BY SHAIN GILLET
Clipper Sports Editor
BOUNTIFUL — Tanner Luke was one of two Viewmont Vikings wrestlers to go undefeated during last weekends’ Bobcat Brawl held last weekend at Sky View High School in Smithfield.
For his efforts, Luke was voted by the coaches of the participating schools as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“It was nice to know that the coaches from the other teams respect who you are,” said Luke. “It felt nice to be recognized, but our ultimate goal was to win.”
The toughest part of Luke’s tournament was in his first three matches. Against Jayden Rogers of Fremont, the senior picked up a 4-3 win that was a tough match, said Luke.
“I respect him a lot,” said Luke of Rogers. “It was a tough match because of his style. He didn’t do much from the bottom position when he had the chance, and I think that helped me pick up that win.”
Against Pleasant Groves’ Landon Gates, Luke picked up a 6-4 win that came down to the closing seconds of the match.
“He’s a great wrestler, and that was a tough match,” Luke said. “The score got to 4-4 and was really intense. My teammates really pushed me to get the final take down and win the match.”
With the match tied at four, Gates tried to get a pass-by against Luke in order to score a take down of his own. Luke countered, and was able to score the final two points in order to seal the win.
“The bench went crazy,” said Luke. “It was a great match. He was a tough opponent last year too and he’s an intense wrestler.”
Three of Luke’s other six matches ended with pins. Luke pinned Brad Dyer of Bountiful in the second period, Hunter Warren of Salem Hills in the first period, and Wade Schmid of Morgan in the first period as well.
He beat Sky View’s Eric Hansen 10-1 and Highland’s Aaron Esplin 11-1 for his other two victories.
Kim, who also went 8-0 during the tournament, had the attention of Luke for the entire tournament.
The teammates battled in the same weight class last year, and watching him go through his matches was nothing new, said Luke.
“We watch each other all the time,” he said. “During his matches I focused a lot on his styles and was giving him feedback. Every match he wrestled (in the tournament), he was able to dominate his opponents.”
The Vikings finished second behind the Pleasant Grove Vikings.
Three other Vikings finished the tournament 7-1. Jake Bednar (195), Taylor Porath (106) and Doug Schulte (160) all finished second in the tournament.
Porath and Schulte’s only loss came against Pleasant Grove, and Bednar’s loss came against Fremont.
“Taylor was right on the edge of dominating that match (that he lost),” said Luke. “And Jake actually dropped some weight to make 195. He does well because he’s a great athlete overall, so he gives his opponents a tough match.”
Schulte, said Luke, has the biggest heart and never quits.
“He always tries to use the best technique against his opponents, which is crucial to scoring points,” he said. “And he’s always listening to his coaches, wanting to get better.”
The Vikings’ only loss was to Pleasant Grove, which finished first. Viewmont will face West at home Thursday night, then travel to Box Elder High School for the Richardson Memorial Tournament.