman Enrique Haynes for the Wildcats and Joel Mahlzahn for the Tigers, in the 113-pound weight class. Towards the end of the first period, Haynes was able to pin Mahlzahn against the mat for the win; this awarded the Wildcats another six points, extending their lead to 18-6. The next match came from the 120-pound weight class with freshman Levi Buelt wrestling for Millard West and Orlando Estrada for Fremont. This was a very close battle between both wrestlers, and the match went all six minutes with Estrada winning via decision in the end. This earned Fremont three points, closing the Wildcats’ lead to only 18-9. In the 126-pound weight class, freshman Harrell Jackson for Millard West faced off against Derrick Alfaro from Fremont. Midway through the second period, Jackson was able to pin Alfaro for the win. This earned the Wildcats six more points, extending their lead 24-9.

The next match came from the 132-pound weight class with freshman Logan Gutierrez wrestling for the Wildcats. He was matched up against Felix Bernal for Fremont. Just over halfway through the first period Bernal was able to pin Gutierrez for the victory. This gave Fremont another six points, closing the Millard West lead to 24-15. The Tigers were able to close the gap yet again when Nick Gomez from Fremont was pinned freshman Isaac McIlhon from Millard West in the 138-pound weight class. The victory resulted in another six points for Fremont, giving the Wildcats a slim 24-21 lead. In the 145-pound weight class, sophomore Jackson Jeanette for Millard West was matched up against Luke Follett for Fremont. About halfway through the first period, Jeanette was able to pin Follett for the win. This gave the Wildcats a much needed six points, giving them a 30-21 lead.

I think what allowed me to win so quickly was that I was very motivated going in,” Jeanette said. “I was just motivated and put all my work from the practice room out on the mat. I think I can continue to work on bottom and be more explosive when getting out.”

In the 152-pound weight class, sophomore Joey Abbott competed for Millard West. He was matched up against Justin Leon from Fremont. Early in the third period, Leon was able to pin Abbott against the mat for the victory. This match awarded the Tigers six points, closing the Wildcat lead to 30-27. The next match came from the 160-pound weight class with senior Brecken Wallace competing for the Wildcats against the Fremont Tigers’, Mike Daldon. As the match was winding down, Wallace was able to pin Daldon for the win and score six much needed points for the Wildcats. This brought the score to 36-27, Millard West on top. The next match was supposed to happen in the 170-pound weight class, however, Millard West doesn’t have a wrestler in that weight class. This gave the Tigers a free six points, shrinking the Wildcat lead to 36-33.

After the skipped match, the 182-pound weight class was up next. The Wildcat competing was freshman Noah Blair, he was up against Angel Mejia for the Tigers. Midway through the first period Blair was able to pin Mejia against the floor for the win. This brought the score into a controlling lead for the Wildcats, by a score of 42-33. The final match of the dual was between junior Charlie Nosal for Millard West, and Benny Alfaro for Fremont. The match was a physical battle with neither wrestler being able to pin the other. In the end, Nosal was able to get the victory via a major decision. This win gave the Wildcats four more points, and it also gave them the overall victory by a score of 46-33.

“My coaches as well as teammates continue to push me to be my best self every day on and off the mat,” Blair said. “When it comes to wrestling you have to be able to flip the switch; two words that come to my mind when I step on the mat is ‘relentless attack’. Wrestling isn’t like any other sport, there are no excuses, there is only discipline. This sport has taught me to fear no one and nothing, I also just went out and did my thing.”

The Wildcats also competed Tuesday, Feb. 17 through Saturday, Feb. 20 in the State Meet at CenturyLink Center. The team carried its success from this dual into the meet and performed well.

We finished with 3 medals, head coach Scott Townsley said. “Noah Blair got 3rd, Ryan Kocovsky got 5th, and Charlie Nosal got 6th. We always want everyone to medal but sometimes it does not work that way.”

Congratulations to all the Wildcat wrestlers on a great season.