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2015-16 Wrestling Capsule Previews

ARBOR VIEW

Head coach: Rusty Marchello, second season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Dalton Eickhoff (Jr.), Ryder Marchello (So.), Lawrence Vigil (Jr.), Dawson Downing (So.), Tyler Roper (So.), Mathew Alejandro (Jr.), Destry Talledo (Sr.), Alex Espinosa (Sr.)

Outlook: Alejandro was the Division I state champion at 160 pounds last season and is one of nine returning lettermen for the Aggies.

Eickhoff, Ryder Marchello, Vigil, Roper and Espinosa also competed at the state meet last season.

“We’re looking to contend for a team state title,” Rusty Marchello said.

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BASIC

Head coach: Joe LaRocco, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Two

Top wrestlers: Taylor Denney (Sr.), Blake Dennett (Sr.), Eddy Ramirez (Sr.), Vasti Bayani (Sr.)

Outlook: Denney, who probably will wrestle at 138 pounds, placed fourth in last season’s Sunrise Region meet.

The Wolves return only two lettermen, but are hoping to grow this year.

“The outlook is better,” LaRocco said. “We hope to fill out a full lineup this year.”

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BOULDER CITY

Head coach: Jim Cox, eighth season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Tyler Rushworth (Sr.), D.J. Reese (So.), Zane Dennington (So.), Garrett Leavitt (So.), Jimmy Brown (Jr.), Mike Morelli (Sr.), Bryan Foster (Jr.), Dillon Viera (Jr.), Devin Fox (Jr.), Kyle Gossard (Sr.)

Outlook: Rushworth, who probably will wrestle at 138 pounds, is a two-time state qualifier for the Eagles, who return 10 lettermen.

Among the top returnees for Boulder City, only three are seniors.

“We will be young,” Cox said. “We love to compete, and we are looking forward to the season.”

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CENTENNIAL

Head coach: Steven Wike, seventh season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Nico Antuna (So.), Ryan Pierce (Sr.)

Outlook: The Bulldogs return only five lettermen after graduating 11 seniors last year.

Antuna, who probably will wrestle at 132 pounds, finished fourth at 106 pounds in the state meet last season. Pierce (113) also was a state qualifier last season after finishing second in the Sunset Region meet and is in his fourth year on varsity.

“Centennial has a young team, hungry for experience,” Wike said. “We had a great offseason, with many young wrestlers making great gains in the weight room and on the mat.

“We are also excited to have young, dedicated wrestlers like Richard Kilgore, Preston Altman and Arath Rangel earn their varsity stripes,” added Wike, who also highlighted returnee Tucker Edwards.

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CHAPARRAL

Head coach: Bill Smales, first season

Returning lettermen: Four

Top wrestlers: Ezequiel Borrero (Sr.)

Outlook: Borrero came up just short of qualifying for state last season and is one of four returnees for the Cowboys.

“As a former Chaparral wrestler, I will be looking to rebuild the program,” Smales said. “We have 40 kids out with half of them first-year wrestlers. We’re looking to improve all season and hopefully get a few kids to state.”

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CIMARRON-MEMORIAL

Head coach: Mike Garcia, 23rd season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Johnathan Ruggeroli (Sr.), Nathaniel Garcia (Sr.), Davin Maiden (Sr.), Stanton Peay (Jr.), Jesse Saavedra (Sr.), Andres Bonifaz (Sr.), Miguel Torres (Sr.)

Outlook: Ruggeroli, who probably will wrestle at 170 pounds, and Nathaniel Garcia (195) both finished second in the Division I state meet last season.

Maiden (182) was a Sunset Region champion, and Peay (138) finished second in the region meet. Saavedra (126) also was a state qualifier last season, and veteran coach Garcia said he expects Bonifaz and Torres to have “a significant impact.

“We expect to improve over last season’s 10th place state finish, with great leadership from our senior group and plenty of young talent on the roster,” Garcia said. “These wrestlers have exhibited great work ethic in the classroom as well as on the mat.”

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CLARK

Head coach: Hunter Weller, 12th season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Robert A’Hearn (Sr.), Mervin Penninston (Sr.)

Outlook: Penningston, who probably will wrestle at 285 pounds, finished second in the Division I-A state meet last season, and A’Hearn (182) was a state qualifier. They’re two of eight lettermen back for the Chargers.

