Ely Times Staff Writer
White Pine High School wrestling coach Mike Gamberg has had a “bumpy” season so far for his team.
“In 22 years, this one has been the bumpiest,” Gamberg said.
He has had to dismiss seven athletes from the team, the “most ever” in his career in one season. Four of his wrestlers didn’t travel to Yerington for the team’s last meet due to academic reasons and one more missed the trip because of injury.
“We are coming down to where we should be gelling and peaking and we haven’t done that,” he said.
Gamberg said the team started the season strong, wrestling to good finishes in their trip to Idaho and two trips to Utah. Yet the wheels have fallen off in the past couple of weeks.
“We’ve struggled for the last two weeks,” Gamberg said. “For whatever reason our kids have fallen apart so to speak.”
The meet at Yerington did not yield success, with the team failing to make it to top two after wrestling three duels.
Gamberg said leaving so many wrestlers behind left the team in a bad spot to compete.
“We didn’t match up very well so we had a rough go of it,” Gamberg said.
In a practice before the team’s final regular season meet, Gamberg sat his wrestlers down and wanted to get “everything out in the open” to try and find out what the problem was.
He doesn’t want to see the team’s upcoming meet this weekend at Indian Springs, which seeds individual wrestlers for divisions, to go the same way as Yerington.
“It has just been one thing after another for us this year. It is uncommon for us because we are usually pretty dedicated over the year. You practice like you play,” Gamberg said, but then clarified, “I won’t say it is a lack of dedication, it’s just a lack of focus.”
There have been some standout individuals on the team that Gamberg said he expects to have a shot in divisions this year.
“Joe Pauley, Emitt Finicum, Monty Moore, Christopher Gamberg and Joe Ashby have been my standouts all year long,” Gamber said. “The five guys that I named I think will do real well but any of our guys could still go out there and win the division.”
Ultimately Gamberg thinks the team still has a shot to go all the way, it just won’t be as smooth sailing as years past.
“We don’t run an easy program, we never had. It is a tribute to the fact that we have won four division championships,” Gamberg said. “In the past four years, we have won pretty handily. This year it is just going to be more of a challenge.”