I’ve had the best season of my life. I’ve really been able to reach my potential this season. —Monticello's Brayson Wilcox
RICHFIELD — It wasn’t a shock to see Monticello’s wrestling team hoisting up the state championship trophy in Richfield Saturday night.
After all, the Buckaroos carried a 106-point lead into the finals.
However, part of the fuel for the Buckaroos' competitive fire was honoring the memory of one of their own.
“We dedicated our season to Aaron Butler,” said coach Kent Adair. Butler was the high school’s first four-time state wrestling champion. He was killed while serving in the military in Afghanistan last year.
“It’s been a great day,” Adair said. “These great kids worked really hard as hard as any group I’ve ever had.”
While Monticello went into the tournament as a favorite, Adair said, he was surprised that the Buckaroos came away with eight individual state championships.
“I thought we’d win about half of them,” Adair said. “It’s been fun.”
One of those championships follows in the shadow of Butler’s memory as Zac Musselman (145) picked up his fourth individual title in a bout against Piute’s Reese Fautin. Musselman was able to beat Fautin in the second round.
“I’m glad that I’ve been able to prove who I am and my self-worth,” Musselman said. “I’m also really glad that I was able to help my team.”
Musselman has been wrestling since age 4, and he said he knew he’d have to work clear to the end of the tournament.
“Anything can happen in a finals match,” Musselman said. “Everyone knew the job they had to get done.”
Senior Brayson Wilcox (160) also had a lot of expectations sitting on his shoulders heading into his finals match against Wayne’s Luke Dahl, also a senior. Wilcox was able to pin Dahl in the third round, securing his own medal.
“I’ve had the best season of my life,” Wilcox said. “I’ve really been able to reach my potential this season.”
Wilcox said the key to winning for him is to set the pace and play the game his way.
“If I do that, I know I can wrestle with anyone I’m on the mat with,” Wilcox said.
Freshman Brevin Olson (113) delivered the first gold of the night to Monticello as he defeated Milford’s Karson Wunderlich, a junior, in a 4-1 decision.
“I knew I just had to work hard all season,” Olson said.
Juniors Mark Beh (126), Steven Robinson (132) and Gage Wilcox (195) as well as seniors Thomas Anderson (170) and Justin Cecil (182) also delivered individual titles to the Monticello crowd.
Panguitch bounced back from a rough start to move from fifth to second place Saturday. The Bobcats picked up 142 points in all, followed by Wayne with 131.
Senior Kaden Beckstead (120) led the Bobcats as he captured Panguitch’s lone individual title of the tournament in a battle against Monticello senior Matt Beh.
The final 1A match of the night brought Bryce Valley its first state wrestling title as Brandon Jones tussled with Wayne Daniel Ayala through three rounds. Jones pinned Ayala 11 seconds left in the final round.
Class 1A Championships
At Sevier Valley Center
1. Monticello, 252; 2. Panguitch, 142; 3. Wayne, 131; 4. Milford, 101; 5. Piute, 96; 6. Rich, 75; 7. Whitehorse, 39; 8. Bryce Valley, 37.
106 — Championship: Jax Westwood, Piute, def. Porter Schoppe, Panguitch, 14-4; 3. Jesse Peterson, Wayne; 4. Mason Skiby, Rich.
113 — Championship: Brevin Olson, Monticello, def. Karson Wunderlich, Milford, 4-1; 3. Dakota Hatch, Panguitch; 4. Corgin Konk, Rich.
120 — Championship: Kaden Beckstead, Panguitch, def. Matt Beh, Monticello, fall 4:00; 3. Ronnie Chico, Whitehorse; 4. Keller Siddoway, Rich.
126 — Championship: Mark Beh, Monticello, def. Wade Jeffery, Wayne, 4-2; 3. Dillan Wheeler, Monticello; 4. Brayden Lawton, Wayne.
132 — Championship: Steven Robinson, Monticello, def. Zach Cecil, Monticello, 4-2; 3. Mason Wells, Wayne; 4. Peter Miller, Diamond Ranch.
138 — Championship: Zackary Julander, Panguitch, def. Kayden Draper, Monticello, 5-3; 3. Tanner Tsinigine, Monument Valley; 4. Daniel Gifford, Rich.
145 — Championship: Zach Musselman, Monticello, def. Reese Fautin, Piute, fall 3:46; 3. Wyatt Fullmer, Monticello; 4. Calvin Holm, Milford.
152 — Championship: Barlow Pace, Wayne, def. Tyler Draper, Monticello, fall 3:45; 3. Parker Brinkerhoff, Panguitch; 4. Clay Mortensen, Bryce Valley.
160 — Championship: Brayson Wilcox, Monticello, def. Luke Dahl, Wayne, fall 4:31; 3. Trey Siddoway, Rich; 4. Keston Matthew, Panguitch.
170 — Championship: Thomason Anderson, Monticello, def. Bryson Barnes, Milford, 9-3; 3. Cleve Atene, Monument Valley; 4. Brax Jensen, Piute.
182 — Championship: Justin Cecil, Monticello, def. Marquez Hathale, Whitehorse, 18-6; 3. Jacob Oldroyd, Wayne; 4. Flint Holm, Milford.
195 — Championship: Gage Wilcox, Monticello, def. Wyatt Weston, Rich, fall 1:19; 3. Colton Robinson, Milford; 4. Veater Chad, Panguitch.
220 — Championship: Trae Williamson, Milford, def. Shad Julander, Piute, fall 1:17; 3. Eldean Lammert, Monticello; 4. Wyatt Tebbs, Panguitch.
285 — Championship: Brandon Jones, Bryce Valley, def. Daniel Ayala, Wayne, fall 5:49; 3. Kasey Pearson, Piute; 4. Dillon Slack, Monticello.