OREM — A sea of red filled the northeast corner of the Utah Community Credit Union Center Friday afternoon, all proud central Utah fans representing the small rural town of Delta.
Most of the 2A field, including rival Millard, were seeing red the majority of the day.
The storied Delta program finished ahead of the field on day one of the 2A wrestling tournament with 117.5 points, while cross-county rival Millard secured a second-place finish with 111.5 points heading into championship day.
“We’re extremely excited right now,” Millard wrestler Caden Carter said after his quarterfinal match. “They’re really good competition if we can even hang with them, because Delta is beyond amazing.”
Carter was one of just two Millard competitors to actually see victory versus Delta in seven matches combined between the two schools. Carter admitted that sharing the same county in central Utah has helped cement a mutual respect for the two programs.
“This respect goes back and forth. Even when we weren’t competing against them, it was always a rivalry,” Carter said, referring to Delta’s recent stint in the 3A classification. “We go up to these bigger tournaments against schools with twice our number, and both of us end up duking it out in the end.”
Delta’s Jason Hatch earned a major decision over South Summit's Chandler Rose to advance, helping the Rabbits earn critical points as Millard lurked narrowly behind in second place.
“It’s a big deal because we have been rivals forever. They’ve been trying to beat us, and vice-versa, so any points that we score is going to be good for our team.”
Hatch said that the Rabbits will make the most of the break in action until the team returns Saturday for championship rounds.
“We usually tend to sit down, relax and take a look ahead at our matches. Really we just try and enjoy the day,” said Hatch.
South Summit standout Matt Lee breezed through the competition Friday as the junior marches toward a third consecutive individual title. Lee will meet North Sevier product Braxton Maxwell, who managed to pin Millard’s Hunter Anderson in quarterfinal action.
“I know that I’ve got a big match coming up in the next round, so I’m just going to keep working hard and do my stuff,” said Maxwell, who is more than happy to take the night off to prepare for the semifinal showdown. “It’s going to give me a little more time to think of the match coming up. It really could go both ways, but I think it’s a good thing.”
North Sevier finished the day in third place with 91 points.
Semifinal action will get underway at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning at UVU.
1. Delta 117.5
2. Millard 111.5
3. North Sevier 91.0
4. South Sevier 77.5
5. Beaver 76.5
6. North Summit 67.5
7. South Sevier 53.0
8. Manti 51.0
9. Gunnison 49.0
10. Enterprise 45.0
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