Lemoore sweeps at Capitol City Duals | NevadaAppeal.com

Lemoore sweeps at Capitol City Duals

Dave Price

Though rare, it was perhaps fitting Saturday evening when the Outstanding Wrestler award for the seventh-annual Capitol City Duals was handed out to the entire Lemoore High School team.

The Tigers from Lemoore (Calif.) were that dominant on their way to winning five straight dual meets – capped off by a 77-10 victory against host Carson in the finals – and capturing championship honors in the 12-team tournament.

After defeating four straight opponents to reach the finals, the Carson Senators ran into a buzzsaw from California’s Central Valley. The Tigers ranked among the state’s top five teams and were listed No. 9 in the nation in 2000 – and they may be even better now.

“This is probably one of my better teams in 18 years,” coach Kent Olsen said. “This team has a lot more depth than the one we had in 2000. We have a team that could contend for a state championship. A lot can happen between now and the end of the season, but that’s what we’re pushing for.”

The depth showed up on Saturday when the Tigers defeated Douglas 41-30, Wooster 65-12, Reed 71-10 and Galena 72-3 and finally Carson.

“This was our first major cut and one of the good things about today was that we got 25 kids a lot of mat time,” Olsen said.

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Lemoore’s depth showed when the Outstanding Wrestler award was announced.

“That was too difficult to try and single any one wrestler out because they had so many guys undefeated,” Carson co-coach Tim McCarthy said. “That’s a very strong team, but I’m glad we had a team like that come in here. We’re only going to benefit from getting on the mat with those guys.”

Coach Jim Franz echoed that.

“I think anytime you go against tough competition like that, it only makes you better,” he said. “That’s why we wanted to bring them in here.”

The Senators were 4-0 coming into the final as they defeated Laguna Creek (Elk Grove, Calif.) 75-4, McQueen 61-16, Galena 42-30 and Reed 75-3.

They were simply overmatched in the final, picking up wins from Robby Bozin at 125 pounds and a pin from David Cadwallader at 215 pounds. Also, Jonas Schenzel dropped a 5-4 decision in his 189-pound bout and Micah Whitcome lost 7-4 at 152 pounds to Mike Oliveira, a California state tournament qualifier last season.

Lemoore won five of seven matches by pin in the middle weight classes. Two of those pins were delivered by returning state qualifiers: 135-pounder Dustin Rocha, a sixth-place medalist, and Willy Pendleton at 160 pounds. Pendleton moved up one weight class and pinned Travis Lamborn, a Nevada 4A state tournament qualifier last season, with four seconds left in the second round. Mark Anderson won his 130-pound match by fall in 30 seconds to go with an impressive decision he scored earlier in the day against two-time state champion Joel Rivadeneyra of Galena.

Overall, the Senators defeated four of the five opponents they faced and came away with a runner-up trophy.

“We were satisfied with what we did,” McCarthy said. “We’re still not in real good wrestling shape, and we’re not real crisp in that we were just making one move at a time instead of putting stuff together. We’re going to get better.”

Cadwallader compiled a 5-0 record with three pins during the day and Bozin went 4-1 for the Senators.

Two other Carson Country teams enjoyed successful days, too: Galena finished third as a team, and even though Douglas took home no hardware, the Tigers went 4-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of Lemoore in their first match of the day.

“I couldn’t be happier,” Douglas coach Mike Gamberg said. “It’s too bad we didn’t get anything because we were definitely one of the top three teams here today. We just got stuck on the tough side of the bracket, and we got Lemoore right out of the gate.

“I know I’m pretty happy with 41-30 (against Lemoore), and we had an opportunity to win the match at heavyweights, we just didn’t get it done,” added Gamberg, whose squad trailed 35-30 going into the heavyweight bout.

Sophomore 145-pounder Ryan Pruitt and freshman 125-pounder Tony Ferris both went 5-0 during the day for Douglas. Bryan Kaplan was 4-1 at 119 pounds and Devin Barker 4-1 at 112 pounds.

Contact Dave Price at dprice@nevadaappeal.com or call (775) 881-1220.