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High school wrestling: Beaver (2A), Panguitch (1A) hope to end long title droughts this weekend

Defending 2A champion Millard faces a tough task against a Beaver team that has never won a wrestling title, while Panguitch’s path to a 1A title more clear after realignment

Pleasant Grove’s Jake Richardson, left, pulls on North Summit’s Tyler Scheurn during the Utah All-Star Dual wrestling matches at UVU’s UCCU Center in Orem on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.
Pleasant Grove’s Jake Richardson, left, pulls on North Summit’s Tyler Scheurn during the Utah All-Star Dual wrestling matches at Utah Valley University’s UCCU Center in Orem on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.
Steve Griffin, Deseret News

The wrestling postseason comes to a conclusion in Class 2A and 1A this weekend with the state championships being held at the Sevier Valley Center on Friday and Saturday.

In 2A, Beaver and Duchesne finished first in their respective divisional meets last weekend, while Panguitch and Rich finished first in the 1A Divisional.

Here’s a look at the two classifications at what to expect at state this weekend.

Class 2A

The number of times Beaver is mentioned in the UHSAA wrestling record books is very brief, with a couple of two-time winners and one three-time winner.

The school has never won a state wrestling title, with its best team accomplishment being a couple of runner-up finishes in the past decade.

The Beavers will try and redefine their wrestling history this weekend at the 2A state championships at the Sevier Valley Center.

After winning its 2A divisional meet ahead of Millard last weekend, Beaver is one of the teams to beat at state this weekend, along with other contenders Millard, North Summit, Duchesne and Altamont.

“It’s an exciting time for us, hopefully we can make history and do something that’s never been done before at our school,” said Beaver coach Robbie Bradshaw.

Leading the way for Beaver is 132-pound junior Brian Evans, a two-time state champion. He finished first at the divisional meet and is the favorite to win a third state title this weekend.

He was one of six Beaver wresters to finish first at the divisionals and earn a No. 1 seed, along with Hagen Mayer (106), Brock Edwards (145), Kaleb Barney (152), Dylan Bartlett (220) and Kyler Boren (285).

Beaver finished 31.5 points ahead of Millard at the divisional meet, but defending state champion Millard intentionally forfeited some matches at the divisional meet to create a more favorable draw in a few weights.

For Beaver, its goal was to qualify 28 wrestlers to state and Bradshaw that’s exactly what his team accomplished.

“We talked about the importance of wrestling the best we can to get a good seed in the state tournament and I felt the majority of our kids rose to the occasion,” said Bradshaw.

Duchesne’s depth helped it finished first in the other divisional meet ahead of Altamont, with Bowdey Larsen (113), Ethan Clayburn (120), Jaxon Morlan (132), JT Potter (170) and Ryker Blackburn (182) winning individual titles.

Defending state champions looking to repeat this weekend are: North Summit’s Ethan Crittenden, Enterprise’s Caleb Leavitt, Beaver’s Evans, North Summit’s Ryker Pentz (138), North Summit’s Tyler Scheurn, Millard’s John Whitaker, Duchesne’s Blackburn and Altamont’s Cash Robb.

Class 1A

While Beaver looks to win its first state title ever, Panguitch is eyeing a state title for the first time in 20 years.

Panguitch won its divisional meet last weekend and qualified 22 wresters to state as it seeks its first title since 2000 when it finished in a first-place tie with Wayne.

“We have a good group of seniors, and they’re wrestling strong and we’re peaking at the right time. We’ve been battling a few injuries but I think everyone is getting patched up and we should be ready for state,” said Panguitch coach Colin Marshall.

The 1A classification has been dominated by Monticello, Altamont and Duchesne over the past 13 years, but all three of those programs are now competing in 2A which opens the door for a new champion in 2020.

“It definitely changes the landscape a lot, and we’re just trying to make the best of the situation we’re in,” said Marshall.

Panguitch finished with five individual champs last weekend, Thomas Marshall, Porter Schoppe, Kyle Heaton, Hunter Marshall and Kevin Bridges.

All five will need to have a great state meet for the Bobcats to end their decades-long title drought.

Rich won the other 1A divisional meet by 39 points ahead Milford as it seeks its first wrestling state title in school history. Rich finished with six divisional champs, Randy Trujillo, Corgin Conk, Keller Siddoway, Austin Petersen, Ryker Conk and Colton Hislop.

Defending state champs looking to repeat in 1A are: Panguitch’s Schoppe, Rich’s Hislop, Milford’s Bryson Barnes, Wayne’s Jacob Oldroyd and Milford’s Ike Keller.