Carson begins wrestling season on Saturday |

Carson begins wrestling season on Saturday

Darrell Moody

Carson High officially kicks off its season Saturday when it hosts the annual Capital City Duals at Carson Middle School.

The tournament field includes every 4A school, except Hug, and 3A powers Fallon and Lowry. The meet starts at 9 a.m. The meet is being held at Carson Middle School because Morse Burley Gym is being used for Carson High’s annual basketball tournament.

Carson coach Tim McCarthy is pleased with the field he’s compiled. The format will be the same as last year – three head-to-head duals and then two rounds of individual matches. Only the dual meets will decide the champion, and the team with the most points in the three duals will be crowned the champion.

Carson will wrestle Galena, Manogue and Lowry. The Galena and Manogue matches will count toward regular-season standings, according to McCarthy. McCarthy, whose team won 10 of 18 matches in a scrimmage against Reno earlier this week, said that Lowry is probably the tournament favorite.

“Most of the Northern 4A is here, so it will be a good chance to see some good early season matches,” McCarthy said. “A lot of good kids will be on display.”

Carson, however, won’t be at full strength.

“A number of the football players have chosen to take some time off,” McCarthy said. “They have been going at it very hard since August and if they need time off to re-charge the battery it should help us in the long run.”

One of those is starting defensive tackle Patrick Cooke, who figures to wrestle at 220 pounds. Cooke was fifth in the state in New Mexico last year.

Carson also could be without Nico Garcia, who reached the state meet last year. He wants to wrestle, but has to pass a hydration test.

This is the first test in a long season of tests for the Senators, who have won three straight Sierra League titles. Carson was 5-0 in conference and 8-5 overall a year ago.

The Senators return 12 lettermen, including 106-pounder Kyle Sharp (32-14, 17 pins), 113-pounder Sammy Mercado, 126-pounder Cole McCarthy (41-15, 28 pins), 132-pounder Nick Lanni (31-15, 21 pins), 138-pounder Austin Brown (4-3, knee injury), 152-pounder Jordan Luhrs (26-17, 13 pins), 160-pound Cody Cunningham (15-22, 12 pins) and 182-pounder Garcia (39-12, 28 pins). McCarthy has high hopes for two freshmen – 145-pound Colby Brown and 170-pound Brady Rivera. Both were standouts on the freshman football team.

“Brady has been wrestling with the Bulldog program for at least five years,” McCarthy said. “He’s in a weight class that is exceptionally tough to break into.

“Colby is a very solid kid. He and Brady are pretty darn physical kids.”

McCarthy said several wrestlers – Sharp, McCarthy, Austin Brown, Cooke, Garcia, Lanni and Luhrs – will compete for spots in the state meet. That list could shrink or expand as the season goes on.

Sharp went 0-2 at state a year ago, while both McCarthy and Garcia earned medals. Garcia was second and McCarthy fourth.

“Kyle will be a force at 106,” McCarthy said.

The elder McCarthy said he has high hopes that Austin Brown will bounce back from a knee injury that sidelined him early last year.