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Wrestling season for Bulldogs never ends

Chad Lundquist / Nevada Appeal Carson wrestling coach Casey Schweitzer demonstrates a basic wrestling move to kids from the Carson Bulldog Wrestling Club on Tuesday.
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The Energizer bunny has nothing on the Carson Bulldogs Wrestling Club. It just keeps going and going and going.

Coming off a stellar effort at the Nevada State Wrestling Championships, the club will be back at it again March 31-April 2 when it will send a large number of wrestlers to the World of Wrestling event at the Reno Livestock Events Center. More than 3,000 wrestlers from across the country will compete in the event.

“You don’t get to wrestle at that level and that caliber very often,” said club director Stephan Lani.

The club will also have several wrestlers at the USA Western Regionals to be held in Klamath Falls, Ore., in June. “Some of the guys would go 12 months out of the year if we let them,” Lani said.

Which is really the point of the program. The idea of the program is to teach the wrestlers the fundamentals and to make it as fun as possible at as young of age as possible so they’ll stay with it as long as possible. Wrestlers start as young as five in the program.

The club also has the same philosophy as Carson High coach Casey Schweitzer, who also helps coach the club along with head coach Bob McDonald and another former CHS coach, Tim McCarthy. The club obviously serves as a feeder program to CHS, but it also helps Schweitzer meet his goal of making wrestling in the entire area as strong as possible.

That’s why you’ll see wrestlers from other programs practicing in the club’s 3,500-square foot facility in the old Nevada Appeal building even though their season is virtually over. Lani said the wrestlers come to Carson because of the facility and because they know they’ll always find strong competition.

“That’s what this club is about,” Lani said. “It’s a phenomenal program and we’re trying to keep it growing.”

“It shows that the kids are in the program and enjoying it,” said Lani about how long the wrestlers stay in the club. “We’ve actually met our goal.”

The facility is another key to the club’s success and the work on the facility continues, Lani said.

“We couldn’t do it without it,” Lani said. “We put a lot of sweat equity in this. That allows us to wrestle unobstructed. We’re going to make it a true wrestling room.”

The program carried more than 70 kids this season. “We end the season with more kids than some clubs start the season with,” Lani said.

Carson took more than 25 wrestlers to the state meet. “It takes a lot of dedication on the kids part and the parents,” Lani said.

The Bulldogs had four Triple Crown winners at the state event in Greco-Roman, freestyle and folkstyle wrestling. Willy McDonald, Owen Craugh and Riley Hutchings swept the state titles in all three disciplines.

Kyle Sharp won in Greco-Roman and freestyle and was the top Nevada finisher in folkstyle, finishing second. Nevada opens up its folkstyle state event to wrestlers from other states.

Ten-year-old Hutchings, who has wrestled for four years, is representative of the love and dedication the club’s wrestlers show to the sport.

“It’s just like my favorite sport,” he said. “I don’t know, it’s just a fun sport. I practice a lot of my moves to get better at my house.”

Hutchings said his favorite move is the “barbed-wire.” “It puts them straight on their back,” he said.

Others who competed at state were: Nicholas Lani – Greco-Roman third, freestyle third, folkstyle third; Nevin Elliott – Greco-Roman third, freestyle third; Brady O’Keefe – freestyle sixth; Kaleb Wold – Greco-Roman sixth, freestyle fourth, folkstyle fifth; Blake Snyder.

Kye Catlin – Greco-Roman fourth, freestyle fifth; Cole Catlin. Bryce Moyle – Greco-Roman first, freestyle first, folkstyle sixth; Shae Brewer – Greco-Roman second, freestyle second, folkstyle second; Nolan Shine – Greco-Roman second, freestyle second, folkstyle second.

Cole McCarthy – Greco-Roman second, freestyle second, folkstyle second; Tristian Bakkedahl – Greco-Roman sixth, freestyle, fifth, folkstyle seventh; Wesley Thompson – folkstyle first; Matthew Barrett – freestyle fourth, folkstyle third; Patrick Craugh – Greco-Roman fifth, freestyle fifth, folkstyle fourth.

Ricky McDonald – Greco-Roman second, freestyle second, folkstyle first; Jordan Luhrs – freestyle sixth, folkstyle sixth; Cody Cunningham – Greco-Roman second, freestyle second, folkstyle second; Dawson Breuer – Greco-Roman sixth, freestyle seventh; Josh Peacock – freestyle fifth, folkstyle fourth; Casey Hill – freestyle second, folkstyle second.