Placer wrestling beats Bear River in PVL finale

Hillmen must wait to find out who wins league title
By: Trevor Horn / Special to the Journal
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Placer wrestling head coach Don Packheiser has a simple motto:  “You can’t beat everybody, but you can pin anybody.”
And on senior night where nine Hillmen were honored before Placer’s final Pioneer Valley League dual match, that’s exactly what Placer did en route to a 61-15 victory over Bear River on Thursday night at Earl Crabbe Gym.
Down 9-7 going into the 132-pound match, senior Gama Gomez pinned Jordan Somervill  with 15.9 seconds left in the first period, setting off seven consecutive pins for Placer as the Hillmen reeled off 52 unanswered points.
“On paper, it didn’t come out this way, it came out as a very close match,” Packheiser said. “Bear River always comes to wrestle against us. So did I expect this? Of course. I always expect it as a coach — but did I feel this was going to be the outcome?”
The emotional head coach was left speechless knowing what that outcome could mean for a PVL title for Placer.
Coming into Thursday’s match, the Hillmen were in a four-way tie at 2-1 with Center, Foothill and Lincoln.
And with Thursday being the final PVL dual for Placer, the Hillmen knew with a win, they would still have to wait out finales for the other three schools next week to see who wins the league title. 
Placer will finish no worse than second place, and only if it ends up in a two-way tie with Center for first place. Placer’s lone loss came to Center.
Any other combination of the four schools will go down to total team points scored in league duals.
So any added points will help Placer’s title chances.
“Pretty much we will be first unless something crazy happens in some other duel,” Packheiser said.
And on a night when five seniors won by pin fall, it was underclassmen Will Thornton’s pin at 182 pounds that had his head coach excited.
“Thornton beat their beast. Thornton won against a guy that went to day two of Tim Brown,” Packheiser said.
Thornton defeated Brent Wenger, who finished eighth at the Tim Brown Memorial on Saturday.
Josh Mason won an 11-1 major decision for Placer at 126 pounds over Trevor Bisagno. After Gomez won with a pin at 132, Mike Valdez won by forfeit at 138.
Following that Hayden Mills (145), Mason Lenover (160), Myles Lenover (170), Thornton, Ryan Talley (195) and Zach Steagall (285) all won by pin fall as did Brenden Packheiser at 152, who was excited to get a win at home to finish off the regular season after pinning Nick Fischer in just 17 seconds.
“It was a lot of fun,” Brendan Packheiser said. “I just wanted to have a great time because it was the last time we were going to get to do this for all of the seniors. It is what it is, but I am happy with how
it ended up.”
For Talley, it was emotions of the night and being able to end the season off correctly against Isaiah Conley.
“That pin was huge, I was so stoked,” Talley said. “Guys were talking around that he was going to beat me and he’s all that. I was just ready to stick him.”