It would be entirely correct to say that the Carson High School wrestling team pinned a loss on Yerington at home on Wednesday in the season debut for both teams.
The Senators recorded falls in 10 of the 12 matches contested (forfeits occurred in two weight divisions) to easily defeat the 3A Lions 70-10 in the nonleague contest.
"We weren't expecting to do that," said Carson coach Tim McCarthy, referring to the high number of Senator pins. "We've had a tough off- and preseason and were starting a number of 'green' kids."
The tough preseason McCarthy spoke about stems from the number of injuries which have occurred recently during practice, leaving Carson with a depleted lineup.
Reigning 152-pound zone champ Steve Schofield broke his wrist recently and is doubtful for the rest of the season. Also doubtful for the rest of the season are a promising 103-pound freshman who broke his arm and a top 171-pounder who broke his foot.
Even with its rash of injuries, Carson met little resistance from Yerington, which was wrestling for the the first time under new head coach Rod Lemos. Lemos replaces longtime Lion coach John Dibble, who will concentrate on his duties as athletic director at Yerington High.
"It was a good eye-opener for our wrestlers," said Lemos, who noted the Lions have also had their share of eligibility and injury problems during the preseason. "We've got a long ways to go. Almost all of our lower weight classes are freshmen and sophomores."
After Yerington's Randy Brinkley won by forfeit at 103 pounds, it was all Carson for the next 10 matches as the Senators built a 58-6 lead. Except for a forfeit at 171 pounds given to Carson's Adam Peterson, the only match which didn't end in a Carson fall was at 135 pounds, where Senator Justin Sarnowski won a decision over Josh Fitzgerald 14-4.
The eight Senator wrestlers who registered pins during the span were Craig Jensen, Mallory Bozeman, Chris Kotter, Javier Vega, Doug Brooks, Justin Shine, Justin Laporte and Brandon Lamborn,
Yerington's Dustin Marriott, the Lions reigning state 3A champion, then defeated Carson's Danny Dunbar 8-0 at 189 pounds to record Yerington's lone non-forfeit win of the day.
But Ben Johnson (215 pounds) and David Saucedo (heavyweight) came right back to close out the meet with two more pins for the Senators. Johnson transferred to Carson after wrestling for Douglas last year.
"Even with our injuries, we can still field a strong team," said McCarthy, whose Senators were 15-3 overall in dual meets last season. "Today's meet isn't much of a gauge for us; we'll know more about the team after this weekend."
McCarthy was looking ahead to Saturday's Capitol City Duals, which the Senators will host starting at 9 a.m. The duals will have 10 teams participating, including Galena and Wooster, two of the teams McCarthy believes will vie be in the hunt for the zone title along with Carson, Elko and Fallon.
At the conclusion of the 1998-99 season, when they finished third at zone and sixth at state, the Senators appeared ready to contend for the zone title this year with many underclassmen returning. But McCarthy said that the absence of Schofield, 31-8 last year, will affect Carson's bid for a championship.
"(Schofield) was our most skilled wrestler and probably would be our top individual at state," McCarthy said. "But our mid-weights are strong with Justin Sarnowski, Justin Shine, Brandon Lamborn and Doug Brooks. All four are captains and all but Brooks went to a month-long wrestling camp during summer and came back much improved."
All four of those wrestlers have impressive credentials for the Senators. Last year, Sarnowski was zone champ at 135 pounds, Shine was 18-8, Lamborn was 35-13 and Brooks was 36-13.
If one of those Senator wrestlers could win a state championship, it would be Carson's first individual title since 1988.
As for Yerington, Marriott and Ricky Gutierrez are the Lions' two best bets for a 3A state title. A 3A title is the highest goal a Yerington wrestler can aim for this season, as the Super State Tournament has been eliminated. (Marriott qualified last year for Super State, but did not compete due to a broken thumb.)
"The 3A wrestlers would have been a dominating factor at Super State," Lemos said. "Marriott would have been a contender."
Lemos predicted Virgin Valley, Spring Creek and White Pine will be the teams to beat at the 3A level this season.
Yerington is set to host its 14-team invitational this Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. Invited teams include Lowry, Hug and Douglas.