MOODY: Nevada really should make its state tourney encompass all divisions

I've always thought that Nevada was a bit behind when it comes to putting on wrestling tournaments, and Carson coach Tim McCarthy pointed out something to me Friday that only verified my thoughts.

McCarthy pointed out that Nevada has the smallest state wrestling finals field in the nation with just nine participants.

Part of that is because Nevada wrongfully separates its state tournament by classifications. In California, all the wrestlers, small school and large school, are thrown into the same tournament.

McCarthy said he called the NIAA a couple of years ago to voice his concerns which basically fell on deaf ears.

McCarthy said he felt like they were telling him "be lucky with what you have."

And, to make matters worse, they are splitting state wrestling into two days, according to McCarthy.

"The 4A will wrestle for a couple of hours on Friday, and then the 2A-3A comes in to finish out the evening. Then everybody finishes up on Saturday," McCarthy said. "With just nine guys in the field, you could easily do this in one day. Why make teams (that are traveling) spend another day in a hotel when they don't need to. And, they force the kids to weigh in twice."

A valid point.

If the NIAA is going to insist on holding state meets at the same location, maybe they should talk to the coaches involved and see what they would like to do. To me, holding one on Friday and one on Saturday makes all the sense in the world. Missing a day of school is not the end of the world, and if that makes a huge difference, than some of these guys shouldn't be playing athletics.

•••

While we're on the subject of wrestling, I'd like to take a couple of paragraphs to weigh in on the recent decision by the Churchill County School Board of Trustees to suspend from school four students who hazed a fellow wrestler at a tournament in Las Vegas.

For those of you who hadn't heard or read anything about this, it will make you sick.

According to sources, the victim was taken out of his hotel room by the alleged assailants, his pants stripped, taped and urinated on. Fallon Police Chief Kevin Gehman said the case is being investigated by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Gehman added his department did some investigating into the alleged crime, but handed over their findings to the LVMPD.

The four students have been suspended for the remainder of the school year. I applaud the decision. In fact, I would have banned them from playing any NIAA-sponsored sport for the rest of their high school careers.

I've been involved in hazing. This was not hazing. This was assault.

•••

And, while we're on the subject of state tournaments, why would the NIAA hold the 3A state basketball tournament this year in Las Vegas? It means that three Northern schools have to travel to play one Southern school. It's idiotic. Let the one Southern team travel every year.

You could host it at Carson or Spanish Springs.

I know the NIAA will say its better to keep everything together, but at what expense? It's not cheap for the Northern schools to travel and pay for two nights of hotel and meals. I think you also lose a big gate by asking three Northern schools to travel. I guarantee you could pack any gym if the 3A tourney stayed in Northern Nevada.

•••

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and I would be remiss if I didn't throw in my two cents about today's game between the Steelers and Packers.

I'm rooting for the Packers because I think they will bottle up Pittsburgh's running game, and force the Steelers to be one-dimensional. The only way I see the Steelers winning is if they can rattle Aaron Rodgers and force him into throwing some interceptions; perhaps even get a pick-6.

If the Packers take care of the ball, I think they will have the upper hand.

Prediction: Green Bay 28, Pittsburgh 20.

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