ELKO – The Spring Creek Spartans’ wrestling team is working toward team and individual wrestling goals, entering the season as the defending state champion program.
The Spartans lost state champion Sheldon Wilkinson, state runner-up Brennan Reese, fourth-place finisher Drake Kennedy and state qualifier Bayley Porreca.
The Spartans have high standards of excellence to meet after their 15-1 dual meet record, and holding all three titles of dual, regional, and state champions last year.
The Spartans have a total of nine senior wrestlers, twelve juniors, thirteen sophomores and thirteen freshmen on the team for their 2017-2018 winter season.
“We always focus on our individual wrestlers to see what they can do to improve each day,” said Spartans’ wrestling coach Wade Pehrson. “If they give one percent more per practice, over 50 practices that is 50-percent improvement.”
Spring Creek High School accepts any athlete willing to put in the time and hard work to be a wrestler for the Spartans. The Spartans plan to focus on the basics from their individual weight-class plans for fitness to their techniques.
“Currently, we are getting into the shape for wrestling,” said Pehrson. “We will continue to focus on our individual technique from defense, to footwork, working from a bottom situation, and breaking down the skills that work with each wrestler to form their best plan of attack.”
The Spartans are a mighty force to face, as all seven returning state qualifiers either won state championships or were runners-up at the state level of competition.
The key wrestlers to observe this season are state champion Dyllan Fuchs, state runners-up Anthony Chavez and K-Ci Slade, and fourth-place finishers Kodis Campbell, Riley Fuchs, Josh Tripp and Caden Constable.
New to the squad of 43 wrestlers across the grades are freshmen Chase Milligan, Bear Browne, Q Boyd and Beau Chacon. They will have to earn their keep on the wrestling team by committing to their practices and devotion to improving their skills as a versatile athlete throughout the season.
“We know there are better teams out there, so we have to keep improving each season,” said Pehrson.
Pehrson believes with the right amount of practice and improvement that the Spartans will return to the state level this season.
Spring Creek is competing Friday and Saturday at the Buck’s Bag Duals in Boise, Idaho.