High school wrestling: 2-time defending champ Maple Mountain leads pack at 4A tournament
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News
WEST VALLEY CITY — It’s still easy to pick out a Wasatch High wrestler at the state tournament.
After being a 3A power for years, the Wasps moved up to 4A this year and brought their traditions with them. Among them is the annual custom of each athlete bleaching their hair for the three-day event.
“We started doing it in 1998 or 1999 and it just stuck with the kids,” said coach Wade Discher, who admitted he did it too one year. “It just brings the kids together.”
The Wasps dominated for years behind the excellence of the Sanderson family of wrestlers and continued their winning tradition by capturing the 3A team title for six straight years during the middle of the last decade (2003-'08). The trophy case hasn’t had to be expanded since.
However, in its first year in 4A, Wasatch moved seven athletes into Friday's semifinals. The Wasps, though, are just one team with a chance to win the state team title.
Two-time defending champion Maple Mountain is on top with 97 points (and with eight wrestlers in the semis). Mountain Crest is at 92, Wasatch 76, Box Elder 69 and Salem Hills 52.
“Maple Mountain looked like it had a good day, but we’re not looking bad,” said Box Elder coach Mike Ripplinger, whose team won the 4A crown three years ago. “It’s still a pretty good race. We need (Friday) to be a good day.”
The tournament continues Friday at the Maverik Center with weigh-ins at 1 p.m., consolation matches starting at 5:15 p.m. and semifinal matches at 7 p.m. The event concludes Saturday.
Despite moving up to face bigger schools, Discher was confident about Wasatch’s chances as Braiden Parker, Corbin Smith, Jakob Discher, Caden Clyde, Logan Huntington, Robert Heywood and Payton Mair advanced.
“This (the 4A tourney) is comparable (to 3A),” said Discher. “There, we had Delta, Uintah, Payson and we had to battle them for a long time. As we’ve gotten better, so has everyone else. Successful programs do what it takes to get better.”
Maple Mountain has certainly learned quickly. The Golden Eagles have taken advantage of the skills taught by a local wrestling club and have quickly risen to the top. On day one, Tanner Cox, Marshall Curtis, Ryan Hansen, Trent Kelly, Taylor Lamont, Johnny O’Hearon, Brooks Robinson and Kimball Bastian all advanced for the Golden Eagles.
Mountain Crest, which edged Box Elder at a region meet earlier this month, moved six athletes into the semifinals.
The consolation rounds also should prove important as athletes try to add points for their teams.
At Maverik Center
Team scores after Day 1
1. Maple Mountain, 97; 2. Mountain Crest, 92; 3. Wasatch, 76; 4. Box Elder, 69; 5. Salem Hills, 52.5; 6. Spanish Fork, 48.5; 7. Roy, 37; 8. Clearfield, 36; 9. Olympus, 33; 10. Kearns, 24.
Friday’s semifinal matches
106 — Raynger Keckler, Logan vs. Braiden Parker, Wasatch; Riley Labrum, Mountain Crest vs. Corbin Smith, Wasatch.
113 — Tanner Cox, Maple Mountain vs. Karther Knight, Mountain Crest; Jakob Discher, Wasatch vs. James Wright, Spanish Fork.
120 — Caden Clyde, Wasatch vs. Marshall Curtis, Maple Mountain; Ryan Hansen, Maple Mountain vs. Mason Colledge, Spanish Fork.
126 — Kyle Smith, Box Elder vs. Kyle Larsen, Salem Hills; Lukas Erickson, Olympus vs. Trent Kelly, Maple Mountain.
132 — Taylor Lamont, Maple Mountain vs. Connor Kirkland, Roy; Jaxon Van Tassell, Salem Hills vs. Jake Hopkins, Mountain Crest.
138 — Greg Lamb, Corner Canyon vs. Teagan Hubbard, Box Elder; Johnny O’Hearon, Maple Mountain vs. Caden Kirkland, Roy.
145 — Mason Kendrick, Mountain Crest vs. Logan Huntington, Wasatch; Tyson Stander, Roy vs. Branson Ashworth, Spanish Fork.
152 — Brooks Robinson, Maple Mountain vs. Matt Williams, Box Elder; Jordan Wengreen, Mountain Crest vs. Walker Van Tassell, Salem Hills..
160 — Scott Stokes, Mountain View vs. Robert Heywood, Wasatch; Jacob Armstrong, Salem Hills vs. Kalebb Howell, Orem.
170 — Ben Smith, Timpanogos vs. Payton Mair, Wasatch; Tosh Wilcox, Olympus vs. Kimball Bastian, Maple Mountain.
182 — Heber Shepherd, Spanish Fork vs. Haden Phillips, Clearfield; Tyrone Grantham, Mountain Crest vs. Micah Gill, Mountain View.195 — Nate Richardson, Timpview vs. Breckin Gunter, Box Elder; Peter Schafer, Olympus vs. Jordan Crofts, Skyline.
220 — Schafer Lange, Box Elder vs. Colton Grossaint, Kearns; Dakota Wickel, Clearfield vs. Zach Hansen, Springville.
285 — Joseph Orizaba, Murray vs. Damian Trujillo, Roy; Lee Freestone, Bountiful vs. Micah Ngatuvai, Mountain View.
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