Douglas wrestlers eye regional title |

Douglas wrestlers eye regional title

by Joey Crandall
Nevada Appeal News Service

The Douglas Tiger wrestling team will be facing a new role when the Northern 4A regional championships kick off at Spanish Springs today.

While in recent years the regional team title has literally been up for grabs among any four or five teams, this year’s tournament is shaping up like a two-team race.

Douglas and Spanish Springs have been the top finishers from the Northern 4A at most of the tournaments this year.

The Tigers boast one of the regions top middleweight lineups while Spanish Springs brings a stout lightweight lineup.

“As long as we stay healthy, without any injuries or sickness, we should do really well,” Douglas coach Lamont McCann said. “We should be in the top two.

“If we come in mentally ready, I think we can win it. If we are less than 100 percent, though, it will be a real challenge.”

But that line of thinking doesn’t mean another school can’t slip in and sneak away with the title.

“You look at Reno and Galena, those are two tough schools,” McCann said. “Spanish Springs and Douglas are the frontrunners coming in, but in a two-day tournament like this, it really comes down to who is healthy at the end of the race.”

Preliminary seeding for the tournament has already taken place, but that won’t be finalized until Friday.

McCann said at first glance, it appears the Tigers will come up with a decent draw.

“We have some decent seeds,” he said. “Dillon Spates (112), Tim Souza (119), Nico Barker (140) and Eddie Kollar (145), those guys should all do pretty well.”

McCann said the tournament field will really begin to take shape in the semifinals when a number of crucial matches could end up deciding the tournament.

“There are guys in there that if we meet them early, that can change things in a big way,” McCann said. “We’ll know a lot more when the seeding is finalized on Friday.”

McCann pointed to Galena’s Jeremy Wilson (130) and Doug Del Porto (135) and Fallon’s Colin Merkley as some athletes that could be of particular interest in the early rounds, depending on how the seeding falls.

“It’ll be a matter of taking care of our matchups early on if we want to be a player in this thing,” McCann said. “We’ve been working really hard, so we feel we can’t be in any better physical shape.

“We’re dealing with some injuries and some illnesses, though, so hopefully those clear up by Friday. We’re already going into this missing our heavyweight and 103, so there isn’t room for many mistakes.”