Carson High’s wrestling team left no doubt in wrapping up a sixth straight undefeated Sierra League season and extending its league win-streak to 30.
The Senators, helped by five forfeits, blanked Galena 75-0 to celebrate Senior Night Wednesday at Morse Burley Gym. Of the eight matches actually contested on the mat, Carson won seven by pin and the eighth was a thrilling 4-3 win by Cody Cunningham. Carson trailed just three times all night, and six of the eight matches ended in the first round.
Next up for the Senators is the regional tournament at Reno High School next Friday and Saturday.
“We won all our matches head-to-head,” coach Paul Carter said. “I was confident we could shut them out and we did. I’m very pleased with the match. This is just a small step. We put a lot of emphasis on winning league and winning most of your matches because it helps with seeding. Winning league is great, but we want to reach our second goal, and that’s winning regionals.”
Cody Cunningham, the Senators’ outstanding 170-pounder, thinks that Carson should be favored.
“People are talking four teams (Carson, McQueen, Spanish Springs and Reno),” Cunningham said. “We’re thinking one team and that’s us. We beat Spanish Springs last weekend. It’s a different format in the regionals, so we need to get as many pins as we can and everybody needs to advance as far as they can.”
On Wednesday, Carson already had a 30-0 lead (the match started at 132 pounds) when Cunningham took to the mat against Elijah Rogers.
Rogers was content to play defense the entire six minutes.
The match was scoreless after one period, and then Cunningham worked an escape and led 1-0 entering the final period. Rogers tied the match (1-1) 17 seconds into the final period, and then worked a takedown with 19.3 left to take a 3-1 lead. Cunningham worked an escape to make it 3-2 with 7 seconds left, and with 1.3 remaining scored a takedown to win the match, 4-3.
“I definitely didn’t wrestle as well as I need to next week,” Cunningham said. “I felt like he wasn’t doing anything, just defending every time I tried to shoot. He wasn’t trying to score.”
“We didn’t know anything about him (Rogers),” Carter said. “He was neutralizing what Cody was doing. Fortunately Cody found a way at the end of the match. He showed a lot of heart.”
Brady Rivera fell behind 1-0 early in the first round, but came back with a takedown before pinning Kayden Wasley with 27 seconds left in the opening round to make it 39-0. Connor Sievers made it 45-0 with a 58-second pin of Caleb Fowly. Sheldon Miller won by forfeit at 220 to make it 51-0. Brandon Basa (106) also won by forfeit for a 57-0 lead. Sammy Mercado (113) won by pin with 1:10 left in the first period, and after Austin Martinez (120) won by forfeit to make it 69-0, Dom Kinder (126) ended the night with a 39-second pin of Max Spencer.
Seniors Kyle Sharp and Nicholas Lani opened the party with pins. Sharp needed 72 seconds for his pin, while Lani registered his fall with 1:06 left in the second round. Brady O’Keefe followed with a 90-second pin of Isiah Rogers to make it 18-0. Forfeit wins for Nolan Shine (152) and Elijah Fajayan (160) made it 30-0, setting the stage for Cunningham’s narrow win.