At 4:00 am on Saturday morning, a group of nine wrestlers and their coaches left Mesquite with a dream of becoming State Champions. Surrounded by a police escort and a few faithful fans they headed down a dimly lit highway into an approaching sunrise to battle with the best from across the state. This trip was the culmination of a year and a half of obstacles attributed to COVID 19. Reviving the wrestling program was a top focus for coaches, Skyler Woods, Jeremy Woods, Scott Woods, and Brian Poole. Some of the struggles they faced were cancellation of wrestling season in the 2020-2021 school year, no contact orders, weekly COVID testing, and injuries. This year, the students also missed out on opportunities to face off with their foes. Two of the largest tournaments normally attended became victims of the COVID 19 fallout and were canceled this year.
Meeting the challenges head-on, the coaches were able to support these wrestlers in taking 6th place in the 3A division. Two members of the team, Peanut Workman and Cutler Crandall stood on the top podium spot for their weight classes. Peanut Workman, a senior, wrestled in the 152 lb. weight class. This season, he had to overcome a broken collar bone injury he received in the football state championship game. Although he wasn’t able to wrestle most of the season, he still attended practices and supported his teammates. In the end, he was able to get healthy and come back to establish himself as a state champion. Coming from a long tradition of Woods/Crandall family wrestling state champions, junior Cutler Crandall, wrestled in the 170 lb. weight class. During the football season, he was injured and had to have elbow surgery. A slow and healthy recovery put him back on his path to being a champion. For both of these athletes, the last full year of wrestling was during their sophomore year in 2019 before Clark County School District transitioned to Distance Education.
In addition to the two state champions, three more Bulldogs placed at the tournament. Martin Jordan (160), a junior, placed 3rd, Jacob Dominguez (182), a junior, placed 4th, and Gavyn Baird (120), a sophomore, placed 3rd. Also competing at the NIAA State Championship Wrestling Tournament was Sam Woods (132), Ruben Silveyra (138), Dominic Piazza (195), and Decker Lee (126). The coaches are proud of the entire team. They represented the school and community well while demonstrating dependability, hard work, and good sportsmanship.
The coaches want to express their appreciation to several community volunteers, the athletes and their families for making this an enjoyable season. They would also like to recognize the efforts and support of the Virgin Valley High School Administrators. Coach Brian Poole summarized by saying “Working together is the best way to make this a memorable and positive experience for these athletes.”