Carson High is geared up for its biggest dual of the year when Damonte Ranch visits Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Morse Burley Gym.
Historically, this match has decided the Sierra League championship. Damonte Ranch beat Carson two years ago when the Senators couldn’t field a full team because of the football playoffs, and Damonte didn’t want to change the day of the event.
Carson is coming off easy wins against Galena and Manogue. Damonte actually tied Douglas last week, 36-all, but was awarded a 37-36 win because it had more wins than Douglas. The Tigers are the only other team in the Sierra League that pose a threat to Damonte and Carson.
“I don’t know much about Damonte Ranch,” Carson first-year coach Keith Shaffer said. “It didn’t seem like they had a lot of guys at the tournament (Sierra Nevada Classic). I know they tied Douglas, so I don’t know what to make of that.”
Both Nathan Mersino and Sheldon Miller admit this match, and what seems to be a yearly dual against Spanish Springs at the Placer Duals, are the most anticipated events.
“I think so,” Miller said. “They don’t have as many wrestlers as they usually do. I don’t think they have a 220 or heavyweight.”
In fact, Damonte Ranch had just eight wrestlers in action at the SNC, and the only placer was 182-pound Drake Mcadow, who took fourth.
Bryce Bell (106) went 4-2 at the SNC and Marshall Hauck (126) went 3-2. Bell would probably match up against Eli Thomas, and Hauck, if he stays at 126, will see either Zach Bumby or Mark Trost. Another good match may be at 138 where Mersino expects to face Cameron Sandoval, who didn’t wrestle at the SNC. Sandoval beat Mersino 7-3 at regionals last year.
Barring any changes once the dual starts, here’s Carson’s probable line-up: 106: Eli Thomas; 113: Brandon Basa; 120: Garrett Tibma; 126: Zach Bumby or Mark Trost; 132: Kyle Rudy; 138: Nathan Mersino; 145: Jake Roman; 152: Blaine Reichelt or Daryll Heyward; 160: Jarod Butler; 170: Undecided; 182: Kellen McDermott; 195: Abel Carter; 220: John Rowe; 280: Sheldon Miller.
Shaffer said Jesse Case is nursing an injury, and if he can’t go, a JV wrestler will be used. Shaffer said he won’t leave any weight classes open.
• The annual Carson JV Tournament, scheduled for Saturday, turned into more of a series of exhibitions. Only one team, Spanish Springs, showed up.
According to Shaffer, the tournament didn’t show up on the Arbiter system which the area officials use for scheduling, so the officials thought it was canceled.“I had sent out flyers,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer also said the no-shows could have been weather related; that teams could have sent wrestlers to a tournament in Sparks instead.