Champions to be crowned at state tourney
WEST VALLEY – The State 4A and 5A wrestling tournament is finally here.
When the tournament ends on Saturday at the Maverik Center, high schools from the 3A, 4A and 5A ranks will be crowned champions and individual grapplers will hit the mat in the hopes of claiming a championship for themselves.
An individual championship, or at least a top six finish, will ensure wrestlers a slot in next week’s Super State tournament.
At Davis High School, Coach Neal Porter and the Darts will be sending 11 wrestlers to the state tournament.
Davis placed third overall at the 5A Division B qualifying tournament, behind region rivals Layton and Syracuse.
Among Porter’s wrestlers in the state tournament will be Kade Evans, Keith Greenman, Parker Edgington, Baylor Green, Wyatt Knowlton, Jeff McIlrath, Jacob Naylor, Steven Spjut, Christian Smith, Wyatt Koelling and Connor Taylor.
For Porter, gaining necessary experience is one of his top priorities heading into the Maverik Center.
“I want to get as much experience as possible because 10 out of the 11 going to state are underclassmen,” he said. “If we wrestle to our potential, I could see us getting into the top five, but we could easily be in the top eight or nine.”
The Vikings had nine wrestlers qualify, and three more could see the mat as alternates.
Among them are Taylor Porath, David Kim, Chaz Barraclough, Bridger Hyatt, Luke Gibbs, Alex Graham, Jordan Bagwell, Zach DeGray and Ryan Winger.
Kim is the only individual champion from the 5A Division A qualifying tournament. Porath nearly won his weight class, but lost the 106-pound final.
In the 4A ranks, Woods Cross, which finished third in the Region 6 tournament, will be sending nine of its wrestlers to the state tournament, the most Coach Mason Milligan has sent in his tenure.
Among them are Carson Halls, Ben Harden, Bronc Marriott, Houston Christensen, Davis Halls, Wyatt Price, Marcos Chavez, Ben Stratton and Sam Cottam.
Behind such a strong turnout, Milligan said his team is “excited and ready for a battle” once they hit the mats.
“We have a lot of tough match-ups but we’re keeping things simple and taking one match at a time,” he said. “We hope to place a lot of guys this year. We’re such a young team and a lot of people will be overlooking us, but we’ll be turning some heads when the tournament begins.”
The Bountiful Braves, who finished second behind Clearfield in the Region 6 tournament, will have 11 wrestlers in the tournament.
Qualifiers are Jono Kimmings, Zach Walker, Dylon Wall, Garrett Maxwell, Conner Arvidson, Brooks Fletcher, Jeff Adams, Lamar Gimmeson, Sergio Rodriguez, Preston Watton and Lee Freestone.
Freestone, Rodriguez, Fletcher, Arvidson and Walker all won individual titles in the Region 6 competition.
One advantage for Woods Cross and Bountiful will be the extra wait time each has had due to the region tournament taking place two weeks before the state tournament.
The State 4A and 5A tournament will run through Saturday. The Maverik Center is located at 3200 Decker Lake Drive in West Valley City.