Douglas High School wrestling capitalized on expanded state qualifications this season, as 12 Tigers advanced from last weekend’s Class 5A regional wrestling tournament at Carson High.
Six wrestlers from each weight class qualified for the state tournament; in the past it has been three from each class.
The state tournament is at the Winnemucca Events Center on Friday and Saturday.
On top of qualifying a majority of the varsity lineup, Douglas High School also snagged the 2022-23 Class 5A Outstanding Sportsmanship Award as a team.
Tiger head coach Jake Fair said the team award wasn’t necessarily an honor they were striving for, but one that proves the direction Fair, the rest of the coaching staff and the Tigers are trying to steer the program.
(Douglas High junior heavyweight Michael White flexes after winning his third place match at the Class 5A regional tournament last weekend at Carson High. / Carter Eckl)
LEADING THE WAY
Topping the regional qualification results was junior, 215-pounder Sage Adie, who needed a little more than eight minutes to pick up two wins by pin in the quarterfinals and the semis.
Adie’s regional final opponent, undefeated Connor Nordt of Spanish Springs, was able to pin Adie in the finale.
However, Adie knew what he did wrong as soon as the whistle blew.
“I know what I need to work on at state. It’s a little frustrating because it’s tiny mistakes, but if you fix the little things the big things will fix themselves,” Adie said.
Adie has over 30 wins and punches his ticket to state for the second straight season.
“I felt pretty good. I wish I would’ve gotten first, but it was good,” said Adie. “I have a practice partner this year and we both work hard every day in the gym. We make each other tougher and that’s what helps.”
Adie says his double-leg takedowns have been one of his better moves this season and allowed him to pick up points and open up windows for pins.
The solo nature of the sport has been part of the reason it’s appealed to Adie, who says his goal for the state tournament is to find his way onto another podium.
Junior heavyweight Michael White capitalized on a matchup with a familiar foe to take third place.
White has been using an inhaler after matches after battling through an illness earlier this season that has made the cardio side of the sport much tougher.
“I’ve just been getting over a sickness and today felt like the day. I was able to breathe today,” said White. “It’s been tough, but I’ve been lucky to have my team push me and support me in conditioning.”
White won the Class 5A North heavyweight title as a sophomore, meaning this coming weekend will be a second chance at the state meet.
“I wasn’t happy with where I finished last year. This year, I’m going for gold again,” White said.
Joining those two will also be 215-pounder Roan Zigenis, who was fifth and Aaron Tekansik, who finished third at 190 pounds.
Tekansik fell in the semifinals of the regional tournament, but bounced back with a pin in the third-place match.
Dalton Nixon came in third place at 157 pounds after a 4-1 tournament in which he had two wins by pin, one by major decision and one decision.
Jaxon Nixon (175) and Caine Klein (165) were sixth and fifth, respectively, and both qualified for the state tournament.
Kai Blumenthal (138) went 3-2 overall with a win in the fifth place match in 2:42 to punch his ticket to the state meet.
Victor Valdez (126) and Jacob Lewis (120) both qualified as well with fifth place finishes.
Fellow 120-pounder, Cody Highfill, was able to best Lewis on his way to a fourth place finish while Gunnar Bleeker was sixth at 113 pounds.
As a team, Douglas finished in fourth place with 134 team points. Spanish Springs was champion with 279.5 team points.
(The Douglas High School wrestling team poses for a photo after being selected for the Class 5A team sportsmanship award for the winter season. / Carter Eckl)
Editor's note: A previous edition of this story stated it was Sage Adie's first time qualifying for the state wrestling tournament. This winter was Adie's second time, punching his ticket to the state tournament. That mistake has been corrected.