Vencer claims freshman state wrestling title at 138 poundsBy: Staff Report
The NorCal Wrestling Academy sent a handful of Vista del Lago High School wrestlers to Fresno over the weekend to compete in the California USA Wrestling grade level folkstyle state championships.
Freshman Ney Vencer (138 lbs.) had a spectacular run to reach the finals. After recovering from an exhausting 9-5 win in the first round, Vencer pinned his next three opponents to make the championship match. In the championship round, Vencer handed his opponent a 10-0 decision, holding complete control throughout the match to earn his first California USA wrestling freshman championship.
“I wasn't expecting to get first,” Vencer said. “I was hoping to get top-eight, but as I started to win, I had first set in my eyes and I really wanted the bear trophy. When I won, I was extremely happy and had the biggest smile on my face. It felt awesome.”
Junior Evan Shelley (145 lbs.) this season’s 138-pound Sierra Valley Conference champion, sought to establish his run for the 2014 CIF State Championship. Shelley opened the tournament with a 32-second pin and then earned a 12-4 major decision in the second round.
Shelley then lost in the quarterfinals, but took his frustration out on the rest of his opponents, reeling off four straight pins less than a minute into each match to place third.
Freshman Dalton Boyer (113 lbs.) had an impressive run with three consecutive wins to make the semifinals at the freshman level. Unfortunately, he then lost to the eventual tournament winner; sending him to consolation rounds for a final (3-3) record and sixth-place finish.
Vista wrestling coach Frank Richmond runs the NorCal Wrestling Academy, providing postseason training for youth, grade school and high school wrestlers seeking to improve their skills and meet future goals. Based on their finishes, Vencer, Shelley and Boyer have benefited from their time with the academy.
“Seeing these athletes come to this tournament wanting to do well, but not knowing what to expect, and then watching them excel one match at a time was an awesome experience,” Coach Ney Vencer Sr. said. “They supported each other and they all did amazing. Having three out of five get to the podium was great. We had a blast.”