For the final Unicorn Wrestling Blog of the 2016-2017 season, I am going to post the words directly from Coach Sandoval as I know I could not do justice to his team’s final accomplishments this year.
“The Unicorn wrestlers completed their historic season at the 2017 UIL 6A State Wrestling Championships this weekend at the Berry Center in Cypress, Texas. There were 6 NBHS wrestlers competing in the meet. Final results were as follows:
Leilani Vital (3rd place) - This is the second year in a row that Leilani has earned the bronze medal. She showed the true heart and mental toughness of a champion after she was upset in the semifinals (she was the tournament favorite going in). She had to move past the disappointment and get ready to compete at a high level again in 45 minutes. She did what many competitors cannot do and bounced back with two convincing wins to take 3rd. She finishes her career as a 4x District Champion, 2x All-Region, Regional Champion, 3x State Qualifier, 2x State placer, and 131 career victories. She has also been a 2x freestyle state champion and 2x member of the Texas Women's National Team in the spring/summer competition season.
Bryce Marsh (Top 8) - Bryce finished one match short of All-State accolades as a medalist at the state tournament. Though Bryce fell short of expectations, he has had a great career as well. He actually picked up his 100th career victory with his round 1 win on Friday morning, making him the 4th Unicorn to become a part of the Century Club this season. He finishes with the following accolades: District Champion, 2x All-Region, Regional Champion, 2x State Qualifier, and with 101 career wins. Bryce also competed in the Olympic styles in the off-season, placing 4th at the National Dual Team qualifier last spring.
Parker Rivers (Top 12) - Parker was making his first and last trip to state so he was there to get to the top of the podium. He was in one of the toughest weight classes there and unfortunately fell short of the awards stand, but made a great career considering he, along with Bryce, was a JV wrestler his freshman year. He finishes as two-time All-Region, State Qualifier, and with 103 career wins. Parker was also a member of the Texas National Team last summer.
Gabby Hernandez (Top 12) - Gabby was competing against the #2 wrestler in the state when she suffered an elbow injury. She showed plenty of toughness to finish the match, but fell in a hard fought decision 5-2. She was unable to continue in the tournament and finishes in the top 12. She ends her career as a 3x District Champion, 2x All-Region, 2x State Qualifier, 1x State placer (5th in 2016), and with 106 career wins. Gabby was also a member of the Texas Women's National Team last summer.
Chloe Gaona (Top 12) - Chloe was able to win a match in her first state appearance to put her in the top 12. She had a great season and especially a great regional tournament to get here.
Tyler Ramirez (Top 16) - Tyler dropped both of his matches, but is only a freshman. He learned a lot from his experience and is glad he got to learn at such a young age. He will have the next 3 years to continue to get better and work to get to the top of the podium.”
We want to wish these fine Unicorn athletes and coaches a huge round of applause on a great season.