Seven Carson wrestlers win league titles
RENO - Even though no team scores were kept, there was little doubt that the Carson High School wrestling team was dominant at the Sierra League Wrestling Tournament on Saturday.
Nine Senators advanced to the finals and seven walked off the mat as champions during the eight-team league tournament held at Wooster High's Craig Congdon Gym. Overall, Carson qualified 13 of its 14 wrestlers for the Northern 4A Regional Tournament, which will be held next Saturday at Sparks High.
"The last time Carson won the (regional) tournament was 1989, so that's definitely something we're going to be shooting for," Carson coach Dean Schmanski said. "Fallon is the defending champion, but we're going to try and step it up a level and try to give them a run for their money."
He believes the Senators still have room for improvement.
"I thought we wrestled well today as a whole, but I still didn't think we were as aggressive as we could have been," Schmanski said. "We seemed to be too defensive and not offensive enough."
It was hard to tell.
The list of champions included Owen Craugh at 103 pounds, Robbie Bozin (112), Eric Aguilera (125), Travis Lamborn (140), Joe Roman (171), Nick Shine (215) and Jason Klug (275). Craugh, Bozin and Lamborn are freshmen.
Bozin won his final by a 5-2 score over Bryan Kaplan of Douglas, Aguilera defeated Josh Newman of Douglas 21-5, Lamborn defeated Matt Yaquinto of Douglas 6-0, Roman defeated Bear Hollis of Reno 10-2, Shine pinned Joe Sturgis of Reno and Klug pinned two opponents then won his final when Wooster's Chris Rasmussen was disqualified. Craugh won the 103-pound title by injury default over South Tahoe's Mikey Crouse.
Shine pinned Stugis with nine seconds remaining in the second period in a rematch of last year's Northern 4A Regional 189-pound championship match. Shine is now 42-2 with 28 pins on the season.
One of the best matches of the championship round came at 189 pounds, where Reno's Jake Killeen scored two takedowns in the final 33 seconds to rally for an 8-7 victory against Carson's Chris Ceccarelli. Ceccarelli took a 7-6 lead on an escape with 17 seconds remaining before Killeen, last year's regional 171-pound champion last year, got his last takedown with six seconds showing on the clock.
Carson's Loren Wooldridge earned a shot at the 160-pound title when he scored a hard-fought 9-8 victory over Louie Gabriel of Douglas in the semifinals, however, an injury forced him to give up a default to Reno's Mike Kummer in the finals. The injury was minor and Wooldridge is expected to be ready to wrestle in the regional tournament on Saturday.
Four other Carson wrestlers placed third in the tournament: Jonas Schenzel at 152 pounds, Micah Whitcome (145), Kevin Riggin (130) and freshman Kyle Banko (119).
Schenzel provided a highlight in the consolation finals when the sophomore rallied from a 5-1 deficit to pin Wooster's Ian St. Clair in 4:18. Banko dropped a narrow 12-8 decision in the semifinals to Wooster's Rodney Stivers, the eventual 119-pound champion, and then he scored a 13-10 victory against Cameron Ames of Douglas in the third-place match. Whitcome lost a 7-4 decision in his semifinal, then came back to pin two straight opponents to finish third.
Douglas sent five wrestlers to the finals and went home with two champions - Bradley Johnson at 145 pounds and 152-pounder C.J. Keith.
Johnson, a junior who has qualified for the state tournament each of the last two years, defeated Reno's Matt Lunde in the finals 3-1. Keith, 27-2 on the season, was a 17-6 victor in his final against Justin Martin of Hug.
Douglas freshman Ryan Pruitt also reached the 135-pound finals, only to drop a tough 7-4 verdict to Wooster's Zeth St. Clair.
Heavyweight Matt Castro and 103-pounder Devin Barker earned third-place finishes for the Tigers.
HIGH DESERT LEAGUE
As expected, Churchill County had eight individual champions to dominate during the High Desert League Tournament held at Spanish Springs High School.
Sean Lacow (112), Rudy Maynez (130), Steve Riblett (135), Reece Jones (145), Tommy Diaz (152), Darren Lewis (171), Lee Riggins (189) and Josh Mauga (275) all won championships for the Greenwave.
Meanwhile, 125-pounder Joel Rivadeneyra and 140-pounder Spencer Christian returned home with titles for Galena. Rivadeneyra pinned Cody Vance of Spanish Springs in 3:00 and Christian defeated Churchill County's James Stubbs 7-2 in the finals. Rivadeneyra was a state champion at 112 pounds and Christian placed third at state as a 130-pounder last year.
Three other Galena wrestlers placed second in their respective weight classes: Joe Sanford (119), Madison Wanzeler (130) and Mike Sanford (135).