Kotey brings company

Placer graduate and Nevada boxing captain brings teammates to Newcastle gym for weekend sparring
By: Eric J. Gourley, Journal Sports Writer
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As a club team with no direct school funding, the University of Nevada-Reno boxing squad doesn’t always get the opportunity to travel to out-of-area gyms in search of challenging practice competition. A half dozen Wolf Pack boxers enjoyed a unique experience over the weekend at Ringside Gym in Newcastle, joining team captain and Placer High graduate Ryan Kotey during a trip home to visit family between semesters. The boxers sparred with locals Javier Martinez, Edwin Guerra, Grant Allen, Taylor Edwards and Nick Riera, who are all preparing for the Golden Gloves tournament in Vacaville next month. “It’s very rare we leave our gym to get other sparring,” Kotey said. “Occasionally other guys will come to spar at our gym, but this was excellent work. My coaches up here are hoping to make it more of a regular thing.” Kotey and the Wolf Pack are gearing up for their first home fight on Jan. 30 at Reno’s El Dorado Hotel and Casino. Kotey, who has won consecutive national championships, played football for the Hillmen and didn’t get into boxing until midway through high school, when he hooked up with Ringside owner Greg Kirkpatrick. “I’ve always come home and worked out with Greg,” Kotey said. “He helps tune me up and get me ready to go. He’s been a very big part of my boxing career. This weekend really worked out for everybody.” After losing his first fight in New York last year, Kotey went undefeated the rest of the season. He heads a Wolf Pack squad that returns five fighters. “We’re pretty strong,” Kotey said. “Things have been going really well. I’d like to win the title again at 156 pounds, but on a new level I would like to take first place as a team in our national tournament.”