Wrestlers face tough competition
Coming off a highly-challenging two-day test at the Sierra Nevada Classic earlier this week, the Douglas High wrestling team returns to the mat Saturday at the James McCollum Memorial Tournament in Sparks.
The tournament — named in memory of James McCollum, a longtime Washoe County teacher, coach, administrator and commissioner of the old Northern Nevada 4A conference — is scheduled to get under way at 9 a.m. at Sparks High School.
Douglas didn’t have anyone reach the medal podium Tuesday and Wednesday at the 40th annual Sierra Nevada Classic held at the Reno Livestock Events Center, however, there were some bright spots during competition in a tournament that attracted 87 schools from around the West.
Sophomore 160-pounder Blake Murray compiled a 4-2 record over two days, highlighted by three matches against wrestlers who were state tournament qualifiers last year. Murray won his opening round match and then lost to Jason Bergquist of Folsom, a California state tournament qualifier last year. Murray came back to defeat three straight opponents in the consolation bracket, the last a 5-4 decision over Kelso High sophomore A.J. Hoggatt, a Washington 3A state tournament qualifier last year. Murray’s tournament run ended with a 9-2 defeat at the hands of Tanner Sallee of Lebanon, Ore., who was an Oregon 5A state tournament qualifier in 2015. Bergquist and Sallee went on to place fifth and seventh respectively on Wednesday.
Junior 106-pounder Kindel Isham won his first two matches by fall before he lost to No. 3 seeded Joseph Otero of Cleveland High (Rio Rancho, N.M.) and later dropped a 4-2 decision against Tony Castaneda of McNary (Keizer, Ore.). Otero went on to place second in the bracket.
Mason Melhus also went 2-2 at 132 pounds for the Tigers, who finished 65th in the team standings with 29 points.
Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) won the team championship by a 196-179.5 margin over Del Oro (Loomis, Calif.).
Looking ahead on the schedule, Douglas will host its own 20-team Carson Valley Lions Invitational on Jan. 9. The Tigers come back on Jan. 13 to face Galena in a Sierra League dual meet in Reno.