Seven Carson High wrestlers, led by 135-pounder Nick Schlager and 171-pounder Junior Valladares, will compete in the 4A state wrestling tournament, which starts today (9 a.m.) at Cox Pavilion on the UNLV campus.
Carson, which as a team finished as the runner-up in the Northern 4A regional last week, is among the most represented of the Northern Nevada 4A schools. It is believed to be the largest contingent that Carson has sent since the state went to top-three qualifying at the regional level.
Patrick Craugh (103), Nico Garcia (145), Justin Barlow (heavyweight), Ricky Ugarte (119) and Luke Carter (189) also will participate.
"We had a good week of practice," Carson coach Tim McCarthy said. "We went hard on Tuesday.
"All seven have a good shot at placing. No one has a soft opponent, an easy match. They will all be really tough."
McCarthy said Valladares, who injured his left knee in last week's championship match against Manogue's Gary Albright, is expected to compete. Valladares was already wrestling with cartilage damage in his right knee.
He drew Andy Villagomez of Basic High, the Sunrise League champion to start the tourney.
"He seems to be doing Ok," McCarthy said of Valladares. "He had a rough practice on Monday. He'll definitely go."
McCarthy said Schlager, the top-seeded 135 pounder in Northern Nevada, is in a good spot to advance.
He'll open against Chad Orum of Foothill High. If Schlager wins his opener, he'll run into Paul Educate of Palo Verde, who edged Cimmaron Memorial's Colby Garrison 3-2. Schlager had figured he might see Garrison in the finals.
Garcia, the No. 2 seed from Northern Nevada in his weight class, drew Jerome Washington of Del Sol in his opening match. Washington finished second in the Sunrise League.
Carter, also a runner-up in the regional, faces Las Vegas' Johnathan Hales from Las Vegas High, who was the Sunrise champion. Barlow, the No. 3 heavyweight qualifier out of the Northern 4A, will face Sunrise winner Austin Woo out of Las Vegas in his opening match.
Patrick Craugh, a Northern 4A No. 2 qualifier in his weight class , will face Sunset champion Bronson Ashijan in his opening match.
Ugarte, who came on strong to nab third place in what was probably the toughest weight class in Northern Nevada this year, drew Billy Wosick of Bonanza.