Clinton Garvin’s accomplishments on a high school wrestling mat are undeniable.
The sturdy senior is a two-time state champion and a four-time region titleholder and has helped Boulder City to four of its five consecutive region titles.
Despite those achievements, Garvin, who boasts a career record of 160-20, feels a heavy weight bearing down on him entering the Division I-A state tournament, which begins at 2:30 p.m. today at the Reno Livestock Events Center.
“I think we’re going to do very well as a team, but I want to get that (individual) three-peat because I’ll be the first kid in 25 years to do it,” Garvin said. “It’s something on my shoulders that I have to carry. I don’t want to be the kid that wins two titles, then loses it his senior year.”
Garvin will attempt to become the first Eagle since Torri Clemens (1986 to 1988) to win three straight state championships. At the Southern Region tournament Feb. 2, he claimed the 120-pound title with a 7-4 win over Virgin Valley’s Juan Dominguez in a hotly contested bout. Both could meet again in the state final.
“It should be me and Juan again,” said Garvin, who is 31-3 this season. “But I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about me and how I’m going to perform.”
Boulder City coach Kevin Ruth said Garvin’s dedication has paid dividends in his postseason success.
“He’s the first one in the room; he works hard and is strictly business,” Ruth said. “He takes every match, no matter who he’s wrestling, very seriously. He doesn’t look past anybody, and that’s what has helped him be so successful these last four years.”
The Eagles are aiming to improve on their third-place finish in last season’s Class 3A tournament. Boulder City hasn’t won a state championship since 1986, but Ruth said he thinks depth could play a critical role in the team’s title hopes.
“Last year’s team, we had four horses — really good kids who we thought could get into the finals and have a real good chance to win it,” Ruth said. “This year, I really feel like 10 of the guys can place or win a bunch of matches.”
Along with Garvin, Boulder City will count on region winners Brandon Foster (195) and Jeremiah Rodriguez (138), as well as two key seniors in Ronald Mortensen (106) and Billy Viera (160).
“In order for us to take first, all the guys that lose a match need to wrestle-back for third,” Foster said. “That’s what wins state titles. That’s what’s going to win our state title this year.”
Ruth said Foster, a senior and state champion at 220 last season, should contend for a title again.
“Brandon has worked harder the last four years than anyone I’ve coached in the last 17 years,” Ruth said. “He was a little butterball his freshman year who had some skills, but he didn’t really have a work ethic to go with it ... His work ethic has matched Clinton Garvin’s this year, for sure.”