Carson-Douglas wrestlers meet for league title
It’s showdown time for the Carson and Douglas high school wrestling teams — again.
Just like last year, the arch rivals are undefeated as they prepare to collide for the Sierra League championship tonight at 5:30 p.m. in Carson’s Morse Burley Gymnasium. Carson capped its undefeated dual meet season and won the league championship last January with a 31-21 victory at Douglas. The Tigers turned the tables in December, however, when they beat Carson 37-29 in the finals of the 10-team Capital City Duals.
That verdict snapped Carson’s 28-match win streak, dating back to the 2000 season, and marked the first time Douglas had beaten Carson in a dual meet since 1991.
The rematch shapes up as a close one. Both teams posted impressive victories in the Bay Area on Jan. 18: Carson won the 30th annual Albany Invitational, getting past a traditionally strong James Logan squad in the process; and Douglas won Alhambra High’s Lawrence Miller Memorial Tournament by 31 points over Ponderosa, another quality California program.
Both teams have individuals who are listed high in the Northern Nevada Top 5 prep rankings. Carson’s Paul Carter is ranked No. 1 and Luis Gabriel of Douglas No. 3 in the 140-pound weight class. Bradley Johnson of Douglas and Chris White of Carson are ranked No. 4 and 5 respectively at 130 pounds. Eric Aguilera of Carson is No. 2 at 112 pounds. Matt Yaquinto of Douglas is No. 5 at 119 pounds. C.J. Keith of Douglas is No. 3 at 145 pounds. Chris Ceccarelli of Carson is No. 4 at 160 pounds. Grant Hall of Douglas is No. 3 at 171 pounds. Carson 215-pounder Allen Wooldridge is No. 5. Douglas heavyweight Dan McDonald is No. 5.
The match of the night looms at 189 pounds between two seniors who qualified for the state tournament last year: Nick Shine of Carson and Dan Molina of Douglas. Shine is currently ranked No. 1 in Northern Nevada and Molina No. 4. Molina was honored as the Outstanding Heavyweight Wrestler at Alhambra and won a gold medal last weekend at the Fernley Invitational. Shine, who wrestled in the 215-pound class earlier this season, won the 189-pound weight class at the Albany Invitational.
Aguilera and Carter were champions in their divisions at the Albany Invitational. Keith was named the Outstanding Middleweight after winning his division at Alhambra, where he won in the finals against Logan Gordan of Monte Vista, who is ranked No. 7 in California’s North Coast Section. Hall won the 173-pound weight class at the same tournament by defeating ranked Scott Gaines of Tokay High (Lodi, Calif.).
Today’s dual will be a good tune-up before the Northern 4A Regional Championships on Feb. 7-8 at Sparks High School. The 4A state tournament will be held Feb. 14-15 at Reno High School.