GUNNISON—Three Sanpete County high school wrestling teams came together at Gunnison High School last week to battle it out for bragging rights at the third annual Battle for the Belt.
North Sanpete’s won this year’s contest, with a combined score of 104-53.
Several years ago, the coaches from Manti, Gunnison and North Sanpete came together to create an exciting night of wrestling for the county. North Sanpete and Gunnison have both been able to bring the belt back to their school, and this year the competition was expected to be closely matched.
The Bulldogs and the Hawks took to the mat first. Bulldogs wrestler Tezlin Winn, who is a returning state finalist, faced off with the Hawks Kylan Taylor.
The match was executed closely with competitors tied up at 2 points each at the end of the second round. To begin the third period, Taylor chose the down position where he quickly answered with an escape and takedown. Taylor was able to ride out Winn until the last seconds where an escape was earned by Winn to end the match, with the win going to Taylor with a score of 5 to 3.
The Hawks pulled away from the Bulldogs and finished the dual with the win 51–25.
The Templars were next up to face off with the Hawks. These two teams met early in the season and Manti secured the win, so North Sanpete was looking for a little redemption.
“When we wrestled at the Holiday Classic tournament, we had several weight classes that were missing wrestlers,” Hawks’ Coach Kris King said. “This time around and for the first time this season we have a wrestler in each weight classification.”
Having a full team proved to be a deciding factor in the Hawks win over Manti 53-28. Also factoring in where a couple matches that North Sanpete lost the last time they met up that flipped the other way this time.
One of those was the heavy weight classification when Tyler Harward of the Hawks went up against Gage Fonville. In their last match up, Fonville pinned Harward in the final period, and Harward wanted revenge.
When the whistle blew Harward shot in quick and secured the win with a pin early in the first period.
“Getting the belt back at North Sanpete is definitely something that we are excited about,” Kasey Curtis team captain said. “But the most exciting thing is watching our team get better each match and come back after previous losses.”