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Shine, Roman place in Reno TOC

Nevada Appeal Staff Reports

Shine, Roman place at Reno TOC

Dave Price

RENO – Competing against blue chip wrestlers from across the nation, Carson High’s Nick Shine and Joe Roman returned home with hardware from the ninth annual Brute Reno Tournament of Champions Saturday night.

Shine placed fifth in the 215-pound weight class and Roman eighth at 171 pounds to help Carson finish 20th as a team with 88.5 points in the two-day, 87-team tournament at the Reno Livestock Events Center.

Those performances are impressive in an event billed as the “Toughest tournament in the USA.” The top 10 finishers in each weight class are recognized as All Americans, which is fitting considering the number of state champions and national-level wrestlers who were competing.

Even though Shine absorbed his first two losses of the season, he felt the level of competition will only benefit him.

“I’m glad I had a tournament like this,” said Shine, 3-2 in the tournament and now 16-2 this season. “I think it’s good to lose some matches because it lets you know where you’re at and lets you know there are other people out there who are pretty good, too.”

In fact, Shine felt his best performance came in the consolation bracket semifinals, where he lost in double overtime to Dustin Finn of Westmoore, Okla. Earlier, Shine lost to Brandon Halsey of Rancho Buena Vista (San Diego), who went on to place second in the tournament and was a medalist at the California state tournament last season.

Shine was also impressive in his fifth-place match when he scored a third round pin of Bakersfield High senior Josh Marques, who placed fourth in the California state tournament 215-pound weight class last season. Impressive enough that Carson coach Dean Schmanski walked off the mat with a wide grin afterward.

“That was a big one,” Schmanski said. “He was outstanding. Down 8-6 going into the third and he wants the top position because he thinks he can turn the kid. That’s confidence.”

Shine simply chose the top position to start the third round because he felt it offered the best opportunity to win.

“I’d watched that kid all weekend. He’s probably the biggest 215 I’ve seen, but he has long legs and I thought I could use that to my advantage,” Shine said. “I’d turned him earlier, then got sloppy and let him come back on me. So I chose to take the top and it worked out for me.”

Shine saw a 6-4 lead disappear in the final 25 seconds of the second round when Marquez worked a reversal and near fall for an 8-6 lead. Shine turned Marquez and got his pin with one minute remaining in the match.

“I just said, ‘You can’t go out this way,” Shine said.

Roman was 6-3 in the tournament, highlighted by a win Saturday morning in the consolation round against Mark Zabala of Gilroy, Calif. The win was significant because Zabala defeated Roman by one point in the finals of the Coast Classic last weekend in Scotts Valley, Calif. Zabala placed sixth at the California state tournament last season.

Roman wrestled another high caliber opponent in the seventh-place medal match, where he dropped a 3-2 decision to Kyle Walters of Parkersburg South High. Walters, a two-time West Virginia state tournament finalist, scored a takedown midway through the first period to take a 3-0 lead and held on the rest of the way. Roman scored two points on escapes.

“I did pretty well, but I still have work to do,” Roman said of his performance in the tournament. “I need to be better on my feet and I need to be more offensive. But I think the experience here is going to help prepare me for the rest of the season.”

Schmanski was pleased with the overall showing of the Senators, who had the highest finish among Northern Nevada teams entered in the tournament.

“I thought it was very impressive to have two boys placing here,” he said. “And we had some others who wrestled very well, too.”

Freshman 140-pounder Travis Lamborn went 3-2 and fell one win short of advancing to Saturday’s competition. Freshman 112-pounder Robbie Bozin also pinned one of his opponents. Chris Ceccarelli (189) and Loren Wooldridge (160) each posted three straight wins in the consolation bracket.

Wasatch, Utah, won the tournament 207.5 points, followed by Bakersfield with 194 points and two-time defending Reno TOC champion Easton, Pa., with 173.5 points. Carson’s finish was