Wrestlers end Carson drought
Since the Douglas and Carson high school wrestling programs have a history of waging some exciting wrestling dual meets, it wasn’t surprising to see the arch rivals battle back and forth Saturday for the championship of Carson’s fifth annual Capital City Duals.
This time, the Tigers found a way to win.
Douglas won four of five matches in the middle weight classes to take control en route to a 37-29 victory in the finals of the 10-team tournament at Morse Burley Gymnasium. The decision reversed a loss to Carson in the finals of last year’s Capital City Duals. It also marked the first time Douglas had beaten Carson in a dual meet since Jan. 16, 1991.
“Wow. That’s all I can say is wow,” Douglas coach Mike Gamberg said. “These kids are unreal. They impress me every day. For us to start the season off the way we have, I’m very pleased.”
That verdict also snapped Carson’s 28-match win streak, dating back to Dec. 2, 2000. The last previous loss came at the hands of Sparks in the finals of the 2000 Capital City Duals. One of the closest calls during that stretch came in 2001 when the Senators beat the Tigers, 33-27, on a pin in the final minute of the heavyweight match.
Oh, and by the way, Carson had a 32-match streak end in 1988 when Douglas won, 28-27.
Individually, the competition was every bit as close as the final score suggested. Maybe closer, considering the Tigers won three matches by one-point decisions.
Bradley Johnson scored an escape late in the third period to pull out a 3-2 win over Sergio Calvillo in the 130-pound match, a win that put the Tigers on top 13-11 in the team score column.
Two pivotal matches were waged back-to-back in the 160- and 171-pound matches.
First, Ray Gabriel came from behind to edge Micah Whitcome 4-3 at 160 pounds. Whitcome took an early lead, but Gabriel came back and broke a 3-3 tie with a reversal in the final minute.
Then, in a wild back-and-forth affair, Grant Hall outlasted Chris Ceccarelli 11-10. Hall broke a 6-6 tie with a reversal and near fall at the outset of the third round and then he held on the rest of the win to pick up a win that put Douglas on top, 31-20.
Dan Molina clinched the victory for Douglas when he pinned Antonio Nunez at 1:07 in the 189-pound bout.
Earlier, Douglas junior C.J. Keith pinned Paul Carter at 145 pounds in a match that showcased two place finishers from the 4A state tournament last