SANDY –Coming off another stellar year, the Viewmont wrestling team started the 2012-13 campaign off with a bang.
The fifth-ranked Vikings, who have seven state titles and two second place finishes over the last 10 years, including last year’s runner-up performance. They opened the season thumping third ranked Alta, 41-27.
“That was something we felt was a good accomplishment considering the quality of the Alta team and program,” said Viking coach Brandon Ripplinger. “Alta is coached by Barry Harrington, and his teams are always good, and their team this year is definitely strong.”
Viewmont won eight of the 14 matches, six of which were by pin (Taylor Porath at 106, Ryan Winger at 113, Tanner Law at 160, Doug Schulte at 170, and Jake Bednar at 220).
Over the weekend, Viewmont got a good look at where it stands early this season with a third-place finish at the Layton Invitational.
“The third place is respectable,” Ripplinger said. “We had some great performances, especially from underclassmen Porath (champion at 106) and David Kim (second at 126).
“Porath battled through great opponents every round and really did it all. He used throws, he shot, he rode, and turned opponents when he needed,” Ripplinger said. “He showed a full artillery and a lot of confidence in a very big tournament.” К
En route to his second place finish at 126, Kim upset state champion Kyler Machan of Jordan in the quarterfinals, then beat the No. 2-ranked Jaydon Rogers of Fremont in the semis to get into the finals against Alta’s Matt Findlay.
“Not too shabby for a sophomore in a pretty loaded weight class,” Ripplinger said. “David is a blast to coach because of his love for this sport. He has so much fun with it and gets the concept of putting onКa technical display. Crowds love watching wrestlers like him.”
As a team Viewmont put six wrestlers on the placing podium.
“We’d like to see a few more up there soon, and I’m confident we will,” Ripplinger said. “For the most part we’re a young team with plenty of guys that will improve quickly because of the team’s coach-ability and work ethic.
“Even from the start of the tournament until the end we saw some good improvement, and so we’re definitely excited about this season’s opportunity.”
The Vikings’ next tournament will be the Clearfield Junior Varsity Tournament on Saturday, Dec. 8, at Clearfield High. Their next varsity match will be against Weber at home on Thursday, Dec. 13.