Viking grappler places fourth in Lions’ Tournament |

Viking grappler places fourth in Lions’ Tournament

South Tahoe High wrestling coach Tom Barnes knows he has a young team on his hands this season.

Which is why the team’s 11th-place finish Saturday at the 24th-annual Minden Lions’ Club Tournament doesn’t quite bother him.

“The competition was fairly firm,” said Barnes, whose squad is comprised of mostly freshmen and sophomores. “It’s just a matter of our being in a growing year. Our wrestlers are pretty young, so I think we’re on track.”

The Vikes finished with 26.5 points in the 11-team field. Incline (146 points) squeaked by Hug (140) to win in the overall team standings. Douglas, which hosted the tournament, finished in sixth with 93 points. Sophomore grappler Cavin Ross was South Tahoe’s top finisher, taking fourth-place honors in the 112-pound weight class.

The Vikes will host Carson and Douglas at 4 p.m. Wednesday, then travel to Carson City next weekend for a 16-team tournament before hosting the Randy Couch Memorial Tournament on Jan. 16. Barnes said he expects 10 teams to attend the school’s “duals-style” meet, which will feature two-five team brackets. The format guarantees that each team wrestles four times, with the top teams in each bracket competing against each other for overall places.

“We want to get in as many matches in as possible,” Barnes said. “In this sport, it takes what is called ‘contact’ to test skills. That’s what we’re trying to get for our wrestlers.”

Barnes believes his team is making good progress. His younger wrestlers continue to grow, while a conditioning program has helped with stamina and agility.

“We’re building a program season-to-season here,” Barnes said. “We have to gauge our competition and balance it so that some meets are easier, some are challenging.”

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