Buchanan dominates Clovis in "The Big One"
When Buchanan and Clovis get together for a wrestling dual, it's simply called "The Big One." For the third year in a row, the Bears beat the Cougars, and this time it wasn't close - the final score was 48-9 in favor of Buchanan. However, the lopsided score did not dampen the theater at Clovis High School one bit.
Clovis senior heavyweight Seth Nevills said "It's an atmosphere like no other. In my opinion, I think it's better than the state tournament. Just all the kids cheering you on right next to you, it's unbelievable."
Buchanan head coach Troy Tirapelle said, "Hopefully it's something they're relishing and can remember forever. It's a positive thing for the sport of wrestling." Clovis associate head coach Adam Tirapelle added, "It's an electric atmosphere. I mean you can see the student sections - they just taunt each other the whole time. I mean, one thing we've tried to do with this is make it fun. Make it entertaining, make it enjoyable. You don't have to love wrestling to come to this and still have fun."
So what exactly makes the Buchanan-Clovis dual such a big deal?
The two programs have combined to win the last seven team state championships (Buchanan 2016-17, Clovis 2011-15), they're both ranked top 20 in the country (Buchanan #6, Clovis #20, via FloWrestling), and of the 28 wrestlers the two schools regularly send to the mat, exactly half, 14, are ranked top six in California for their weight class (according to The California Wrestler and CalGrappler).
The rivalry is made even more fun by proximity and family. The schools sit less than five miles apart, and when Bears coach Troy Tirapelle looks across at the Cougars coaches, it's his dad and brother, Steve and Adam Tirapelle.