Matthew Shepard

Wrestler Matthew Shepard works to get out of a hold during a match. The Cougar wrestlers are sending five to state competition Feb. 9.


LAUGHLIN — The Cougar wrestling team is sending five of their own to the state competition on Feb. 9 in Las Vegas.

Micah Dagley, Josh Mattson, Gilbert Mendez, Matthew Shepard and Tyrell Gonzalez are heading to state at the end of the week.

Dagley finished fourth in the 138 weight class. He earned 11 team points with two loses, a win and one bye. He got out of the semi-consolation round with a win by fall over Logan Burndhart, of Indian Springs. He lost to Patrick Smith of Spring Mountain but still ended up with the fourth place win.

Mattson, a senior, competes in the 152 weight class. He racked up 12 team points with a couple of wins and a couple of loses. Mattson placed fourth in regionals, also coming out of the semi-consolation round.

Mendez also placed fourth in the 182 weight class with nine team points. He had a bye to start, lost to White Pine’s Zeke Vinson but rebounded with a win by major decision over Kodi Cook of West Wendover. He lost the third place match to William Hubbard of Spring Mountain.

Shepard, a senior, placed fourth in regionals with 10 team points in the 220 weight class. He had a bye followed by a loss to Jorge Chamorro of White Pine. He battled back and beat Lisandro Cervantes, of West Wendover, but lost in the third place match to Tayt Leavitt of Pahranagat Valley.

Gonzalez placed fourth with seven team points. Gonzalez lost both of his matches but earned points to move onto state. Gonzalez competes in the 285 weight class.

Coach Doug Fry said it was disappointing for Isaiah Johnson and Damien Chidester to miss state this year. They both worked really hard but came up a bit short, Fry added.

He said he was pleased with their performances and am looking to see great things.

“I feel that our wrestlers have gained a lot of experience and have grown this year,” Fry said. “I look forward to seeing the underclassmen continue to improve and grow,” he added.

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