Pahranagat coach Brad Loveday said he was contacted by Vegas coach Zach Hocker some time ago and they were able to set a date and time. “It’s just to have fun,” he said. “To get the kids on the mat and think about wrestling.”
Hocker said his dad, Vegas assistant coach Scott Hocker, originally presented the idea, and through various contacts, he and Zach were able to bring 19 wrestlers and a few parents up from Vegas. “A way to make a little road trip, a little one day deal, get the kids out of Vegas and wrestle some good wrestlers.” Zach said his boys also thought it would be a fun thing to do. “They have not heard of Alamo. Pahranagat Valley High School, yes, but where is Alamo? They thought it was in Texas.”
Hocker said two of the men he brought were “varsity wrestlers from last year who went to state, as well as those who have been coming to our off-season practices.”
Pahranagat had about 11 men turn out. The wrestlers paired up with one another, usually in the same weight class and went through a series of one-minute rounds, then switched to another person. At times, the coaches had them wrestler others from their own teams, and another time, Loveday told the boys to just pick the person you want, whether he is bigger than you or not.
Most the time, the wrestlers were paired based on weight, age and skill levels, a good time for each to learn from the other.
Loveday said he was excited to have the scrimmage, “because we’ve never had a team that wanted to drive this far away from Vegas to do it, and spend a couple of hours.”
Scott Hocker said it was really all about getting out of town with the kids. “It’s only 90 minutes away and gives everyone a chance to be competitive in a live situation against kids that they would never normally see.”
An interesting matchup that happened a few times, was Pahranagat’s Mateo Linares, 2015 Division III state runner up at 195, and Las Vegas’ Robbie Kaempfer, Division I state runner-up at 205. Each man held his own with the other.
Kaempfer said Alamo were “really tough guys and I appreciate their coming out here. They did kick my butt a little bit, but I learned something, always looking to improve.”
Linares said it was also good, “to have an off-season workout to get us ready for next season. It was definitely a fun time, because I haven’t wrestled since state in February.”
As the scrimmage concluded, Zach Hocker said he was very impressed with what he saw from both teams. “I am glad we got so many out on a Saturday on their own time and how well they did.”
It is hoped if the scrimmage is done next year, Lincoln County will also be able to attend.