Wrestling for Pahranagat Valley will be without the two seniors they expected to have on the team, leaving Coach Brad Loveday with a young team. This is the 19th season for Loveday, who said eight returning lettermen expected are Oscar Heredia (Sr.), Danny Heredia (132, Jr.), Salvador Heredia (So.), Garrett Bowen (So.), Thayne Solorio (160, Jr.), Tyler Horrocks (So.) and David Ingram (145, Jr.).
Senior Mateo Linares, a 2014 state runner-up at 195 pounds, suffered a season ending ACL injury in football, and Oscar Heredia will likely be out until January with a broken collarbone, also a football injury.
“We will be young, with sophomore and juniors, but we will work hard,” Loveday said.
Salvador Heredia, who likely will wrestle at 113 pounds, finished second in the Division III state meet last year.
“Many of the other kids, I expect good things out of them, and they are all trying to feel their way through and find out who is best at where,” said Loveday.
The school district bought a new wrestling mat for the Panthers this year, a two-sided mat that can be used for practices, then rolled up and brought out for meets as well. “We bought our own mat seven or eight years ago,” Loveday noted, “but we got it from a cheaper company and it just came apart. There is one company (Resilite Sports Products, Sunbury, Pennsylvania), that makes really good mats, and we went with them this time.”
Assistant coaches for the team will be Dominique Slone and Andy Linares, and Mateo will also be a student coach, Loveday said. “And others of our alumni, who may be in the area for a time, are also welcome to come in and help us out for a bit,” he said.
The Panthers first meet is Dec. 8 at Moapa Valley, then a dual meet with Lincoln, Indian Springs, and Agassi Prep in Alamo on Dec. 10, followed by a tournament in Parowan, Utah on Dec. 12.