“We hope to keep building on last season’s success,” Weller said.

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DEL SOL

Head coach: Kendel Chrysler, second season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Isaiah Alexander (Sr.), Nyko Camacho (Sr.), Vishaal Hunt (Sr.), Evan Williamson (Sr.)

Outlook: Alexander, who will wrestle at 145 or 152 pounds, and Wiliamson (170) both finished in the top six in last season’s Division I-A Southern Region meet. They lead a list of five returnees that also includes Camacho (120) and Hunt (132).

“Del Sol is looking to work its way up the ranks and fight its way into a top spot,” Chrysler said. “New recruits in upper weights add depth and definition, and our returning letter winners are pursuing a state championship bid. Del Sol is battle-ready.”

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DESERT OASIS

Head coach: Jonah Montenegro, first season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Ryan Knipp (Sr.), Elisha Manago-Gasper (Sr.), Christian Montenegro (Sr.), Joey Dinger (Jr.), Timmy Cuamba (Jr.), Ty Grega (Jr.), Daniel Costa (So.)

Outlook: Knipp, who is expected to wrestle at 195 pounds, finished second in the Division I state meet last season.

Costa (106) was a fourth-place finisher in the Sunset Region meet.

They’re among eight returning lettermen for the Diamondbacks.

“Desert Oasis expects to compete with the top teams in the division and establish themselves as one of the top wrestling programs in Southern Nevada,” Montenegro said.

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DESERT PINES

Head coach: Joseph Stelletello, fifth season

Returning lettermen: Five

Top wrestlers: Eric Awa-Moppert (Sr.)

Outlook: Awa-Moppert, who probably will wrestle at 152 pounds, finished third in the Division I-A state meet last season and leads a group of five returnees for the Jaguars.

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FAITH LUTHERAN

Head coach: Tim Jeffries, third season

Returning lettermen: Nine

Top wrestlers: Steven Tarno (Jr.), Cameron Cox (Jr.), Trenton May (Sr.), Peter Enos (So.)

Outlook: Tarno, who probably will wrestle at 113 pounds, May (120) and Cox (195) all qualified for the Division I-A state meet last season and are among nine lettermen back for the Crusaders.

“Coming off one of the most successful seasons in Crusader wrestling history, this year’s Faith Lutheran wrestling team is poised to continue the progress that coach Jeffries has established with the program,” Jeffries said. “This year’s schedule includes five high-caliber tournaments.

“The entire staff is excited about the season and looks forward to future success on the mat and in the classroom.”

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FOOTHILL

Head coach: Ryan English, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Kaden Lizares (Sr.), Elyas Lizares (Sr.), Jacob Chavez (Sr.), Wyatt English (So.), Nick Bottoms (Jr.)

Outlook: Wyatt English, who finished second at 106 pounds in the Division I state meet last season, probably will wrestle at 138 pounds for a team that brings back eight lettermen.

Kaden Lizares (120), Elyas Lizares (126), Jacob Chavez (132) all return to the team after suffering injuries last season.

“I expect Foothill to be tough every year,” Ryan English said. “I am hoping for a top-five team in the state.”

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GREEN VALLEY

Head coach: Jon Ferry, 12th season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Giullian Nakamatsu (Jr.), Jared Temple (Sr.)

Outlook: The Gators have won four straight state titles, but graduated two individual state champions.

Nakamatsu, who will wrestle at 145 or 152 pounds, and Temple (195) each finished fourth in the state meet.

“We will have a lot of new faces on our varsity team this year and look to have each every one of them contribute to our team,” Ferry said. “Our expectations are that this is a new year and a new team, and that our athletes will be motivated to achieve personal and team success.”

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LAS VEGAS

Head coach: Zach Hocker, fourth season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Antonio Saldate (So.), Robby Kaempfer (Jr.), Andrew Stokes (Sr.), Nick Sablan (Jr.)

Outlook: Saldate, who is expected to wrestle at 106 pounds, won a Division I state championship last season.

Kaempfer (285) finished second in the state meet, and Stokes (145) and Sablan (126) return after qualifying for state last season.

“Our outlook is positive,” Hocker said. “We have produced wrestlers with integrity, character and a good work ethic. The only thing we expect from our team is they give their best at all times.”

