Carson wrestlers healthy, set for regionals
Despite not having a full lineup for this weekend’s regional wrestling tournament at Reno High, Carson High first-year coach Keith Shaffer feels good about his team.
“I’m encouraged,” Shaffer said. “We’re back to where we were at the start of the year. We are all healthy and looking good. We’ve had some good practices this week.”
Shaffer admits, however, leaving the 120 and 126-pound classes empty could make Carson a longshot of winning regionals. On paper, both Spanish Springs and Reno would appear to be ranked ahead of the Senators.
“Honestly, yeah it makes it harder,” Shaffer said. “Just about every team is going to have an empty weight class, though. I don’t think Spanish Springs has a wrestler in every weight class. I’m hopeful we’ll be right up there. Reno will be tough to beat, too.
“I think we have five wrestlers who can win regionals, and I think we have as many as seven who can qualify for state.”
Garrett Tibma (120) had complications from diabetes and was shut down for the season recently. Johnny Lopez (126) had academic issues.
Shaffer believes Brandon Basa (113), Nathan Mersino (138), Kyle Rudy (132), Abel Carter (195) and heavyweight Sheldon Miller (heavyweight) will win titles. He also said three others, Seth Reichelt (152), Jesse Case (170) and Jarod Butler (160) could also finish in the top three.
“Seth is coming on strong,” Shaffer said. “He went undefeated in league. He picked up a few things at Placer last weekend.”
The rest of Carson’s scoring line-up has Eli Thomas (106), Jake Roman (145), Kellen McDermott (182) and John Rowe (220).
Shaffer is also bringing four extra wrestlers — Damien Branco (106), Zach Bumby (138), Darryl Heyward (152) and Bryce Newhall (182). The extra wrestlers can’t score team points, but can damage the hopes of other teams by pulling off some upsets.
Basa won’t be a No. 1 seed because seeding is based on wins and losses in the weight class you’re entered in. Bass wrestled at 120 during the Sierra League season. He has had some ankle issues, but Shaffer said he’s fit.
Shaffer also doesn’t think a lower seeding will make a difference for Basa. Shaffer fully expects to see him in the finals along with Miller, Rudy, Carter and Mersino.