Can’t explain it. My whole life I wanted to be a four-time state champ. Grew up chasing that goal. Right when I heard the ref slap that mat, I had so much emotion going through me I didn’t know what to do. So overwhelming and thankful for everyone’s who’s got me here. —Matt Lee
OREM — South Summit’s Matt Lee didn’t really need any extra motivation before taking the mat in pursuit of a fourth-straight individual title on Saturday, but his coach gave him plenty anyway.
“My coach was over there doing math, and he goes, ‘Matt not trying to put pressure on you, but if you go out there and win this match we’re 99 percent sure we’re going to win (the 2A championship),’” said Lee recalling his conversation with South Summit coach Jake Woolstenhulme.
With adrenaline already flowing, Lee went out and quickly pinned Millard’s Adrian Villa in the 126-pound final to join the elite club of four-time state wrestling champions. In the process, he mathematically clinched the 2A championship for South Summit, dethroning seven-time state champion Delta.
One other South Summit wrestler joined Lee on the top podium, while 16 total placed in the top six as South Summit tallied 247 team points to secure the championship. Delta finished second with 226.5 points, followed by Millard in third with 222.5.
South Summit’s last state championship came in 2011, the same year Delta won a 3A title.
“Can’t explain it. My whole life I wanted to be a four-time state champ. Grew up chasing that goal. Right when I heard the ref slap that mat, I had so much emotion going through me I didn’t know what to do. So overwhelming and thankful for everyone’s who’s got me here,” said Lee.
Reflecting on his four titles, Lee said without question his sophomore year in 2014 stands out. After losing to Beaver’s Kyle Evans twice earlier in the year, he went on to beat the fellow sophomore at region and then at state.
“I think that’s the hardest I’ve worked for a state championship was that year,” said Lee.
The two have competed in different weights the past two years, and on Saturday Evans captured his third individual state title beating North Sevier’s Shawn Sorensen 11-4 at 132 pounds.
There were two other three-time champions crowned on Saturday. North Summit junior Jaxon Cole won by major decision at 120 pounds for his third title, finishing this season with a 55-1 record. He’ll have a chance to win his fourth title next season.
Gunnison senior McKade Cox won his third straight title at 195 pounds in convincing fashion, winning by major decision.
“It’s awesome. It’s quite a feeling, quite an accomplishment,” said Cox.
Two wrestlers in the upper weights will have a chance to join the three-peat club next season as both North Summit junior Randin Pentz (182) and Delta junior Brett Walker (285) won repeat titles Friday.
South Summit’s only other individual state champion was Broughton Flygare at 170 pounds, beating teammate Christian Neuenschwander in the championship. South Summit’s all-around depth, however, was the reason the Wildcats claimed the title.
“That’s what wins it. We only had two champs, but all the kids coming back through, it was a team effort,” said Woolstenhulme. “The kids had a goal all year to do it. They had a motto to steal the show.”
Runner-up Delta’s other individual state champs were Brady Poulsen (112) — who finished the season with a 52-3 record — and Tanner Shields (160).
Other individual winners were North Sevier’s Dillon Torgerson (106) — who pinned every competitor at state — Millard’s Kaleb Kelley (138), North Summit’s Taten Ringel (145), Millard’s Payton Stott (152) and North Summit’s Austin Richin (220).
Millard’s Stott upset last year’s champion, Delta’s Jason Hatch, in overtime for his championship. North Summit’s Richin also won in overtime.
1. South Summit, 247; 2. Delta, 226.5; 3. Millard, 222.5; 4. North Summit, 198.5; 5. North Sevier, 197.5; 6. Beaver, 118; 7. South Sevier, 90.5; 8. Gunnison, 88.
106 — Championship, Dillon Torgerson, North Sevier def. Gill Rogers, Gunnison, fall 1:24; 3. Slade Sheriff, Millard; 4. Jayden Williams, South Summit; 5. Colton Christensen, North Sevier; 6. Austyn Wardle, Delta.
113 — Championship: Brady Poulsen, Delta def Gage Mason, North Sevier, 9-7 (OT); 3. Tayte Staples, North Summit; 4. Hayden Anderson, Millard; 5. John Evans, Beaver; 6. Edgar Ganderilla, South Summit.
120 — Championship: Jaxon Cole, North Summit def. Caleb Rasmussen, Millard, 19-4; 3. Zack Taylor, Delta; 4. Jed Lee, South Summit; 5. Richard Cruz, Millard; 6. Tyler Leavitt, South Sevier.
126 — Championship: Matt Lee, South Summit def. Adrian Villa, Millard, fall 1:30; 3. Mckoy Christiansen, Emery; 4. Aldair Moran, Delta; 5. Matthew Rymer, Gunnison; 6. Mckay Meccariello, Emery.
132 — Championship: Kyle Evans, Beaver def. Shawn Sorensen, North Sevier, 11-4; 3. Logan Crandall, South Summit; 4. J.R. Peacock, South Summit; 5. Hunter Anderson, Millard; 6. Dyllin Broughton, Delta.
138 — Championship: Kaleb Kelly, Millard def. Braxton Maxwell, North Sevier, 6-4; 3. Jace Anderson, North Summit; 4. Bowen Shields, Delta; 5. Paden Woolstenhulme, South Summit; 6. Gavin Tobler, South Sevier.
145 — Championship: Taten Ringel, North Summit def. Kevin Mora, South Summit, fall 2:18; 3. Kendall Dick, South Summit; 4. Keith Walker, Delta; 5. Brady Turner, Millard; 6. Payton Thurston, North Sevier.
152 — Championship: Payton Stott, Millard def. Jason Hatch, Delta, 6-4 (OT); 3. Keaton Fails, Beaver; 4. Brett Miller, North Sevier; 5. Kesston Mosher, North Summit; 6. Kaden Kirkman, Manti.
160 — Championship: Tanner Shields, Delta def. Ashton Dieli, Emery, 4-2; 3. Tanner Aldridge, South Sevier; 4. Calun Whitaker, Millard; 5. Chandler Rose, South Summit; 6. Tanner Sorenson, North Sevier.
170 — Championship: Broughton Flygare, South Summit def. Christian Neuenschwander, South Summit, fall 4:56; 3. Noah Porter, North Sevier; 4. Zach Wilcox, Millard; 4. Braxton Wilson, Beaver; 5. Brady Tullis, Enterprise.
182 — Championship: Randin Pentz, North Summit def. Mac Paterson, North Sevier, fall 5:07; 3. Alexander Johnson, South Summit; 4. Reilly Myrick, San Juan; 5. Carson Teeples, Millard; 6. Jacob Coates, North Sevier.
195 — Championship: McKade Cox, Gunnison def. Jared Blazzard, South Summit, 15-0; 3. Rustin Limb, Beaver; 4. Hayden Hunter, Millard; 5. Alan Raddatz, Kanab; 6. Cody Woodhouse, North Sevier.
220 — Championship: Austin Richin, North Summit def. Jantsen Manis, Delta, 8-6 (OT); 3. Austin Leavitt, Enterprise; 4. James Scow, South Summit; 5. Easton Roundy, South Sevier; 6. Ty Mecham, Emery.
285 — Championship: Brett Walker, Delta def. Bridger Bagley, South Sevier, 4-1; 3. Bradden Davis, Delta; 4. Eduardo Rodriguez, North Summit; 5. Porter Fox, South Summit; 6. Dakota Davis, North Sevier.
Deseret News prep editor and Real Salt Lake beat writer. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org