MINDEN — Even on rivalry night, this was no ordinary win for the Carson High wrestling team.
The Senators won five matches on the mat and picked up four others by forfeit Wednesday on their way to a Sierra League dual meet championship-clinching 46-22 win against rival Douglas at Randy Green Court.
For Carson (5-0 league), this is three league championships in a row and eight in nine years. Four of Carson’s five coaches are alums, including head coach Nick Redwine, so the past success is not anything to take for granted.
“We all know the tradition and we all know the rivalry so we’re trying to pass that on to the kids on the wrestling team,” Redwine said. “We’re trying to pass that on and build on the legacy we had when we were here. I think it’s working ... it seems to be successful.”
The outcome was not in doubt after Carson took a 29-0 lead, thanks to forfeits in the 195-, 220- and 285-pound weight classes, followed by back-to-back wins from freshmen Ariel Vega and Luis Mayoral.
First, Vega won his 106-pound bout by technical fall over Douglas freshman Wyatt Grisell. Then Mayoral rallied from a 15-14 deficit early in the third period to pin Jaden Blanchard at 113 pounds.
“Those two lightweights we have, Ariel and Luis, they’re big bright spots,” Redwine said. “I can’t wait to see them progress through the years. By the time they’re seniors, they’re going to be really tough to beat.”
Douglas got on the scoreboard at 120 pounds when freshman Max Smith outpointed Damien Branco, 5-2. Smith came back from an early 2-0 deficit and gained some breathing room on a takedown to make it 5-2 with 35 seconds left.
Carson 132-pounder Mark Trost produced a big win when he scored a 6-2 decision over Douglas senior Andrew Williams, a state tournament qualifier in 2016. Some extra work with assistant coach Nick Schlager (Carson state champion who later wrestled at Oregon State) paid off for Trost.
“He got a little frustrated at our last tournament we went to (Albany) so he’s been working with coach Schlager, our technician, all week,” Redwine said. “He didn’t hit on the exact moves we were working on, but that was a really gutsy win.”
In one of the evening’s more exciting bouts, Douglas senior Mason Melhus surged to an early lead and then fought off a big comeback by Izayah Pando to win, 10-8.
“This is only the second time he’s wrestled varsity,” Redwine said of Pando. “He’s a tough kid. We’re glad to have him in the room.”
Melhus led 9-0 before Pando came back with two takedowns and near fall in the third period. Melhus fought off his back to prevent a pin and preserve his win.
“That was a battle,” Douglas coach Jake Fair said. “Mason went out with a purpose; he wanted to finish his last home match with a win.”
Douglas (3-2 league) finished the night with wins from Chad Singer and Blake Murray in their respective 170- and 182-pound matches. Murray pinned Jesse Case to lock up the Sierra League’s 182-pound No. 1 seed for the Northern 4A Region Tournament on Feb. 2-3 in Carson City.
Singer defeated Jeremy Heaton, 15-3.
Heaton was wrestling in place of David Remer, who sustained a shoulder injury in practice this week. Remer won the 170-pound title at the Albany Invitational this past weekend.
“He looked really good last weekend, so it was kind of a bummer when he went down,” Redwine said. “Hopefully he just needs about a week of rest. He’s going to be re-evaluated next week and see if he can come back for regionals.”