Tigers, Senators face off for rivalry match
On paper, the Douglas Tigers appear to be an under dog in their wrestling showdown tonight at home against the two-time defending Sierra League dual meet champion Carson Senators.
Douglas (3-1 league, 8-4 overall) could secure a share of the league championship with a win over first-place Carson (4-0) in the 6 p.m. meet. Damonte Ranch is currently tied with Douglas for second-place.
However, Douglas 182-pounder Blake Murray points out that the winner will be decided on the mat rather than on paper.
“You know, we’re going to have the home crowd support, and just knowing it’s our last go-round at home, we’re going to give it our all,” the senior said. “You’ve just got to love the fight over the finish.”
Last year, Carson defended its Sierra League wrestling title with a come-from-behind 43-34 win at home over the Tigers.
One of the evening’s top matchups could come in the 182-pound match between Murray and Carson’s talented Jesse Case.
Other matches to watch, tentatively, are Carson’s David Remer and the Tigers’ Chad Singer at 170 pounds, as well as Carson 138-pounder Kyle Rudy and the Tigers’ Shane Trivitt. Remer won his weight class and Rudy placed second this past weekend at the Albany Invitational in the Bay Area.
Meanwhile, Douglas enjoyed some bright spots, including Murray’s individual title, Friday and Saturday at the 18th annual Walter Marrietta Vaquero Classic in Fernley.
Murray pinned three straight opponents to win the 182-pound gold medal, capped by a win in 4:18 over Anthony Peterson of Lowry. The tournament title was Murray’s fifth of the season.
Singer and Trivitt also placed third in their respective 170- and 138-pound divisions.
Singer won his opener by fall before he lost by fall in the semifinals at the hands of Elko’s Carl Hansen, the eventual gold medal winner. Singer came back in the consolation bracket to post an 11-0 win, followed by a 6-4 win over Nathaniel Perez of Spanish Springs in the consolation finals.
Trivitt, who placed at Fernley for the third straight year, opened with a win by fall then edged Reed’s Joshua Berryman, 6-4, before he lost in the semifinals against Pershing County’s Jayce Leyva, a 2A state tournament runner-up in 2017. Trivitt rebounded to beat Elko’s Lincoln Ratliff, 3-2, and outpointed Wooster’s Patrick McDonald, 7-5, in the consolation finals.
Senior 132-pounder Andrew Williams went 3-2, including a win by fall in his opener. Williams picked up two more wins in the consolation bracket, one by fall, before he lost to Battle Mountain’s Jake Legarza, a two-time 2A state champion.
Gabe Wetzel finished 2-2 at 152 pounds. Wetzel won twice by fall in the first round (49 seconds and 1:19) before he lost in the semifinals. Jaden Blanchard went 2-2 at 113 pounds, including a win by fall in 40 seconds, and Max Smith went 1-2 at 120 pounds. Byron Fair won his 145-pound opener by fall.
Douglas finished 10th in the 30-team standings with 95 points.
Looking ahead, the Tigers are scheduled to compete this weekend at the 14th annual Placer Duals in Auburn, Calif. Wrestling in the 16-team tournament starts at 9 a.m. in Earl Crabbe Gym, which was built in 1936. The Northern 4A Region Tournament will be held on Feb. 2-3 at Carson High School.