Senators send eight to state
Carson High wrestling punches eight individual tickets to the state tournament at the 4A Northern Region Championships
Eight members of the Carson High wrestling team qualified for the NIAA 4A State Wrestling Championships Saturday at Bishop Manogue High School.
The results of the 4A Northern Region Championships left head coach Nick Redwine nearly short of words.
“It was amazing. I’m almost speechless. It was amazing how the kids responded to coaching, they executed and they had a great tournament. I couldn’t be more pleased,” Redwine said.
Carson’s head coach had a few matches he was confident about early on, but seeing Luis Mayoral, Max Harris and Izayah Pando all earn state tournament berths with third-place match wins, hit Redwine harder than he expected.
“After I realized with Pando, beating that Reed kid in the conso(lation) finals, I almost started crying,” said Redwine. “I had to walk out. I was so happy.”
Mayoral, Harris and Pando all set up in do-or-die third-place matches Saturday afternoon where losses would have ended their season.
Now, all three will be in the same boat with eight other competitors in Las Vegas next weekend, competing for a state title.
Redwine praised Harris following Friday’s opening day, but his day two performance stood out as the Senator junior won all three of his must-win matches by pin.
“It feels great,” said Harris of punching his ticket to state. “Last year, I kind of choked (in regionals). I worked really hard this year and came back and got it. I’m really happy with that.”
Mayoral also secured his first state tournament appearance with a pin, doing so in the opening period.
Pando’s match didn’t end quite as easily, but the junior grappler squeaked out a 4-3 decision win.
All three with will potentially get another chance at beating the opponents that bumped them into the consolation, including Harris who instantly looked forward to a Northern Regional rematch.
“Come back and see the Reed kid again (Alejandro Casarez),” said Harris. “Come back and win that match and redeem myself.”
Five Senator wrestlers knew their fate was decided after their semifinal matches, advancing to the finals an automatically qualifying for state.
Of those five, David Remer (195), Alex Wells (160) and Thomas Legott (170) all won by pin to grab regional titles.
Legott went up 5-0 early in the opening period of his match, but Reno’s Taskar Eason jumped back in front, 9-5, with a couple of nearfall chances.
However, Legott flipped the tables and worked his way to a pin in 3:51.
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but I caught him and I knew I was going to win,” Legott said after the match.
Now the Carson junior has all week to think about his dream opportunity.
“It’s amazing and I want to place, of course,” Legott said. “Find my way to the top.”
Legott’s head coach was equally impressed with his performance and complimented the strides the junior has made since the beginning of the season.
“He has just become a bully on his feet. We taught him a couple of really good techniques on his feet and he took them and absolutely nails them,” Redwine said.
Ariel Vega (113) and Zach Gafford (182) both fell in their final matches, but both will have a chance to redeem themselves next weekend in Vegas.
According to Redwine, eight Senators qualifying for the state championships is the most Carson has had in five years when Redwine served as an assistant coach.
Outside of Wells and Remer, all the Carson wrestlers will be first-time state tournament participants.
Prior to his final match, Remer was honored with the individual sportsmanship award for the tournament.
As a team, Carson took second at the regional championships with 166.5 team points. Spanish Springs won the team title with 229 points.
UP NEXT: Carson’s eight wrestlers will start their 4A state tournaments Friday at 3 p.m. at Cimmaron-Memorial High School in Las Vegas.