Miller tops nationally-ranked opponent for crown
Shane Miller’s bid for a perfect senior season kept rolling along Saturday afternoon.
The Douglas High wrestler has been nothing short of dominating against league opponents this year, but he’s also had to defend his perfect record against some pretty steep odds.
Earlier this year, he claimed the title in the 189-pound weight class at the prestigious Sierra Nevada Classic in Reno, and he only added to his lore Saturday at the Kiwanis Tournament hosted by Spring Creek High School.
Miller claimed the 189-pound title in the tournament by defeating Minico (Idaho) High School’s Wes Cooper, who was ranked No. 7 in the country heading into the tournament.
“Shane is the real deal,” Douglas coach Lamont McCann said. “This kid he was facing has already signed to wrestle for Boise State next year. Shane honestly wasn’t expected to win.
“He went out and took control early and won an awesome match.”
Miller improved to 38-0 on the year, with Cooper being the second state champion he’s beaten this season. Earlier in the year, Miller topped the defending state champion from Washington.
McCann said he has been contacting colleges to see if they would be interested in Miller for next season.
“We really didn’t know what we had with Shane until after the Sierra Nevada Classic,” McCann said. “Some schools have shown some interest in him but obviously, he should wrestle somewhere next year.”
McCann said one school that has shown interest in Miller already is Cal Poly.
Minico claimed the team title with Fallon taking second, Spring Creek third and Douglas finishing fourth.
Fallon, Spring Creek and Douglas are currently ranked one through three respectively in the Sierra Nevada Sports Media Poll.
Douglas placed eight wrestlers in the final round and four in championship matches Saturday.
While Miller was the only Tiger to bring home a title, Douglas’ Garrett Hekhuis, Ryan Pruitt and Sean Molina all won silver medals.
Hekhuis lost a narrow 5-2 decision to Andrew Uhl of Minico in the 103-pound finals. Pruitt battled regional power James Stubbs of Fallon in the 152 title bout, eventually losing 9-7 and Molina dropped a 10-6 decision to Fallon’s Riley Orozco in the 171-pound finals.
Jake Williams and Matt Castro each won bronze medals, with Williams pinning Ryan Sirucek of Minico in 3:22 in the 145-pound class and Castro pinning Carlin’s Jody Heney in 1:25 in the heavyweight class.
C.J. Wynar (112) and Bryan Kaplan (125) each finished in fourth place for the Tigers.
“It was a really tough tournament,” McCann said. “We did well. I was proud of their day, we got a lot accomplished as a team against a very tough field.”
The Tournament featured six of the top 10 ranked teams in the region and three of the top five.
Douglas doesn’t have a dual match this week, but will travel to California this weekend for the Alhambra Invitational.
n Joey Crandall can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (775) 782-5121, ext. 212.