One of the big success stories in Carson High’s championship season has been the performance of 220-pounder Corey Jasper.
Jasper, who was forced to cut down to 195 last year, has been a consistent performer all year in posting an 18-10 record heading into this weekend’s Northern 1A Regional Championships at Spanish Springs High School.
Action gets under way at 3 p.m. on Friday. Two rounds of championship and two rounds of consolation will be contested on Friday. Action resumes on Saturday at 10 a.m. with the championship semifinals. The top three finishers in each weight class advance to the state meet next weekend in Primm.
Jasper has been a steady point producer in the big tournaments, and that fact hasn’t been lost on coach Justin Shine.
“Corey has come a long way,” Shine said. “I think the confidence he gained during the last football season has helped and also what he has learned on the mat since last season has also helped.
“He is also very coachable, and that’s another thing that has helped him this year. He has only lost once in league (4-1), and I think he has a good chance of moving on to state.”
To accomplish that, Jasper must finish in the top three this weekend. He has stiff competition from Reno’s Bryce Cartlidge and Spanish Springs’ Joey Arterburn.
Cartlidge knocked off Jasper at last year’s regionals, and Jasper has split two matches against Arterburn this year.
“Both of the matches (against Arterburn) came down to the last period,” Jasper said. “At Placer, he beat me in overtime and I beat him at the Cody Louck Tournament (In Winnemucca). I believe i can make the top three, and maybe get to the championship match.
“I believe I’m wrestling well enough and my technique is sound enough to do it.”
Jasper believes one reason for his success is wrestling at a heavier weight. Carson had Brady Rivera at 220 last year, forcing Jasper to cut to 195 if he wanted to wrestle.
“I felt really small last year,” Jasper said. “I felt I didn’t have the strength that I needed. I’m more comfortable this year.
“In football we have had a huge target on our back the last couple of years, and in wrestling, too. I like it. It gives you motivation to get better, and I think I’ve gotten better and better as the season has gone on.”
Jasper has a low center of gravity and pretty good balance, both key ingredients. He understands the importance of leverage, not only in pancaking an opponent on the football field, but on the wrestling match.
Jasper isn’t only about strength, however. He has some quickness about him.
“I use the moves that bigger guys learn (in practice), but I like to use little guy moves,” Jasper said. “I have more confidence to take shots; to be more aggressive and not just be on the defensive.”
Most of Carson’s line-up for this weekend was predictable, save for Brandon Basa moving down to 113, which put Kyle Rudy down to 120 from 126. Freshman Zach Bumby gets the nod at 126. Bumby had a huge win in the season-opening victory over Damonte Ranch.
Carson is taking Jake Roman, Ethan Lepire, Sam Haight and Darryl Hayward as its “extra wrestlers”. Each school is allowed up to four extra wrestlers for the tournament. None of them can score points, but it could be huge if they are able to beat a team’s top wrestler in a weight class.
Based on regular season and tournaments, Spanish Springs would have to be the favorite to win the region title. The Cougars beat Carson at the Placer Duals. Carson figures to be in a dogfight with Damonte Ranch, Reno and McQueen for the second spot.