Moapa Valley Progress
The Moapa Valley High School sent five wrestlers to the state championship tournament last weekend at Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, NV. Competing for the Pirates this year were Jorge Cervantes, Zachary Anderson, Christian Riordan, Gavin Henrie and Trevor Van Vliet.
Capping off a remarkable season, Pirate senior Trevor Van Vliet brought home the Nevada State Championship in his weight class.
Van Vliet went into the meet as the number one seed from the south. He faced off against Isiah Stinson from Cheyenne High School in the first round of the tournament and pinned him 32 seconds into the second period.
Van Vliet then faced Carl Hansen from Elko High School in his semifinal match. Trevor completely dominated Hansen winning by technical fall (18-3) at 1:42 into the second period.
This win over Hansen put Trevor into the finals where he would face Matt Goings from Churchill County. Trevor had had his sights on Goings since seeing him in the Spring Creek Tournament earlier in the season. But had never yet had the chance to wrestle him..
“Trevor was confident the two of them would meet in the state finals match,” commented MVHS Assistant Coach Ryan Anderson. “He was prepared.”
The match began with Trevor taking multiple shots and Goings either defending them or both wrestlers ending up out of bounds before either could score. The second period began with no score and Goings chose the bottom position. He earned an early escape to go up 1-0. But Trevor’s conditioning set in and he quickly scored a takedown to go ahead 2-1. Goings was able to escape again to tie it up. However, Trevor scored another late takedown at the end of the period to go ahead 4-2.
Trevor chose the bottom position in the third period, knowing Goings was exhausted and could not hold him down. Van Vliet had some difficulty getting out from the bottom. But once he did, he scored a 2 point reversal putting him in a great position with a 6-2 lead in the third.
Goings was unwilling to concede, however, and score another escape to bring the match to 6-3.
With very little time left, Goings went into desperation mode and tried to take Trevor down multiple times unsuccessfully.
The match ended 6-3 for Van Vliet. The gym erupted with cheering from Pirate fans.
“Even the Virgin Valley High School team, who have grown to love and respect Trevor as the season has gone by, were cheering,” Anderson said.
It has been 6 years since the Pirates last brought home a state champion wrestler.
“Trevor fought like a champ the entire season and wrestled like a champ when it counted most,” Anderson said. “We couldn’t be prouder of him for all his hard work and dedication. He truly is a special young man and athlete.”
MVHS senior, Christian Riordan won the 2nd place silver medal in his class at the tournament. Riordan went to Sparks as the number one seed from the south, having placed first in regionals.
In the first round, Riordan faced Akil West from Mojave High School. He and pinned West 1:39 into the first period.
Riordan then wrestled Avery Aranas from Sparks High School in the semifinals. Neither wrestler scored in the first period. Aranas chose the bottom position in the second period and got a quick escape for 1 point. He then took Christian down to put him down 3-0.
Christian was able to score an escape of his own before the end of the second period putting him down 3-1 going into the third.
Christian chose the bottom position and earned a penalty point bringing the score to 3-2. Riordan then escaped from the bottom to tie the match up at 3-3 with only seconds left.
Both wrestlers were tired in the final seconds. But with less than 20 seconds left, Christian dug deep and scored a takedown to win the match 5-3 and place himself in the state finals.
There he would meet Dylan Fuchs from Spring Creek. Unfortunately Dylan had the better day and ended up beating Christian.
Still the MVHS coaching staff were proud of the hard work and dedication Christian put into the season.
“Winning the silver medal in the state championship tournament is an amazing feat,” Anderson said. “Great job, Christian!
Cervantes, Anderson and Henrie each wrestled hard at the tournament, but fell short of placing in the state tournament.
“They all made huge strides this year and have bright futures ahead of them in the sport,” Anderson said.
The wrestlers were given a heroes welcome on their return to the community on Sunday night. Fire department and Metro police vehicles met them near I-15 and escorted them through town with celebratory sirens blasting.
The evening ended with an enthusiastic crowd greeting the team members in the courtyard of MVHS. There the new state champion, Van Vliet, rang the victory bell for the Pirates as the crowd sang the school Fight Song.