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Tigers open season with road match against the Greenwave

by Chuck Smock, sports editor

The Douglas wrestling team will open the season today with a road dual match at Fallon.

First-year head coach Bill Nickerson will have only five seniors in his 14-man varsity lineup against the Greenwave, but he’s not conceding anything.

“We have a lot of young kids, but they’re tough young kids,” he said. “We’re looking solid. We’re going to be ready.

“I’m not promising the world to anybody, but come Zone and State, this team is going to be in a lot better shape than a lot of people realize.”

And the five seniors will have a lot to do with that.

Drew Hall and Romaine Smokey each had top-four finishes at last year’s Zone tournament to qualify for the State tournament. Hall returns at 160 pounds, while Smokey has moved up from 119 pounds to the 125-pound spot.

John Hillenbrand and Matt Wilcks will anchor a tough Tiger lineup in the upper weight divisions. Hillenbrand, who just missed a trip to State at 171 pounds last year, will start the season at 189 pounds. Wilcks is set to go at 215.

And senior Allen Anderson returns at 112 pounds.

The Tigers also hope to benefit from a varsity-tested class of juniors.

Nathan Bennett wrestled up at 189 pounds last season, but is back at his natural 171-pound spot.

Steven Magee brings varsity experience to the 135-pound division, while D’Art Johnson (145 pounds) and David Tingle (152 pounds) give the Tigers depth in the middle weights.

Johnson is penciled in at 152 pounds for today’s match, but Tingle is expected to be back for the Carson Duals on Saturday.

Junior Joe Immers will fill the heavyweight position.

Five underclassmen will make their varsity debuts today against the Greenwave.

Freshman Ryan Martinez will start things off at 103 pounds, and Luis Gabriel, also a freshman, will step into the 119-pound match.

Sophomores Ryan Pierce (130 pounds), Chris Pattison (140 pounds) and Raymond Gabriel (145 pounds) will round out the Douglas lineup in Fallon.