RICHFIELD — After getting some key wins on the mats Friday, Panguitch is leading the pack after the first day of the state 1A wrestling in Richfield.
The Bobcats had 139 points as the mats were cleared for the night. The next closest school was Milford with 102, followed by Piute with 100 and Rich at 96.
“They’ve wrestled hard,” said coach Collin Marshall, who is in his sixth year at the helm of Panguitch’s program. “I hope they continue.”
If Panguitch retains its lead, it would mean the first state wrestling team title for the school since 2000.
Marshall said while Panguitch is ahead, there are still some very tough teams at the tournament that won’t make it easy.
“Piute is coming on strong and has a good group of seniors,” Marshall said. He said Milford is also providing some top-notch competition this year.
Panguitch and Piute will face off in Saturday’s championship bouts.
First, Bobcat Korban Osburn will face Thunderbird Ricardo Pena in the 106-pound weight class championship.
Later Panguitch’s Korbin Atkin will take on Piute’s Jax Coburn in the 132-pound weight class.
Overall, Panguitch has eight wrestlers headed into Saturday’s finals.
Teammates Thomas Marshall and Hunter Dickinson will face each other in the 113-pound weight class.
“They’ve wrestled against each other all year,” coach Marshall said. “They know to go all out.”
Other Bobcats headed to the finals include Porter Schoppe (126), Wylee Fawson (145), Kyle Heaton (152) and Wade Christensen (220).
Schoppe is hoping to repeat his individual championship from last year’s state finale.
Milford has six guys in the championship round, including Quaid Thompson (138), Blake Barnes (152), Casek Hardy (160), Russell Walker (170), Bryson Barnes (182) and Ike Keller (295). Bryson and Keller are also defending state titles from last year.
Piute is hoping to stay within striking distance with five men in title bouts. In addition to Pena and Coburn, the T-birds are fielding McKray Gayler (120), Hunter Leggett (138) and Porter Trapp (195).
Rich is currently in fourth place with 96 points. The Rebels also have five wrestlers in the championship rounds including Corgin Conk (120), Keller Siddoway (126), Ryker Conk (145), Colton Hislop (170) and Jaedon Rowe (182).
Wayne’s Jacob Oldroyd (220) pinned Panguitch’s Wyatt Tebbs to punch his ticket back to the finals this year. Wayne’s Daniel Ayala (295) is joining Oldroyd in the finals.