With more than 3,000 wrestlers in more than 40 different divisions, the World of Wrestling Championship wrestling tournament is arguably one of the largest younger-than-18 wrestling tournaments in the nation.
Jef Hatch / Curry Coastal Pilot 58-pounder Josh Hannan controls the wrists of his opponent Adam Drew of Las Vegas during his first match in Reno, Nev. on Friday.
The last stop of the trinity of tournaments that include The Kick Off tournament and the Tulsa National wrestling tournament, both in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the WoW tournament draws wrestlers — ages 4 to 18 — from as far away as Hawaii, Alaska and Connecticut.
While it isn’t a six-hour plane trip with multiple layovers, the drive from Brookings to Reno is plenty far enough for the three Brookings wrestlers who were able to make the trip this year.
“It isn’t too bad a drive,” Tony Hannan, father to two of the wrestlers said. “What kills us is the stops. If we could drive straight through, we could make it in seven-and-a-half-hours but we have to make the stops.”
For the wrestlers — brothers 18-year old Cole and 9-year old Josh Hannan, and 11-year old Nate Bond — the trip seemed to be slightly longer because they were all trying to maintain their weight until weigh-ins took place.
“It sucks not being able to eat,” Josh said. “I can’t wait until weigh-ins.”
All three of the wrestlers made weight without any problems, making personal trainer and coach Juan Ortega’s job easier.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “It makes my job way easier. I don’t have to take them running when they make weight.”
Ortega has been a wrestling coach for 36 years and has been working with BHHS and the Brookings Youth wrestling programs for the last four years.
For Nate’s parents, Jessie and Leanna Bond, it was a relief to have their son make weight. “It’s such a relief,” Leanna said. “Now we don’t have to worry about it and we can enjoy the tournament.”
With the first rounds of the tournament completed for the 12 and younger weight groups, Nate and Josh Hannan faced their opponents in the early session.
Ninety-pounder Nate opened the tournament with a bye and headed into his second match nervous, but with confidence.
“It’s still nerve wracking because the match didn’t happen but I should be OK.”
His opponent, Joel Chavez of Washington, was also confident.
Nate began the match wrestling well, shooting for takedowns — but was unable to score any more points than a 1-point escape early in the match; he lost 1-7 in three periods.
Nate’s second match followed shortly after the first and he lost 0-7 to Aidan Belvan of California.
Despite the losses, Nate was optimistic for next year.
“It was worth it,” he said. “I got to have fun and get some experience. I’m going to work harder next year and try and win more.”
For 58-pounder Josh, the start of the day was much the same, with a first-round bye and a second-round loss.
Josh was taken down quickly with a roll in the first period but refused to give up any back points and was behind 0-2 in the first.
Josh was able to ride his opponent, Adam Drew of Las Vegas, through the full second period without giving up any points as well, but with 10 seconds remaining in the third he was rolled to his back and pinned.
Time ran out in the first session before Josh could wrestle his next match and so he will continue his drive for tournament hardware today at 8 a.m.
The oldest member of the group, 145-pounder Cole, wrestled Friday night but results were not available by the time the Pilot went to press. Look for a full update in Wednesday’s edition of the Pilot.