The Fort Campbell Courier
Fort Campbell | February 16, 2017
HOPKINSVILLE, Kentucky – The Fort Campbell High School wrestling team finished sixth at Kentucky High School Athletic Association Region 1 wrestling tournament Saturday at Hopkinsville High School. The Falcons had seven wrestlers compete, with four wrestlers qualifying for the state competition Friday and Saturday in Lexington, Kentucky.
One Fort Campbell senior, David Nikolao, won the 285-pound weight class. He is guaranteed a No. 1 seed in the state tournament. Nikolao defeated Keith Martin of Fulton City in the semifinals by pin and Payton Snyder of Union County in the championship match, 7-1.
“It’s a really good feeling to have the No. 1 seed in the state tournament,” Nikolao said. “Even though wrestling is an individual sport, I couldn’t have gotten to where I am without my team and the coaches.”
“David has worked hard for this moment since he was in seventh grade and he had to push through some tough times, but I am proud of his win,” said Falcons Wrestling Head Coach Anthony Shingler.
Nikolao said he is going to enjoy the moment and keeping working hard.
“I’m not taking this moment for granted, I worked hard to get here, but it is important for me to stay humble and continue to work hard,” Nikolao said.
Three other Fort Campbell wrestlers that qualified for state are seniors Louie Regalado and Rey Vela and eighth-grader Ethan Tomerlin.
This marks the second year Regalado qualified for state and the first time for Vela and Tomerlin.
In the 138-pound weight class, Regalado defeated Tyler Thomas of Hopkinsville by pin, but was defeated in the quarterfinals by Kestin McClain of McCracken County.
In the consolation rounds, Regalado defeated Gavin English of Ohio County by pin and Kaleb O’Campo by pin to secure third place.
Tomerlin, wrestling in the 170-pound weight class, defeated Kolby Morris by pin in the opening round and was defeated by Matthias Ervin of Union County in the quarterfinals.
Tomerlin defeated Caleb Martin of Trigg County and Logan Deasel of McCracken County to claim third place.
Rey Vela, competing the 145-pound weight class, defeated Hunter Vlach of McCracken County, but lost to Chance Oxford of Union County in the quarterfinals. Vela beat Jacob Kramer of Calloway County and Vlach again to claim third place and a spot in the state tournament.
After the tournament, Vela said he was excited to be going to state for the first time, but thought his performance at regionals could have been better.
“I am grateful for the opportunity, it feels great to be able to go to state,” Vela said. “There are some things that I could have done better to win, so I have a lot of preparation to do before state.”
Falcons Head Coach Anthony Shingler said he was thrilled about the wrestlers’ performances, but he was not surprised.
“I think all of [our athletes] did well in the tournament, but we work all year round for this time of the season,” Shingler said. “I am glad that they are peaking and really competing hard at the right time.”
Shingler added that preparation has made the team stronger and successful. “We try and change things up every day to make sure they are prepared to see any and everything that their opponent may throw at them,” Shingler said. “Our coaching staff keeps them on their toes with different scenarios and paces, but the kids have responded well to it.”
Shingler added that he believes that the ones going to state will do well as they represent Fort Campbell. He said he will make sure they learn from their mistakes at regionals.
“I think [the wrestlers] will be fine but we are going to work on limiting mistakes and just getting better at what we do,” he said.
Region 1 Results
Damien Crisp -- freshman, 132-pound weight class, 5th place
Louie Regalado -- senior, 138-pound weight class, 3rd place (state qualifier)
Rey Vela -- senior, 145-pound weight class, 3rd place (state qualifier)
Corbin Ryder -- senior, 160-pound weight class, 5th place
Ethan Tomerlin -- 8th grade, 170-pound weight class, 3rd place (state qualifier)
Jesus Avila -- freshman, 182-pound weight class, 6th place
David Nikolao -- senior, 285-pound weight class, region champion (state qualifier)