North Sanpete boys place
five wrestlers on podium
By Marcy Curtis
RICHFIELD—Despite a lot of changes and even some setbacks, wrestlers from North Sanpete and Manti High Schools found their places on the podium at the 3A State Wrestling Championship last Friday at the Sevier Valley Center.
The competition wrapped up a very different season than in the past for both the Manti Templars and The North Sanpete Hawks.
Utah High School Wrestlers across the state weren’t even sure if they were going to have a season back in November due to COVID-19 regulations. Wrestling was hit hard by the changes to make it safe for them to participate. Two-day tournaments were not allowed; no more than five individual matches could take place in a day; there was a mandatory two week shut down at the first of the season; COVID testing was done almost weekly; and modified state bracketing system was put in place.
Nine of the Hawk wrestlers qualified for state this year. Round one was a tough one for the Hawks with only two wrestlers, Kasey Curtis and Laramie Roberts winning their matches. The modified bracketing system changed how the consolation rounds worked. If you lost before your semifinal match, the highest you could come back and place was fifth; where in years past you could battle back for third. This was definitely a hard thing for the wrestlers.
Curtis lost his quarterfinal match to Cooper Blackett of Juab by a score of 2-1 to move him into the consolation side of it all.
“My match against Blackett was hard. He is a great wrestler who I respect a lot. I knew after that match I would have to give it my all to medal; something I have never been able to do at state,” Curtis said.
Curtis went on to wrestle three more times to take sixth place in the 126 pound bracket.
Kylan Taylor was another one of the Hawks wrestlers that placed at state. Taylor lost early on in the tournament, but battled back and was able to beat Kelan Layton of Manti to take fifth place.
Roberts, the Hawks’ senior 220 pounder, pushed through all his matches and made it to the finals. He wrestled against Emery’s Braden Howard for the Championships. A very hard-fought match took place were Roberts fell short and ended up placing second.
“I am thankful that we were able to have a season and be able to be on the mat,” said Curtis. “I hope that next season we are back to normal brackets and wrestling time.”
The Templers also qualified nine wrestlers for the tournament. However, the Templers had a better first round with six of their wrestlers winning their matches. Three of the team’s wrestlers placed in sixth place as the tournament wrapped up Friday night.
Kayden Blackham, Kelan Layton and Kayden Clark all received medals for their efforts on the mat.
“Manti wrestling continues to improve and all of our boys were grateful for the opportunity to compete,” said assistant coach Rob Larsen. “As coaches we are pleased with the class and heart the boys showed throughout the state.”