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LAUGHLIN

Head coach: Douglas Fry, third season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Dan Fordham (Sr.), Jeremy Coffey (Jr.), Jonny Cabanillas (Sr.)

Outlook: Fordham, who probably will wrestle at 160 pounds, and Cabanillas (106) each finished fourth in last season’s Division III state meet. Coffey (182) placed fifth in the state meet.

They lead a list of 10 returnees for the Cougars.

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LIBERTY

Head coach: Alexander Cortez, first season

Top wrestlers: Adam Knopow (Sr.), Jake Smith (So.), Kyle Dudder (Sr.), Ryan DeDios (Sr.), Dylan Pope (Sr.), Jonathan Halk (Sr.), Jimmy Morimoto (Sr.), Jeremy Cedillo (Sr.)

Outlook: Cortez takes over a team that appears to have a strong senior class.

Dudder, who probably will wrestle at 126 pounds, Halk (138) and Cedillo (182) all finished third in the Sunrise Region meet last season. Morimoto (145) was third in the Sunrise meet in 2014. Knopow (113) was fourth in the region last season.

“We are very solid throughout the lower to middle weights, but have a lot of holes up top,” Cortez said. “Outside of our senior class, we are very inexperienced at the varsity level. However, we are optimistic about our senior class and believe they will have a lot of success.”

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LINCOLN COUNTY

Head coach: Steve Culverwell, third season, and Jim Bourne

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: William Culverwell (Sr.), Jesse Mathews (Sr.), Derek Mathews (Jr.), Zach Rowe (Jr.)

Outlook: William Culverwell, who probably will wrestle at 152 pounds, was the Division III state champion at 145 pounds last season.

Jesse Mathews (145) and Rowe (126) both finished second at the state meet last season for the Lynx, who will benefit from the return of Derek Mathews, a state champion in the 2013-14 season who missed last season’s meet because of injury.

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MOAPA VALLEY

Head coach: Tyson Houston, first season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top wrestlers: Trevor Van Vliet (Jr.), Takota Bateman (Sr.), Jimmy Watson (Sr.), Sterling Simmons (Sr.), Austin Belcher (Sr.), Trystin Deal (Sr.)

Outlook: Houston, a former state champion at Moapa Valley, takes over the Pirates’ program and inherits a team with six lettermen, but he’s far from a new face.

Both Houston and assistant Ryan Anderson, also a former state champion at Moapa Valley, have been coaching in the youth program for the last four years.

“The Pirates are looking to reinvigorate their program and use that new energy to build a wrestling dynasty akin to that of the 1990s and early 2000s when they were consistent contenders for the region and state championships,” Houston said. “Moapa Valley has six returning wrestlers who are looking to improve on their performances from last year as they mentor and motivate the newcomers.

“The administration, coaching staff and wrestlers are excited for the season and are ready to jump in and put Moapa Valley High School wrestling on the map.”

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MOJAVE

Head coach: Brad Burton, first season

Returning lettermen: Thirteen

Top wrestlers: Dai’Jon Payno (Sr.), Tariq Banks (Sr.), Don Phillips (Jr.)

Outlook: Burton takes over a team that brings back 13 lettermen.

Payno, who probably will wrestle at 195 pounds, finished third in the Division I-A state meet last season.

Banks finished third in the Southern Region meet, and Phillips placed fourth in the region last season.

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PAHRANAGAT VALLEY

Head coach: Brad Loveday, 19th season

Returning lettermen: Eight

Top wrestlers: Oscar Heredia (Sr.), Danny Heredia (Jr.), Salvador Heredia (So.), Garrett Bowen (So.), Thayne Solorio (Jr.), Tyler Horrocks (So.), David Ingram (Jr.)

Outlook: Salvador Heredia, who probably will wrestle at 113 pounds, finished second in the Division III state meet last season.

Oscar Heredia (120) and Danny Heredia (138) each finished third in the Southern Region meet last season, and Bowen (160), Solorio (170) and Horrocks (285) all finished fourth in the region.

The Panthers were dealt a blow with the loss of senior Mateo Linares, who was a state runner-up last year, to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Oscar Heredia probably will be out until January with a broken collarbone.

“We will be young, but we will work hard,” Loveday said.

