KAYSVILLE – The scheduling couldn’t have gone better for both the Davis Darts and Viewmont Vikings wrestling teams.
Wrestling for the first time in three years under the same region, the rivals were pitted against each other in the final duel of the regular season. Thanks to a final match pin, the Vikings were able to claim the win over the Darts, 38-27.
“Davis is always a tough team and they’ve got good kids,” said Vikings coach Brandon Ripplinger. “Our kids knew they had to wrestle tough, and they did. We didn’t give up too many bonus points where we lost, which was good, and we were able to get a few matches with some bonus points.”
After trading pins in the 106 and 113 pound matches, the Vikings won four straight matches to take a 23-6 lead.
Ryan Winger, at 120 pounds, won a major decision 9-0 to give the Vikings a four point lead. David Kim followed with another victory at 126 pounds, and Nate Christensen’s pin over Davis’s Gunter LeBlanc gave the Vikings a 23-6 lead at the time.
They were critical matches to win, said Ripplinger, as the tables soon turned to Davis’s favor afterward.
“We needed to win those; we had to win those lower weights because (Davis) is tough in those middle weights,” he said. “Those were a couple matches that could have gone either way, so it was really important that we won. It helped us in the end.”
The Darts took the next three matches, but only gained three points in each win. The quartet of wins came from Jeff McIlratch (145 pounds), Jacob Naylor (152 pounds) and Steven Spjut (160 pounds), and closed the Darts’ deficit from 14 to eight points.
Ian Peterson picked up a three point win at 170 pounds for the Vikings, but a pair of pins by Wyatt Koelling (182 pounds) and Connor Taylor (195 pounds) gave the Darts the lead at 27-26.
The slim lead was short-lived; however, as the Darts had to forfeit the 220 pound match, giving the Vikings a five point lead.
“Going into the upper weights, we knew we needed to be up because we had that bonus six points,” said Ripplinger. “Even with that, you never know what’s going to happen, and it ended up being a really good match.”
The final match pitted Zach Degrey of Viewmont and Camden Hess of Davis. Needing to avoid getting pinned, Degrey turned the tables on Hess in the second period, getting a pin with one second remaining to seal the victory for the Vikings.
“(Degrey) was a little undersized, so for him to go out and get a pin against a guy who’s a little bit bigger is huge for him,” said Ripplinger. “I’m proud of him for wrestling so well.”
Up next for both the Darts and Vikings will be the 5A Duels at Jordan High School. The duels will start at 3 p.m.
“A lot of our younger guys are coming along very nicely,” said Ripplinger. “We’re going to have to go in and earn everything we get, and possibly knock some people out that we lost to earlier in the year. Hopefully we’ll piece it all together when we get there.”