PROVO — Eight years after cancer stole Ric Thompson from his family, the wrestling competition he inspired continues.
The 8th Annual Wrestling Against Cancer Duals kick off the wrestling season with competition beginning at 5 p.m. at Provo High.
West will take on American Leadership, Corner Canyon faces Timpanogos and North Sevier will battle Westlake in the 5 p.m. matches. At 6:30 p.m., Layton will square off against Mountain View, North Sevier will face Provo and Skyridge will wrestle Westlake.
At 8 p.m., Timpview and Provo square off, with North Sevier taking on Skyridge.
“It’s a way to honor Ric and Angie Thompson, and it’s also a way to kick off the season,” said Provo wrestling coach Brian Preece. “It’s the first day we’re allowed to compete, and it’s kind of a neat way to start the season.” The event will raise $500 for former Provo graduate Zach Rittenhouse, a region champion and two-time state qualifier, who battled cancer right after graduating. His cancer is in remission, but the money will help him with residual health care costs.
The duals will offer top-notch competition, with last year’s 5A state champion Layton leading a group of talented teams.
Ric Thompson was the wrestling coach at Payson High from 1997-2000, leading the Lions to their first wrestling state title in 1998. He then took a job as an assistant at Lehi, where his son Tyson was a three-time state champion and All-American. He was, himself, a champion at Brighton High in 1978. He wrestled at Utah State and was inducted into the Utah Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ric Thompson initiated the idea to start the season with a cancer fundraiser after he lost two daughters to cancer. Cancer then claimed him and his brother, Bryce, with Ric Thompson dying just before the inaugural event in November 2010.
Results of the event will be posted at www.trackwrestling.com.