Spartan wrestlers end 2017 with bang at Freeman Winter Classic

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(Photo courtesy JESSE HELLINGER) Manuel Naccarato earned third place at the Freeman Winter Classic Dec. 30.

ROCKFORD, Wash. — Amidst multiple Spartans placing in their respective weight classes, Manuel Naccarato of the Priest River Lamanna High School wrestling team took third place at the Freeman Winter Classic Dec. 30. Head coach Jesse Hellinger said his performance was top-notch.

“Naccarato had the fastest pin of the tournament and season -- 11 seconds!”

Truxton Wilson also had a great tournament, said Hellinger, with a fourth place finish in the 170 weight class. Larry Naccarato placed sixth in his first appearance of the season after a non-sports related injury earlier in the school year. Hellinger said, “Larry was a little rusty but sure nice to see him back competing.”

Devin Nesser finished fourth and is an up-and-coming wrestler in 113, said Hellinger. Graden Hanes finished third in the 106 weight class, while Riley DeMent finished sixth in the 138 weight class.

The Spartans overall had a poor 11th-place finish at Freeman, said Hellinger. The head coach attributed the team’s disappointing finish in part to missing two state placers. However, Hellinger said he was pleased to see two sophomores and a freshman wrestling for third place in the tournament. It was proof that the coaching staff’s primary focus on the wrestlers’ development is paying dividends.

The Spartans will next wrestle at Cheney High School’s tough Blackhawk Invite on Saturday.

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