OREM — Duchesne’s dominance in the semifinal round of Friday’s 1A state wrestling tournament takes a lot of potential drama out of Saturday night’s finale.
The defending state champion Eagles won nine 1A semifinal matches, and in head-to-head matches against their closest competitor in the team standings they went a whopping 5-0 with three pins.
“I think they wrestled really good, I’m really proud of them. There’s a lot of pressure coming in with everybody looking at you, and that’s a lot of added pressure that high school kids aren’t used to. And they stepped up and fulfilled what they needed to do,” said Duchesne coach Ken Lym.
After the first day of competition at UVU, Duchesne sits comfortably in first place with 163 points, followed by Altamont in second with 117.5 points and Panguitch in third with 105.
Duchesne wrestlers Stockton Moat (145), Steven Skewes (152), Gatlin Thompson (170), Shaydon Summarell (182) and Morgan Smith (285) all beat Altamont wrestlers in the semifinals.
Lym said that even though his team has a 45-point lead, Altamont has a lot of quality wrestlers coming back through the consolation who are still capable of scoring a lot of team points.
“Those consolation are very important. Altamont has a lot coming through that consolation which is dangerous for us. Even with nine in the finals we could still swing tight really quick,” said Lym.
The other four semifinal winners for Duchesne were Colby Harper (106), David VanTassell (113), Matthew Taylor (132) and Aaron Verduzco (220).
VanTassell and Verduzco are defending state champs who are looking to repeat on Saturday.
Three other 1A wrestlers are seeking a repeat title as well, Panguitch’s Kolton Owens (126), Monticello’s Zac Musselman (132) and Piute’s Austin Trapp (138).
1. Duchesne, 163; 2. Altamont, 117.5; 3. Panguitch, 105; 4. Monticello, 82; 5. Milford, 43.5; 6. Wayne, 28; 7. Piute, 20; 8. Rich, 8.
106 — Jonah Schoppe, Panguitch vs. Colby Harper, Duchesne.
113 — David Vantassell, Duchesne vs. Stetson Wright, Milford
120 — Hunter Thacker, Altamont vs. Zackary Julander, Panguitch
126 — Danny Thompson, Altamont vs. Kolton Owens, Panguitch
132 — Matthew Taylor, Duchesne vs. Zac Musselman, Monticello
138 — Mckay Foy, Altamont vs. Austin Trapp, Piute
145 — Stockton Moat, Duchesne vs. Shandon Bradford, Monticello
152 — Steven Skewes, Duchesne vs. Paul Deanda, Monticello
160 — Wyatt Jessen, Altamont vs. Kellen Mooney, Panguitch
170 — Gatlin Thompson, Duchesne vs. Tyler Bagy, Panguitch
182 — Shaydon Summarell, Duchesne vs. Trae Williamson, Milford
195 — Kelton Cropper, Panguitch vs. Cody Miles, Altamont
220 — Aaron Verduzco, Duchesne vs. Tava’e Pei, Wayne
285 — Morgan Smith, Duchesne vs. Parker Knudsen, Monticello
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org