RICHFIELD – The Sevier Valley Center hosted the two-day 3A state wrestling tournament this week. Both North Sanpete and Manti were represented at the final tournament, and the Hawks and Templars made the most of the weekend.
Cody Dyches, a North Sanpete freshman, proved that every match starts at zero. After losing to Juab’s Rowdy Peterson twice earlier in the season, Dyches knew he had his work cut out for him as he was going to face him in the finals.
“Before I walked out onto the mat, I was preparing myself mentally for what I was up against,” Dyches said. “I wanted to wrestle my match and not his, this time.”
Dyches has practiced in the wrestling room every day with his partner Krew King, who also wrestled in the 106 bracket.
“I have the best partner in the room,” he said. “He pushed me to be better every practice.”
Dyches said that he has big plans now. Accomplishing his goal of being a state champion is behind him. And now he wants to keep going and become a four-time state champion along with a Fargo All American.
“Being a state champ is a big accomplishment for me,” he said. “I am lucky to have the best family support along with great coaches and the best teammates.”
Dyches’ mom, Brittany, has lots of emotions about her son’s state championship accomplishment.
“I am so proud of Cody,” she said. “He has sacrificed so much knowing what it takes to reach his goals.”
She continued by saying how lucky he is to have a father who helped him every step of the way and who reminded her often to trust the process.
“Wrestling has brought our family closer together; and some of my most tender memories has been watching my boys get up after defeat,” she said. “Wrestling is our life, and it is the best life.”
It’s been two years since North Sanpete has had a state champion wrestler, and before that it had been more than 10 years. Kris King, the new coach at the school, has said several times this season that he is ready to turn some heads and it looks like he may be heading in the right direction.
Manti also had a wrestler who made it to the finals stage. Kelan Layton (157 pounds), a sophomore for the Templars faced off with Juab’s two-time champ, Chase Ingram.
Layton said that there was a lot of preparation that went into his finals match.
“I didn’t just prepare physically to meet Chase, I had to prepare mentally,” Layton said. “I really didn’t want him to get into my head, because he can do that.”
Layton said that he loves wrestling because when you are at your lowest of lows, you know that if you keep working hard, something great will come out of it eventually.
“It was a tough loss for me, but I will come out stronger than ever next year,” he said.
Kasey Curtis, a senior with the Hawks, wrestled in the 126-pound weight division. That is notably one of the toughest weight classes in the state with five of the top 15 in the state coming out of 3A, according to the Beehive 25 ranking.
Curtis was faced with some tough competition in his semifinal match against Morgan’s Will Korth. After a tough battle, Curtis came up a few points shy of advancing to the finals. Korth went on to take the 126-pound championship.
Curtis battled back to wrestle Tray Rasmussen from American Leadership Academy for third place.
Once Curtis knew he had sealed the match to take third place, he said he just wanted to look around and soak it all in as it would be his final time in a high school wrestling match.
“Wrestling my last year, every high school wrestling match was super bittersweet,” Curtis said. “Lots of hard work and dedication have gone into my wrestling throughout high school. Although I know it wasn’t my last wrestling match ever, it was good to end it with a win.”
Both teams had two other placers, Dallin Sweat (third, Manti) and Cache Nicolson (sixth, North Sanpete).
In the team standings, the Juab Wasps won with 307.5 points. Morgan was behind them with 213.5. North Sanpete placed 10th overall with 59 points; and Manti was 11th with 55 points.