PLEASANT GROVE – North Sanpete senior Kasey Curtis was chosen to wrestle in the 2022 Atlas Allstar Duals on Friday, where some of the top wrestlers in the state come together to battle it out on the mat.
Two of what Utah USA wrestling representatives decide are the top seniors in the state are chosen to select a wrestler in each weight division and make up their teams to go head-to-head in one night of wrestling.
“It says a lot to be asked and even more to say yes,” said Juab wrestling coach’s wife, Holly Holman.
Several wrestlers were asked to compete, but for one reason or another decided not to. However, that wasn’t the case for Curtis.
When he was called the week before the match, he didn’t even hesitate to say yes. He was going to have to drop down a weight class, which meant a little weight cut. But it was nothing he didn’t think he could handle.
Curtis faced Jacob Carson of Pleasant Grove High School. Carson is the 6A 120-pound state champion with a season record of 42-3, who pinned his way through the state tournament and pinned his finals match in 55 seconds.
Curtis’ off-season coach, Nash Brown, said that it’s always a privilege to step out on the mat and compete with some of the best in the state. Being asked to wrestle at the duals was just another chance for Kasey to do exactly that.
“It’s awesome when you get the chance to wrestle a state champ, especially a kid like Jacob,” said Brown.
Going into the match, Curtis said that he knew he was the underdog, but he wasn’t going to let that stop him. Carson ended up defeating Curtis in the match, 20-9.
Curtis said the event was such a cool experience and to be able to wrestle on a team with the top wrestlers in the state was such a great opportunity.
“The whole night was full of such high-level wrestling,” he said. “It opened my eyes of how far I have come in my years of wrestling, and how much better I can be as well.”
Curtis has been wrestling for 14 years and said that his favorite thing about the sport is that you get out of it what you put into it.
“If you put in the time and effort in the wrestling room and in the off-season, you can be successful in this sport,” he said.
North Sanpete High School coach Kris King said that Curtis had a great senior year. He was a team captain and was always willing to help and push others. He ended up leaving it all on the mat every time.
“I told him that if he will go through life with the same dedication, there is nothing that he can not achieve,” King said. “I truly wish that I could have him one more year.”
Curtis finishes his high school wrestling career with a record of 178-36 and a senior record of 51-5.
“Kasey is the face of North Sanpete wrestling,” said Brady Blackett, a parent of one of his opponents from Juab. “He conducts himself with honor each time he is on the mat. What a great career he has had.”
Kayden World, a wrestler from Emery, who has wrestled against Curtis all four years of high school, even beating him in state during their sophomore year, said that he is an all-around good sport and is someone you must watch out for on the mat.
“He is a good sport on and off the mat,” World said. “In wrestling, you gain a brotherhood like no other sport, and that is just what has happened with Kasey and me. We are opponents on the mat, but off the mat, we have a friendship and brotherhood.”
While wrestling is an individual sport, Curtis said that he has a lot of people to give credit to for his success. Several coaches and mentors through the years have helped him get to where he is. One of the people he holds high on the list is a coach that he has had for over six years, Brown.
“He’s really good with technique, and he has shown me that I can be good if I just put in the work,” he said.
Another person he gives credit to is his mom, Marcy.
“She has put so much into my dreams. She takes me to practices, camps, tournaments during the off-season, and she never misses my matches. She is always in the corner cheering me on,” Curtis said.
Some other people he mentioned were his high school coaches, Kris King and Cheyne Christensen.
While Curtis isn’t sure what college he will attend, he plans to continue his love of wrestling at the next level. He said that he is excited to see what the next couple of months bring and plans on picking a college soon.