RICHFIELD — The top high school wrestlers in the 1A and 2A classifications will descend upon Richfield’s Sevier Valley Center this weekend to compete for coveted state championship trophies.
Each tournament will pit defending champions (Altamont and Monticello) against potential usurpers (Millard and Panguitch) in a competition that will feature some of the state’s best.
It has been over five years since the Millard Eagles last hoisted aloft a state championship trophy in high school wrestling.
The drought has been something of an oddity, considering Millard has won 17 state championships in school history, 13 in the last 20 years alone.
The drought should come to an end this postseason, however.
The Eagles are the far-and-away favorites to bring home the 2A title, with all due respect to the defending 2A champions, Altamont.
Millard is the second-ranked wrestling team in the state regardless of classification, per WrestleUtah.
“The Eagles haven't brought home a title in a few years. They should end that drought,” the publication noted.
A significant reason? Millard is stocked with high-level talent.
The Eagles qualified 19 wrestlers for the state tournament, including seven individual champions.
Among that group are Calun Whitaker and Van Bray, each of whom is considered a top-two wrestler statewide in their respective weight classes.
Altamont stands as the most significant obstacle to a Millard championship, as the defending champs qualified 12 wrestlers for state.
That dozen are led by a quintet that includes McKay Foy, who is recovered from an injury suffered during football season, as well as Dean Thompson, Cash Robb, Carson Sheets and Tristan Farnsworth.
“Altamont is hit and miss this year,” WrestleUtah noted of the Longhorns. “They perform out of this world and then are underwhelming. Don't count on them to underperform in February though. They never do.”
Beaver, Enterprise, North Sevier and North Summit could all play a role in the proceedings as well.
While Millard looks to end its title drought, the Monticello Buckaroos have every intention of repeating as 1A state champions.
Despite the graduation of four-year stud Zac Musselman, Monticello has been as good as ever this season, and qualified 19 wrestlers for the state tourney during Saturday’s divisional qualifying meet.
The Buckaroos had 10 individual winners Saturday and boast, according to WrestleUtah — specifically Milford coach Shad Holm — the top wrestler in the classification in eight different weight classes.2 comments on this story
Among those are Mark Beh, Kayden Draper, Zach Cecil and Wyatt Fullmer, to name a few.
The most significant threat to a potential Monticello state title, meanwhile, are the Panguitch Bobcats.
Picked second in the 1A classification to start the season, the Bobcats rolled in the second qualifying meet over the weekend and placed 16 wrestlers in the state tournament, including Porter Schoppe, 1A’s best at 113 pounds, as well as Kevin Bridges, Wylee Fawson and Ethan Crofts.
Milford and Wayne round out the potential title contenders, having qualified 13 and 10 wrestlers, respectively.