When the competitors in the final matches of the Class 3A Southern Region wrestling tournament were announced Saturday, it seemed half of the Western High gym was filled with Boulder City Eagles.
The region title was clearly theirs to lose.
The Eagles were part of 11 of the 14 final matches Saturday, claiming four individual champions, and cruised to the team championship with a final score of 290½ points.
This is Boulder City’s first region title since 2013.
Virgin Valley was second with 201½ points, as Boulder City extended its 76-point lead after the first day of the tournament. Mojave (143), Cheyenne (129) and Pahrump Valley (105) rounded out the top five finishers.
“We felt confident,” Boulder City coach Jim Cox said. “We were just worried about doing our game. We weren’t worried about other things. I think that helps a lot. We were just focused on the process not results. Just focus on our wrestling, that’s all that matters.”
D.J. Reese (126 pounds), Octavian Trumbo (145), Jimmy Dunagan (152) and Ryan Vanario (195) all claimed individual titles for Boulder City. The Eagles will send 16 wrestlers to the state championships next week at Spanish Springs High in Sparks.
After the final match, Cox was announced as the Class 3A Coach of the Year.
“It’s nice. I’m flattered,” he said. “But at the same time it doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. There’s other things I enjoy rather than getting awards.”
One of those things is seeing his wrestlers compete.
“That’s what matters the most. The team bonding and all that stuff is more important than any award,” Cox said.
The mindset for Boulder City appears to be the same as it moves on to state.
“We’re just going to control what we can control and worry about getting better,” Cox said.
Defending state champions Ty Smith (120) and Jacob Baird (132) of Virgin Valley and Don Phillips (220) of Mojave all claimed region titles and will defend their crowns at the state tournament next week.
Phillips took down Boulder City’s Devin Fox one minute and 17 seconds into the first period forcing Fox to land on his right arm. Fox appeared to be in some pain and was unable to finish the match, declaring Phillips the winner by default.
“I really wanted someone to challenge me in the finals,” he said. “Last year it was super hard for me to get it. This year I think he kind of played it off with the injury thing. I’m not in his body, so I guess I can’t really tell.”
Phillips looks forward to more competition at the state tournament.
“I’m just going to ball out the best I can,” he said.
2A SOUTHERN REGION
Dillan Christianson-Lopez of Tonopah needed 1:29 to pin his opponent in the 113-pound championship match and help the Muckers capture the team title at Ely.
Christianson-Lopez was one of three individual champions for Tonopah, joining Freddy Lopez (220) and Jordon Berkowitz (285).
The Muckers scored 153 points to edge West Wendover (145) and Spring Mountain (136).
Christian Monroy (120) and Jermaine Leavy (126) won their title matches by pin for Spring Mountain.
Contact reporter Bill Slane at email@example.com or 702-380-4559. Follow @bill_slane on Twitter.