Ross brings home zone wrestling title
When the final challenger was vanquished, Cavin Ross didn’t jump, pump his fist or talk any trash. The South Tahoe High junior left the celebrating to family and friends after he won the 119-pound class at the Northern Nevada 4A zone championships Saturday at Galena High in Reno.
“If I win state, I won’t jump up and down. I’ll probably go out for another Mexican dinner,” said Ross, who raised his season record to 23-0.
After receiving a first-round bye, the top-seeded Ross disposed of McQueen’s Justin Carter, Dane Ashley and Romaine Smokey to realize South Tahoe’s first zone title since Andy Miller scored back-to-back 171-pound championships in 1992 and 1993.
“He prepared for every match, he knew what his opponents had and he found the tools necessary to win. That’s good competing,” said STHS coach Tom Barnes. “They weren’t flashy efforts, but they were solid efforts. That’s how you get through a tournament.”
The victories didn’t come without some anxiety. Ross needed the maximum three two-minute rounds to decision his opponents.
“Carter came out real hard and at one point and put Cavin on his back,” said Barnes, pointing to Ross’ first victory, a 13-9 decision of Carter. “He was really dead set on stopping Cavin. He put together a nice plan, but Cavin thwarted it.”
Ross didn’t allow Ashley much offense as he scored a 6-2 decision in the semifinals. The win set up a rematch with Douglas’ Smokey, who gave Ross his toughest match last month. In that match, Smokey surrendered three points in the final minute as Ross escaped with a 5-4 victory.
“Smokey wanted another shot at him, that was pretty clear,” Barnes said. “He had a pretty solid tournament until he hit Cavin.”
This time, Ross took care of business from the outset.
“I relaxed this time, and I was probably shooting a little more,” said Ross, who scored almost exclusively off of takedowns in his convincing 11-3 title-clinching win.
“This is great. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. I’m starting to love wrestling. It makes it a lot easier to do something you like.”
As the No. 1 seed from the North, Ross will wrestle the South’s fourth seed when the two-day state tournament opens at 1 p.m. Friday at Cimarron- Memorial High in Las Vegas.
“I think it’s important to win state for our high school program,” said Ross, whose Vikings lost all 12 of their league duals this season. “Most of the recognition for this should go to my coaches, my dad (Doug) and my team.”
Brad Ross was jazzed for his brother.
“It was pretty cool,” Brad Ross said. “It was pretty exciting. He went out there with ambition.”
Ross’ championship also extended the season of his twin brother, even though Brad was eliminated from 130-pound postseason contention Saturday. Brad will serve as his brother’s training partner in practice this week.
Despite Ross’ title, South Tahoe finished 13th out of 13 teams. Galena outscored Wooster 165-141 to win the zone title.
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