LAS VEGAS – It was a wild third period for Carson High senior David Remer during his NIAA Class 4A State Wrestling Championship 195-pound final Saturday at Cimarron-Memorial High School.
Remer led 7-0 after two periods and appeared to be in full control, but his opponent – Cimarron-Memorial's Deshawn Griffin – flipped Remer to his back on a reversal early in the third, scoring nearfall points in the process.
"I panicked. It made my heart stop," said Carson head coach Nick Redwine. "If it was someone not as strong as David, he probably would have gotten pinned."
"My main thing was just using all my energy to get (him) off. I just kept fighting," said Remer. "I was like 'you just got to get off and then you'll be fine.'"
The Senator grappler wiggled his way out of the predicament and scored another takedown, but Griffin once again found his way to top position with a takedown of his own.
With just under 20 seconds left Remer was cut loose, taking a 13-8 lead as Griffin tried to score points quickly late.
However, last year's state runner-up at 182 pounds finished off his season-long goal of a state title with a 13-10 decision win, ending his impressive Carson High wrestling career with a win.
"It feels amazing. Seeing all the hard, hard work that paid off with all the coaches, it's just super cool," said Remer after his state title win. "It's just amazing. It's surreal."
"He was being himself. When David has won matches this year it's because he's in control," said Redwine of Remer's two-period lead. "When he is forcing his opponent to react, he looks unstoppable. That's how he looked for the first four-and-a-half minutes."
Remer said after the match a lot of his success in the first four minutes came from not worrying about the stage or his opponent.
It also helped that his 7-0 lead had earned him some breathing room.
"It felt great cause most of the time by the end of the second, I'm tired," said Remer. "I was like this is one of my best matches."
Even with the dramatic finish, the coaching staff has nothing but praise for Remer and his ability to finish off his season-long goal.
"We're on cloud nine," Redwine said. "Everybody is handshake and hugs and high-fives. It's great."
"It was my last high school goal so it was amazing to check it off," Remer said.
Legott takes fourth
For Carson junior Thomas Legott, the entire state tournament was a showcase of his growth in the practice room.
In his third place match, Legott caught a tough break early and ended up on his back, surrendering a couple nearfall points. By the end of the opening period, Legott trailed 6-1.
Redwine had talked about Legott’s improvement previously, but after a fourth-place finish at 170 pounds in his first state tournament appearance, the Senator head coach showed how inspired he was by his efforts.
"Over the last month we've seen him turn ... from a kid who's okay to a kid who is confident," said Redwine. "Going into his senior year with all those accolades, ... you want to continue to build on what's been happening."
As the third period closed, Cimarron-Memorial’s Devin Garcia pinned Legott in 5:46.
Legott ends his first state tournament with a 2-2 record after pinning his opponents in the opening round and his consolation semifinal match.
"He just kept coming and coming. I'm really pleased with how Thomas wrestled. It gives me a lot of hope for next season with him," said Redwine.
Several Senators pick up wins
Alex Wells (160), Max Harris (138) and Ariel Vega (113) all fell in the consolation semifinals, which ended their tournaments.
Both of Wells’ losses came in close fashion as his opening match fell on the wrong end of a 4-0 decision loss.
In the consolation semifinal, Wells led 4-3 toward the end of the third period, but a late takedown by Bishop Manogue’s Mitch Karadanis flipped the result in the favor of the Miners’ wrestler.
Harris’ two losses came against the same wrestler – Kenny Marzola of Liberty. After Marzola pinned Harris in their opening prelim match, the Senator junior responded with wins by tech fall and major decision.
After back-to-back wins, Harris met Marzola again in the consolation semifinals before Marzola went on to take third in the weight class.
"He wasn't able to get anything going. Today (Saturday), ... Max came out firing on all cylinders," Redwine said of Harris. "He definitely had a better match (in the rematch). He definitely fought harder."
Vega had a similar state tournament to Wells with an opening round loss, a consolation match win before dropping a tightly contested consolation semifinal.
Carson’s 113-pounder tangled with Hunter Vernon of Faith Lutheran, which was decided by one point – an escape by Vernon early in the second period.
The Senators’ 120-pound and 152-pound wrestlers in Luis Mayoral and Izayah Pando were pinned in their two state tournament matches, but both were juniors this season and will have a chance to return to the state tournament next season.
Pando's first-round opponent, Caleb Uhlenhopp of Grass Valley, went on to win the 152-pound state title.
Zach Gafford, Carson’s 182-pound grappler, saw his first state tournament appearance as a sophomore end in two matches with a loss by pin and major decision.
"We were moving in and actually trying techniques. We were actually wrestling today," said Redwine. "Yesterday, I kind of got after them a little bit to refocus them and they responded."
As a team, Carson finished sixth with 39.5 team points overall. Green Valley won the team title with 122.5 team points. Spanish Springs was the highest scoring Northern Nevada team, taking third with 80 points.
Overall, coach Redwine had nothing but praises to shower over the Senators at the season's conclusion.
"We have a state champ," said Redwine exuberantly. "I would have to say this season was a roaring success. With a state champion, a state placer, a league title, second at regionals and eight kids to state, it's hard to find a thing that's bad with how we wrestled this season."