Northern 4A wrestling tournament should be wild |

Northern 4A wrestling tournament should be wild

Dave Price

Perhaps it’s fitting the Northern 4A Region Wrestling Tournament is going to be held at Galena High School.

The school is located on Butch Cassidy Way, after all, and the tournament shapes up to be similar to a wild west shoot-out both from a team and individual standpoint.

Start with the team championship race, which could very well turn out to be a toss-up between a handful of schools.

“Sparks has to be the favorite after going 11-0 in conference (dual meets), but as we all know, things tend to change in championship situations,” said tournament director Jim Coverley, who coached Sparks to five zone team championships in the 1970s and ’80s. “Elko, Carson, Douglas and Reno are all right there.”

Carson coach Tim McCarthy echoed those thoughts.

“Legitimately, there are five teams that could win it,” McCarthy said. “Each team is going to have some kids in the finals; I think it could be decided by the team that gets kids placing third through fifth.”

Back in November, McCarthy may have been a little surprised to know the Senators would contend for the champion with four freshmen and two sophomores in their lineup.

“We’re way better off than I expected,” McCarthy said. “We have a legitimate shot to win the whole thing, but it’s going to take a whole lot of intensity and a little bit of luck.”

Nine of the 14 individual champions from last year’s tournament are back, including Carson’s senior tandem of Justin Sarnowski (135 pounds) and Doug Brooks (140). Galena 103-pounder Michael Crooks is another defending champion.

The top five finishers in each weight bracket will qualify for the NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Championships next weekend in Elko. There appear to be some good individual battles in store, too.

“Just at a glance, it looks like there are two or three kids in each weight class who have a chance to win,” Coverley said. “And every weight class has at least eight kids and one has 12 kids.”

Wrestling begins Friday at 4 p.m. and at 10 a.m. on Saturday. The championship round is tentatively scheduled to begin at 6.

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