clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Payson's Lions are kings of 4A

It took the Payson Lion wrestling team just one year to convert former Brighton coach Ric Thompson, who had won two state championships, from Bengal blue and orange to Payson green and white.

The Lions had 195 points to hold off Box Elder (173) and give them their first-ever state championship Saturday at the E Center. That has Thompson singing a new song: "Must have been a beautiful Bengal, but proud to be a Lion tonight."The Lions sent three wrestlers to the championship round - BJ Wright (140), Jake Wright (145) and Cory Hansen (189) - and they all won individual titles. Both of the Wright victories were by pin, and Hansen's was by decision. Thompson said it was the effort in the consolation rounds that earned the Lions the 4A title.

"We came as a team and wrestled as a team," the first-year coach said. "We had some disappointments early, and we fought back from them."

Payson led Box Elder 179 to 169 heading into the championship rounds, and the Wrights' victories put the Lions over the top. Box Elder had six wrestlers vying for titles, but Denton Harper's decision over Weber's Ashton Buswell was the Bees' only individual title.

It was the third time in three years that the Bees finished second.

In the consolation rounds, Payson earned four third-place finishes - Josh Rigby (125), Aaron Haverson (135), Nate Loveless (160) and Tom Ford (171); one fourth place - Glen Thomas (119); and one fifth place - Andrew Ewell (130).

Spanish Fork finished third with 144 points; Sky View had 137 points and Pleasant Grove 124.

In other notable matches, East's B.J. Minson, after competing in junior varsity all of last year, ran his perfect record to 28-0 with a 15-0 decision over Box Elder's Matt Ripplinger in the 103 class.

Sky View's James Spillet edged the defending state champion - Pleasant Grove's Travis Pack - 4-0 in the 125 classification. Spillet finished the year 36-4.

PG's Mark Blain ended his four-year career heavily decorated (two seconds and two firsts) with a 6-2 decision over Fremont's Chris Caldwell in the 152 class.

Hansen of Payson needed sudden death to defeat Box Elder's James Anderson 4-3 in the 189 classification.

Other winners: Reece Peck, West, 112; Quinn Bagley, Sky View, 119; Trent Beesley, Provo, 130; Ryan Mock, Weber, 135; Coby Jones, Provo, 171; Scott Hofheins, Provo, 215; and Layne Stewart, Fremont, 275.

Spillet was named the 103-140 classifications' outstanding wrestler, while Payson's Jake Wright was the 145-275 weights' outstanding wrestler.