By Dave Maxwell
Special to The Ely Times
The White Pine High wrestling team will not be in a new league this year like other teams sports are, they remain a part of the 1A/2A Southern League.
Mark Dolezal, who is also the school’s athletic director, said individual sports like wrestling and track were allowed to stay in the Southern League, while the other sports, boys and girls, had to switch to the 2A Northern League.
For Dolezal, this is his second year on his third stint as Bobcats wrestling coach. “I was coach from 1994 to 2008, again from 2011-2013, and took over a third time in 2015.”
He said in 2015, “The coach left right before the season started and we didn’t have time to recruit anybody, so I stepped in again.”
The one returning place finisher from last year’s state tournament is the only senior, Monty Moore. He was runner up at 145 pounds to Vince Evenson of Pershing County. White Pine finished 12th in state with 23.5 points.
Other top returners are the Pickens brothers, Swen (junior, 160), and Eric (sophomore, 138).
“We are struggling with numbers,” Dolezal said. “It’s a rebuilding year for us, however, I expect we will be fairly solid from about 138 to 195. We’ll be competitive in those weights. I expect my top three men, Moore, and the Pickens brothers, should place at state.”
The Bobcats open this weekend with the Ely Lions Tournament. Teams expected to compete are Lincoln County, Battle Mountain JVs, Elko JVs, Eureka, West Wendover, Round Mountain, and Tonopah.
“Really,” Dolezal said, “I don’t know who might be here. No one tells me they are coming, they just show up.”
Following the Ely Lions tournament, the team has tournaments in Utah, Dec. 9-10 at Stansbury Park, about 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, and the Dixie Tournament Dec. 16-17 in St. George.
The state tournament for all classifications is slated for Spanish Springs High School in Sparks, Feb. 10-11.