Douglas wrestling tournament opens today |

Douglas wrestling tournament opens today

A limited, though talented, field of wrestlers is expected to be on hand today and Saturday to compete at the Carson Valley Lions Club Invitational at Douglas High School.

The tournament, a Douglas tradition dating back to 1976, has been moved from its normal slot in early January and expanded to a two-day event. Weigh-ins are set for 4 p.m. followed by wrestling at 6. Action will continue on Saturday at 9 a.m., with the finals tentatively set to begin between noon and 1 p.m.

A field of 10 teams was confirmed as of Wednesday, according to tournament director Jon Murray.

“We’re hoping to end up with 14 or 15 teams,” Murray said. “We were looking for more, but a lot of teams couldn’t make it because of the holiday.”

Two of the top Northern 3A teams, Churchill County and Fernley, are sending entries, along with South Tahoe, Yerington, Sparks and Dayton. Spanish Springs is sending its “B” team.

Spanish Springs fielded two split squads that finished first and third at the Lions tournament last January.

Douglas will be led by senior 182-pounder Blake Murray, a third-place medalist at the 2017 4A state tournament. Murray defeated South Tahoe’s Jose Leon (170-pound runner-up at the 3A state tournament) in the Cody Louk Invitational finals on Dec. 9. Murray went 1-2 last Friday at the Reno Tournament of Champions.

The Churchill County Greenwave from Fallon finished as the runner-up team at the 3A state tournament last season and as the state champion in 2016.

Another blue chip wrestler to watch is Churchill County junior Sean McCormick (13-1 record), who placed third in the 160-pound weight class at the Reno Tournament of Champions — which qualified for All-American recognition.

Yerington’s Cade Draper is a returning Carson Valley tournament and 2A state champion 138-pounder. Churchill County junior heavyweight Ben Dooley is a returning 3A state runner-up. The Fernley team also features heavyweight Lonnie Slapinski, a gold medalist at the Cody Louk Invitational and a 3A third-place finisher last season at state.