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RANCHO

Head coach: Alex Cardy, first season

Returning lettermen: Twelve

Top wrestlers: Jeffrey Camal (Sr.), Ishmael Dojaquez (Sr.), Josh Eagan (Jr.) Elvis Txlaca (Jr.), Joe Booker (Jr.), Jason Ortiz (Sr.), Alex Arnone (Jr.), Alejandro Ordonez (Sr.), Bailey Davis (Sr.)

Outlook: Cardy takes over a team that has plenty of varsity experience as it hopes to improve on last season’s eighth-place finish in the Sunrise Region meet.

“We have 12 returning letter winners from the previous year and have high expectations for the season,” Cardy said.

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SHADOW RIDGE

Head coach: Gus Gledhill, ninth season, and Ted Johnson

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: Alika Villiatora (Jr.), Brent Burleson (Sr.), Jacob Rivas (Sr.), Jamison Rand (Jr.), Kevin Henry (Sr.), Tyler Carter (Sr.), Gabe Luna (Sr.)

Outlook: Villiatora, who probably will wrestle at 126 pounds, and Burleson (138) each won a Sunset Region title and finished fourth in the Division I state meet last season.

Henry (195) and Carter (220) finished second in the Sunset meet, and Rivas (152) and Rand (145) each placed fourth for the Mustangs, who bring back 10 lettermen.

“We just hope to be able to keep pace with the big boys in the conference,” Gledhill said. “We are going to be a mix of youth with some veterans in the lineup, so we are going to have to work hard if we want to be in it at the end of the season.”

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SILVERADO

Head coach: Vernon Schultz, second season

Returning lettermen: Ten

Top wrestlers: R.J. Berdiago (Sr.), Steve Delgado (Sr.), Sean Murphy (Sr.), Dylan Brooks (Sr.), Garrett Chanice (Sr.), Dean Doss (Sr.), T. Jay Givens (Sr.)

Outlook: The Skyhawks bring back 10 lettermen and hope to improve on their eighth-place showing in last season’s Sunrise Region meet.

“We will have a good mix of freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors,” Schultz said. “With 10 returning letter winners and good depth, the Skyhawks will be competitive at all weights.”

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SPRING VALLEY

Head coach: Fred Meyer, 12th season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top wrestlers: Tyler Nishi-Rivera (Jr.), Marlon Decoud (Sr.), Zac Pakulak (Sr.)

Outlook: Usually one of the more competitive programs in the state, Spring Valley returns six lettermen.

Decoud, who probably will wrestle at 138 pounds, and Pakulak (170) both finished fifth in the Division I-A state meet last season.

“Decoud has improved a great deal and will be tough to beat in 2016,” Meyer said. “Pakulak has worked hard to improve his skills and will challenge for the state championship.”

Nishi-Rivera finished fifth in the Southern Region meet last season, and Meyer expects him to challenge for state honors.

“We are looking to place among the top five in Division I-A,” Meyer said.

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TONOPAH

Head coach: Duffy Otteson, fifth season

Top wrestlers: Tanner Otteson (Jr.), Tristan Otteson (Sr.), Kekoa Elliott (Sr.), Jamaree Earl (Sr.)

Outlook: The Muckers should fill nearly every weight class, but are young with seven freshmen and two sophomores on the roster.

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VALLEY

Head coach: Chris Armstrong, first year

Returning lettermen: Seven

Top wrestlers: Ulises Munguia (Sr.), Isaac Sanchez (Jr.), Stefan Cardenias (Jr.), Donnell Samuel (Sr.), Paul Hutter (Sr.), Leeland Crawford (So.)

Outlook: Armstrong shifts to Valley from Bonanza and inherits a team with seven returning lettermen.

Munguia, who probably will wrestle at 106 pounds, qualified for the state meet last season.

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WESTERN

Head coach: Mark Seglin, sixth season

Returning lettermen: Six

Top wrestlers: Luis Lopez (Sr.), Diego Ortiz (So.), Randel Rivera (Jr.), Jeramiah Walker (Jr.), Jenny Hernandez (Sr.)

Outlook: Lopez, who probably will wrestle at 145 pounds, won a Division I-A state title last season and leads a group of six returnees for Western.

“We are really looking forward to a great season and qualifying at least five to state this year, with Luis Lopez leading the way,” Seglin said. “We area also hoping that Jenny Hernandez is going to be the first female wrestler for Western to go to state.

“We will give everyone a run for their money as every year we only get stronger, and we are building a solid wrestling program.”

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