MURRAY – Wrestlers and wrestling fans alike will have one more reason to cheer for local grapplers this season.
Recently, the Utah High School Activities Association (UHSAA) voted to sanction a wrestling tournament that will follow the Utah State wrestling championships for each classification, effectively creating an “all-star” type event.
The tournament, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22 and 23, will be held at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.
“Wrestling seems a good fit for this type of competition,” said Bart Thompson, UHSAA Assistant Director over wrestling. “There is little overlap with spring sports by the time this tournament finishes and, in fact, basketball will continue for another week in several classifications.”
The Utah High School Coach Association (UWCA), which has Layton’s wrestling coach John Fager named as president, also supported the decision to have the event, believing that it will help further showcase the talented wrestlers Utah has from the 1A to the 5A classes.
“Utah has been and continues to be a great state for high school wrestling,” said Fager. “This will be a great showcase for the talent we have here.”
The tournament is the second of its kind for a UHSAA-sanctioned sport.
For the first time last season, the association sponsored a pair of baseball all-star games, one only for seniors and another for underclassman. Over the summer, a football all-star game has also been held.
The wrestling tournament, said Thompson, was also given much support from the Executive Committee because it wanted to allow wrestlers of all grades (nine through 12) to have the opportunity to compete.
The tournament will be a USA Wrestling event, according to information sent to the Clipper by the UHSAA. Jeff Newby of USA Wrestling will serve as director of the tournament this season. For more information about the tournament, call Newby at 801-358-4933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“This will be a great showcase for the talent we have here.”