At the 2019 World of Wrestling Reno World Championships this weekend, Trevor Davis, 16, felt nervous.
A Sonora High School sophomore, Davis was entering into his fourth match, commonly known by competitors as “the blood round.” He had three wins behind him and another win would clinch a placing rank among the 135 other competitors in the 135 pound weight class.
“If you don’t win that, you’re out,” he said. “If you win that, you place.”
Davis achieved what he set out to do by the end of the second round, pinning his opponent with a half-nelson.
“I was really proud of myself. I really felt I pushed my ability and was glad I accomplished it,” he said. “I felt really accomplished because I was going to place in that prestigious of a tournament.”
Davis was the only Tuolumne County resident to place in the national wrestling tournament in Reno over the weekend. After eight matches — five wins and three losses — Davis earned eighth place.
“I thought when I won my first four matches in a row, I had a really good shot of placing. I really pushed forward and kept working my hardest,” he said.
It was his sixth time competing at the Reno tournament, but his first time earning a place, he said.
Brady Day, Summerville High School wrestling coach and coach for club wrestling group Mountain Tribe Club, said Davis’ win was a testament to his mindset and tenacity.
“There’s his hard work because it’s hard to get kids to come out in the offseason to wrestle,” Day said. “He’s been excelling and has been working really hard.”
Day said 12 high schoolers (three from Sonora High School and nine from Summerville) participated in the event, which included 3,000 wrestlers from 40 states.
“It kind of gets them exposed to a high level of wrestling. It’s a lot of fun with the team bonding we do up there and there’s a high level of competition to see where they want to be in the future,” he said.
Six first-year wrestlers competed, with some earning wins, Day said.
“For them to be working this hard in the offseason and to go to a high level and have some success, that’s big for them,” he said.
Davis said the most important benefit of wrestling to his life was how it maintained his focus on schoolwork and academic goals.
“I think working hard in sports really transfers over into the workforce. If I work hard at that, it should transfer over to everything else,” he said.
Davis participated in the under 15 division because he was 15 at the time of the varsity wrestling season, held in the winter.
Davis said he looks forward to competing next year, and hopefully placing again.
“We go up there to have fun and to wrestle,” he said.