Deep Vikings rise to top spot in state prep wrestling rankings


by Josh McFadden

Clipper sportswriter

BOUNTIFUL–Head coach Brandon Ripplinger had a feeling big things were in store for his team this season. As the calendar turns to 2018, the Vikings just might be the team to beat in Class 5A wrestling.

“Good things are happening on the Viewmont wrestling team,” Ripplinger said.

Wrestle Utah currently has Viewmont ranked No. 1 in 5A, one spot above traditional powerhouse Wasatch. Region 5 opponent Box Elder is ranked fourth, while Davis County’s Woods Cross isn’t far down the list at seventh.

Plenty of Viewmont wrestlers are listed in the top six of their respective weight classes.

Three Vikings are currently ranked No. 1 in their divisions. Sophomore Parker Frasure is first at 106 pounds; senior Collin Smith tops all 170-pounders; and senior Andrew Bargeron is No. 1 in the 285-pound weight class.

A number of other Vikings competitors are contending for supremacy in their divisions. Karson Rees, just a freshman, is third in the 120-pound class. Sophomore Jeremy Evans (132 pounds) and senior Shion Abe (138 pounds) are ranked second in their respective weight classes. Abe is a defending state champion. At 145 pounds, junior Lorrince Essig is ranked third. He has competed at state since his freshman year. Meanwhile, senior Jackson Morley is fourth at 152 pounds.

Viewmont is well represented in the 182- and 195-pound divisions. Senior Cameron Brown is currently ranked second in the 182-pound class, with junior Tyson Zesiger sitting at fifth. Senior Taylor Money is No. 2 in the 195-pound division. Teammate Duncan Purpura, a junior, is right behind Money at third. To round out the rankings for the Vikings, senior Jackson Strong is ranked third in Class the 220-pound class of 5A. Senior Thomas Irvine is ranked sixth in the 220-pound weight division.

With the Vikings dominating the rankings, it’s easy to see why the team has been so successful. Just before Christmas, Viewmont hosted and won its own invitational.

Up next for the Vikings is a dual match at Roy on Thursday. The 5A divisionals are Jan. 30 to Feb. 1. The Class 5A state tournament is Feb. 7 and 8 at Utah Valley University.

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