NEPHI—Three high school wrestling teams from Sanpete County grappled with some of the toughest competition they will face all year at the Juab Winter Classic on Dec. 10-11.
Several bigger schools came to the 24-team tournament, making this one of the toughest tournaments in the state.
All teams wrestled against one other team to kick off the tournament to seat themselves into three different brackets. The luck of the draw is how the teams were seated for the remainder of the weekend.
The Hawks faced off with the 5A Timpanogos Timberwolves for the seating duel. The Timberwolves defeated the Hawks 46-32, placing North Sanpete in the Bronze Pool for the remaining of the weekend.
The Hawks wrestled seven other teams, defeating Snow Canyon 39-30, North Sevier 44-30, Monticello 48-21, Duchesne 39-36, South Sevier 42-39 and Gunnison 48-36. North Sanpete’s loss was against a team made up of Juab and Uintah wrestlers 34-33.
There were several wrestlers that stood out during the duel and went undefeated; they were Cody Dyches (106), Kasey Curtis (120) and Kylan Taylor (150).
One of the top matches of the weekend for North Sanpete was when Dyches, a freshman, wrestled North Sevier’s returning state champion and senior Slade Mickelson. Dyches dug deep in the first 30 seconds of the third round and pinned Mickelson for the win.
Curtis remains undefeated for the start of the season, racking up a record of 20-0. He is currently three wins away from reaching 150 high school career wins.
The team placed second overall in the Bronze Pool. They will travel to Mountain View on Thursday, Dec. 16 and to the Manti Holiday Classics Friday and Saturday to wrap up their mat time prior to the Christmas break.
Gunnison dueled Spanish Fork in their seating pool losing 46-33. Spanish Fork is a top team in an upper division with several ranked wrestlers. The loss moved the Bulldogs to the Bronze Pool.
Coach Hunter Whitney’s team is young and full of new wrestlers, which made for a tough weekend. The Bulldogs lost the rest of their duels, although some were very close. Gunnison wrestled Duchesne 48-36, Snow Canyon 60-24, South Sevier 45-36, Monticello 41-36, Juab/Uintah 54-18 and North Sanpete 48-36.
Individually, Jake Sorensen (165) went undefeated for the weekend and Will Wescott (215) only lost one of his matches.
The Bulldogs will travel to Kanab for a dual meet on Thursday, Dec. 16 and then onto Desert Hills for the weekend.
The Manti wrestlers pulled off a close win in their pool play round against North Sevier, 42-36, which set them up in the Silver Pool for the remainder of the tournament.
Coach Ryan Fowles summarized the tournament with pride in the team’s efforts by saying, “Placement wise we didn’t do too hot, but the team was resilient, and I feel we won the mental battle that is there when you are in the trenches.”
Duels for the Templars were Westlake 66-18, Spanish Fork 42-30, Timpanogos 54-30, Emery 60-18, Richfield 53-18, North Summit 57-24, Box Elder 48-18 and Millard 58-24.
While the team scores may not have put up a good show, several wrestlers individually did well. Kelan Layton (157) went the weekend undefeated with a record of 8-0. Bridger Christiansen (120), Dallin Sweat (190) and Jace Wilson (285) each only added two losses to their records.
The boys will wrestle against the No. 1 ranked Juab Wasps at home on Thursday, Dec. 15. The wrestlers will then host their Holiday Classics on Friday and Saturday at the high school.