Douglas wrestlers eye first home dual
This is no ordinary home opener for the Douglas High wrestling team.
The Tigers will look for some payback and also put their hopes for a Sierra League dual meet championship on the line Wednesday night in their season home debut against Damonte Ranch at Randy Green Court. Junior varsity matches are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
Douglas (1-0 league, 6-3 overall) opened its league season last past Wednesday with a 66-12 victory against Bishop Manogue in Reno and hopes to continue that momentum against a Damonte Ranch (1-0 league) team that reigned as league champion in 2014-15 and finished as the runner-up the last two seasons.
When these two teams met back on Jan. 4 last season, Damonte Ranch won the final four matches to pull out a 37-36 win that was decided by a tie-breaker (the Mustangs had a 7-6 advantage in matches won). The outcome was decided by two points from a reversal in the final five seconds of the final match, which enabled the Mustangs to tie the team score at 36-all.
“We’re really looking forward to this,” Douglas coach Jacob Fair said this week. “They’ve given us some heart ache the last two years, but we’re going to have a near-full lineup and a lot of the things we’ve been building for the last couple of years are starting to come together.”
In 2016, Douglas gave away 24 points on four match forfeits in a 50-26 loss at Damonte Ranch. Last season, the Tigers forfeited two matches, and this time, they will fill 13 of 14 weight classes.
Looking at tentative lineups, there could be some interesting individual matchups on Wednesday.
■ 113 pounds: Douglas sophomore Jaden Blanchard could be looking at a test against Bryce Bell (6-0 this season), a state qualifier last February at 106 pounds.
■ 132 pounds: Douglas senior Andrew Williams, who qualified for the state tournament as a sophomore 113-pounder in 2016, could face Damonte Ranch junior Spencer Mitchell, who took a 5-1 record into this weekend’s Cody Louk Invitational in Winnemucca.
■ 152 pounds: Douglas senior Mason Melhus may face Damonte Ranch senior Greg Ewert (5-1), a region champion and state runner-up at 106 pounds in 2016 and third-place in the region at 120 pounds last season.
■ 170 pounds: Douglas junior Chad Singer against Damonte Ranch junior Benjamin Garlock (4-2).
Melhus and Gabe Wetzel provided the Tigers with strength at 152 and 160 pounds last weekend during their 5-3 showing at the Earl Wilkens Memorial dual team tournament in Fallon.
“They fill out the middle of our lineup before we get to Chad Singer and Blake Murray,” Fair said of Melhus and Wetzel. “Mason is in his fourth year with the program, he’s one of our team captains and he’s really coming into his own. Gabe is in his second year with us and he’s a very gifted athlete who has a lot of potential.”
Mason Broderdorf (220 pounds), Shane Trivitt (138), Williams (132), Wetzel (160) and Murray (182) won their matches by fall at Manogue.
Douglas is scheduled to host its annual Carson Valley Lions Club Invitational on Dec. 22-23. The tournament has previously been held in early January, however, Fair said it was moved to December to allow the team to compete at the Spring Creek Kiwanis Invitational on Jan. 12-13.
Editor’s note: Michael Holen contributed to this report.