On paper, it was supposed to be one of the best duals of the season.
After needing a win in the final match last year to preserve nearly a decade-long league dual winning streak, Spanish Springs went to McQueen on Wednesday night for a rematch. This team has plans that go beyond league and regional titles. It showed.
The four-time defending regional champion Cougars rolled to a resounding 57-18 victory. The win extended Spanish Springs’ league dual winning streak to 56 and provided a big step towards a 10th consecutive league title.
However, the win was not about where the team stacks up in the High Desert League or 4A North at large. Instead, perhaps, it provided validation that the Cougars are ready to make a run at their first state title.
“One of the things we talked about was, obviously, we put in a lot of work. But if we think we’re the type of team that can compete for a state title, then we should come in and do our job,” Spanish Springs coach Joe Imelli said. “That doesn’t take anything away from McQueen. That’s a heck of a program … I told the kids just stay focused and do what we can do.
“I was pleased. I really was.”
The Cougs won 10 of the 14 matches, including nine pins.
Anthony Sissom (106), Nick Poalillo (126), James Daniels (132), Joey McKay (132), Cole Drescher (160), Colby Preston (170), Logan Klonicke (182), Killian Hurley (220) and Tyler Barats (285) all won their matches by pin.
Corey Sego (120) won his match on points, 4-3.
The most dominant performance came from Sissom, a freshman. The 106-pounder needed just 22 seconds pin his first league opponent.
“What a way to start to your high school career for duals,” Imelli said. “There was no playing around. He was all excited about it, which was nice. You don’t see a lot of emotion from him.”
The Cougars will wrestle in a few non-league tournaments over the next month before hosting North Valleys on Jan. 4 for the second league dual of the season.
“We have a lot of room growth,” Imelli said. “But we’re definitely in a good starting position.”
Raiders win first league dual of season at North Valleys
Reed started its league season on Wednesday night with a 43-27 league dual victory at North Valleys.
Josh Berryman (126), Alex Wells (138), Brayden Murdock (145), Tim Eubanks (195) and Randy Nemedez all pinned their opponents.
Reigning state champion Izzy Casarez (160) won his match by technical fall.
Michael Meir (120), Alex Casarez (132) and Mariah Ortiz (106) won on points.
Reed coach Mike Klapp said Ortiz’s win was the match of the night.
The Raiders will wrestle their second league dual of the season after the new year, on Jan. 4, at home against Reno.