RENO - Carson High wrestling coach Tim McCarthy said earlier this week that all seven of his wrestlers had a chance to medal at this week's state meet.
And, after the first day of competition at the Reno Livestock Events Center, six of his kids still do.
Kyle Sharp and Jordan Luhrs won their opening match which put them in today's (9 a.m.) championship semifinals. Teammates Sammy Mercado, Cole McCarthy, Brady Rivera and Nicholas Lani still are alive in the consolation bracket.
The only casualty of the first day was 126-pound Dom Kinder, who lost 4-1 and 3-1.
"We finished the night out well," coach McCarthy said. "We're in fourth and only a couple of points out of second.
"Kyle and Jordan both have great shots to be in the finals. Cole and Sammy finished the night out with pins. Brady looked tough in the two matches he won and Nicholas held on against a quality kid from Bonanza. Dom wrestled well. I think he would have tied that second match up if he had more time."
Sharp, who finished fourth a year ago at state, reached the semifinals by winning his only match of the day, a second-round pin against Robert Gilgalion of Arbor View.
Sharp scored a first-period takedown and then opened the second period with an escape for a 3-0 lead. Gigalion fought back and tied the match at 3 late in the second period. Sharp scored a takedown to go ahead 5-3 and then won by fall moments later.
"I got a little sloppy the second period," Sharp said. "I just used a head and arm. It's not a move I usually do because it's dangerous. I knew I had to take the chance to get the points (and win)."
"That was too close for comfort," McCarthy said. "It's nice when you don't wrestle your best match and win. His leg attacks seemed tentative. Fortunately he was able to lock up that head and arm. He went to that instead of attacking the legs. It's a dangerous move because you can end up on your back. He's a good thrower."
Luhrs had a takedown in each period for his 6-0 win over Elvin Cruz of Shadow Ridge. The CHS senior thought he could have done better, however.
"I didn't feel 100 percent," Luhrs said. "I felt I could have been more offensive. I wasn't as good on my feet and I think it took too long to set up shots. I felt I wrestled well on the bottom."
Cole McCarthy faced an out-bracket match based on his third-place regional finish, and he made quick work of his Palo Verde opponent, winning by fall in 84 seconds.
"I wanted to start off with a good match," Cole McCarthy said. "I thought it was going to be tough. You can't look past anybody."
The Carson senior came back to face an old nemesis, Green Valley's Spencer Watson, who beat him out for third place last year at state.
McCarthy lost that one by fall, and this one wasn't much better. Watson rolled to an 8-1 lead, scoring a takedown in the first period and adding two escapes, a 3-point near fall and takedown. McCarthy managed just an escape point.
McCarthy closed the gap to 8-5 thanks to four stalling points, an unusual amount of points for that penalty in a single match. Watson seemed content to sit on his lead and was a man of non-action.
"I just lost the scrambles," McCarthy said. "It seemed like I was doing all the work (in the third period)."
"He (Watson) had too big of a lead," coach McCarthy said. "He could afford to stall it away. It (the match) wasn't that close unfortunately."
McCarthy bounced back with a pin against North Valleys' Mickey Castonguay in 77 seconds to remain alive with a 2-1 record.
Lani had a tough first-round draw against Cimmaron Memorial's London Thomas. The Las Vegas standout was just too much for Lani. Thomas was in control the whole way and carved out a 9-2 first-round win.
Lani came back with a third-period pin of Bonanza's Ash Johnson.
Mercado opened with a pummeling at the hands of Green Valleys' Sean Cannon, who built a 15-1 lead before winning by pin in the second round.
Mercado bounced back nicely with pins against Arbor View's Tyler Ramos and Pedro Virrueta of Rancho. Mercado needs one more win to get to the third/fourth-place match.
Rivera and Foothill's Jacob Ozuna were tied at 2 in the third period of their opening round match, but Rivera gave up an escape and takedown in the final minute to lose 5-2.
The Carson sophomore came back with a pin and a 6-3 win over Arbor View's Matthew King.