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Carson favored in Couch Tournament

Steve Yingling

The field has dwindled but the Randy Couch Tournament continues to exist as one of the premier prep wrestling tournament in these parts.

Ten teams are expected to compete in the 28-year-old tournament Saturday at South Tahoe High.

“We don’t have as many teams from California anymore,” said Tournament Director Mike Noble, a former South Tahoe High wrestling coach and grappler.

Action gets under way at 9 a.m. Finals in the 14-pound classes are tentatively set for 4 p.m.

Besides the Vikings, other schools committed to the one-day tournament are Carson (two teams); McQueen; Reno; Galena; Bear Creek, Calif.; Battle Mountain, Las Lomas, Calif.; and Fallon.

South Tahoe has hosted the tournament for three decades, but in 1981 the event was named after former Viking wrestler Randy Couch, who died in an automobile accident on graduation night in 1980. Noble was an eighth-grader wrestler that year, but remembers Couch.

“He was quite the stud of the team and quite the inspiration,” Noble said.

Tokay High, a past participant, elected to skip this year’s tournament because of a traffic accident on slick roads after last year’s competition. While the Tokay wrestlers fortunately escaped injury, the school’s van was totalled.

“Their school district wanted to stay where it was safer,” Noble said.

Snow again is in the forecast this weekend, but most of this year’s entrants don’t need to travel any further than 65 miles one way.

Carson, which finished runner-up to Wooster last year, is the title favorite, according to Noble. The Senators have won the tournament twice, including 1996. They have captured two tournament championships this season and routed the Vikings 67-6 in a dual Wednesday night in Carson City.

“It’s really a good showcase for our wrestlers. They get to see the top kids and get everyone competing,” Noble said.

Admission is $4.


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