Nevada Elite True to Their Name
Recently, I had an opportunity to speak with some of the members of a very special wrestling team. Formed less than two years ago, the founders of the team came up with a name that was to be both bold and visionary. It may have been that they saw the caliber of kids that would encompass such a team and acutely predicted that these were no ordinary wrestlers. These young athletes were a cut above … they were "Elite.” No other name could characterize these kids from Nevada. So, in 2016 Nevada Elite Wrestling Club was formed.
I originally contacted the head Coach of Nevada Elite, Eddie Sorgani, two days after RMN Event's Rumble in Reno Tournament. Coach Ed was very pleasant but was unable to conduct an interview at the time, as his wife was just about to give birth to their son, Levi. Ultimately, after walking up and down the stairs during the tournament at the Reno-Sparks Event Center to try to induce labor, Mrs. Sorgani and Levi had a very special wrestling match of their own, and both mother and child came out winners in this special moment in their family's history.
After a whirlwind week full of wrestling matches, life-changing events, and family bonding, a contemplative Coach Sorgani granted me this interview. After several questions, I clearly got the impression that this man cared deeply for the kids on his wrestling team, as if they were his own; just like his newborn son, Levi, all his wrestlers were "Elite.”
Coach Sorgani has been coaching for many years now and has spent the last 9 years coaching for Reno High School. I asked Ed what wrestling has done for him personally over the years, and he expressed that as a younger man his vision of the future was cloudy, but wrestling helped him to focus and find his identity and purpose in life. Ed's leadership as a good coach, father, and husband have been profoundly influenced by this great sport.
While Ed was spending time with his family, I also had the opportunity to chat with Head Coach Greg Larramendy. Coach Greg was key in getting the club started as he rallied support from businesses, parents, and volunteers to get the club rolling. Located outside of Reno, this hometown club has been generating some heat of their own in the middle of the desert.
After Nevada Elite's strong finish in Reno where the team took Runner-Up and brought home several individual awards including 4 belts (2 boys and 2 girls) and had individual 2 runner-up finishes, I asked Coach Larramendy to select a few of his many star wrestlers to join us in the interview and the following recaps what they had to say about their wrestling experiences.
Lucas Forman, a 49-pound 4-year veteran of the sport, said that wrestling has helped him to be a good person who takes a fun-loving approach to enjoy the sport he loves as he works hard every day to reach for his goals. A former football player turned wrestler, Lucas's future goals include becoming an Eagle Scout, getting a scholarship to West Point, and serving in the Army; for a young athlete who enjoys living in the moment, his ambitious future goals are very achievable as he daily strives hard with determination to realize his dreams. One of Lucas's most memorable matches came at the Rumble in Reno where, after suffering a defeat last year, he worked hard all year to beat the same kid who beat him previously. This young man sets a goal and sticks to it until it eventually happens!
Tobey Forman (brother to Lucas) is a 63 lb. 4-year wrestling veteran who does his part in upholding the winning ways of Reno's Forman family. Tobey also strives for wrestling excellence with a vision quest of beating the kids that he hasn't beaten yet. With a fixated mindset and focused drive, Tobey feeds off his losses against former foes. He doesn't let defeat define him, as he is continually racking up the victories over previous opponents. As "service" is a core Forman family value, Tobey also wishes to attend West Point where he will study to become a military lawyer. I'm sure Tobey will use his wrestling experience to help him to succeed in the courtroom just as he has on the mat.
Reese Larramendy has been wrestling since she was 6 years old, which equates to 8 years of mat experience. In her own words, Reese stated, "My goal is to make the US world team, wrestle in college and ultimately go to the Olympics. I feel that some of my strengths are that I know my goals are going to take a lot of hard work and time, but I have the determination to do it. I also feel I'm open to learning new things and I'm very coachable. I would say my most memorable win was last year winning my 3rd National title in Oklahoma City. It was impactful to me because I felt very mentally prepared, and I knew what I had to do to win it.”
Reese continues: “I work so hard because I have big goals and I know my training now will help set me up for the success I'm after. When I grow up I want to win a gold medal at the Olympics and then focus on being an actress." When Reese steps onto the mat; however, it is no act! She is truly a great wrestler; her "big goals" are quite feasible for this well-spoken, polite, and extremely diverse talent out of Reno. We will be hearing the name Larramendy a lot more in the coming years, as she keeps racking up the wins.
With each match, these top-notch kids and their esteemed coaches are keeping this club at "elite" status. Like the noble Aztec Indians, the warriors of Nevada Elite wrestling are a force to be reckoned with, as they plan to rumble on down from Reno to Las Vegas to wrestle in the USA Nationals. My first bet in Vegas is that this team will once again do very well. Best wishes to this extraordinary young team!
Steven M. McNulty
Associated Wrestling Press
Nevada Elite - Reno Rumble Team Runner-Up 2018