The Panguitch High School wrestling team found itself back on top Friday night in Richfield as the Bobcats secured their second consecutive state 1A wrestling title.
“We knew we had a battle with Piute,” said Collin Marshall, Panguitch’s head coach. “They’ve worked really hard to put a great team together.”
However, when it all ended, Panguitch had scored 214 team points to secure the title, followed by Piute with 167.5 and Milford with 146.
“I was really impressed with how our team came together,” Marshall said. “It was a real team effort for us … I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
With just three seniors on the team, Panguitch had to rely on its younger wrestlers. However, the senior class also delivered some key victories.
“We were really happy to see Porter Schoppe come back this year and win a match he lost last year,” Marshall said. “Porter really worked hard through the year to get here.”
Schoppe ended the year with a 6-2 decision win over Keller Siddoway.
“We had some younger kids who really stepped up to the plate this year.” Marshall said. “We were just really impressed with the effort and their composure.”
Three lower weight sophomores, Owen Crofts (106), Hunter Dickinson (113) and Bryson Henrie (120) helped set the tone for the finals as they delivered individual medals to Panguitch’s tally.
For Crofts, this year was a chance to make up for lost time. During the first match of last season, he broke his arm and lost his wrestling season. After two surgeries and a lot of grit, he was able to come back and make it to the top of the podium.
“I’ve never done anything like this before,” Crofts said. He completed his season by defeating Rich’s Jayken Downing by fall.
For Dickinson, the individual title felt like validation of all the hours he’d put in during the year.
“It means everything to me,” Dickinson said. He beat Piute’s Ricardo Pena in a sudden victory bout.
“It’s just taken a lot of blood sweat and tears to get here,” Henrie said. He said it’s been a goal he had in mind as long as he can remember. He battled Wayne’s Rayce Jeffrey for the championship, winning by fall.
Senior Wade Christensen (220) also delivered a win for Panguitch, finding a pin against Jaden Kriegh of Tintic.
“He had excellent stance and pressure,” Christensen said. For Christensen, it was a chance to get something that’s been just out of reach. Last year he finished in second place, as a sophomore he was third and as a freshman he ended the year fourth at state.
“It’s been a tough year with a lot of ups and downs, but these kids have made the best of it,” said coach Marshall. He said his team is thankful for the people who realized high school sports is about more than what happens on the mat.
“These kids came back and really wrestled hard in a year when we were dealing with a lot of changes due to COVID,” Marshall said. “I hope that the lessons they learn here carry through for their whole lives,” Marshall said.
While Piute finished second as a team, two of its individual state champs — Mckray Gayler (138) and Jax Colburn (152) — were named outstanding wrestlers of the tournament. Porter Trapp (195) also claimed an individual title for the Thunderbirds.
1A state championship results
At Sevier Valley Center
1. Panguitch, 214
2. Piute, 167.5
3. Milford, 146
4. Rich, 100
5. Wayne, 87
6. Tintic, 37
7. Bryce Valley, 14
8. Water Canyon, 11
106 — 1. Owen Crofts, Panguitch; 2. Jayken Downing, Rich; 3. Tanner Marshall, Panguitch; 4. Levi Stonehouse, Rich
113 — 1. Hunter Dickinson, Panguitch; 2. Ricardo Pena, Piute; 3. Lucas Stonehouse, Rich; 4. Aidan Young, Tintic
120 — 1. Bryson Henrie, Panguitch; 2. Rayce Jeffrey, Wayne; 3. Korban Osburn, Panguitch; 4. Ben Jensen, Bryce Valley
126 — 1. Kolt Pace, Wayne; 2. Thomas Marshall, Panguitch; 3. Kade Severe, Piute; 4. Ryker Grundy, Wayne
132 — 1. Porter Schoppe, Panguitch; 2. Keller Siddoway, Rich; 3. Daxon Morrill, Piute; 4. Dallas Vansyoc, Rich
138 — 1. Mckray Gayler, Piute; 2. Riley Edwards, Wayne; 3. Theron Evans, Panguitch; 4. Cooper Springer, Piute
145 — 1. Quaid Thompson, Milford; 2. Jace Edwards, Wayne; 3. Hunter Leggett, Piute; 4. Monty Morrison, Piute
152 — 1. Jax Coburn, Piute; 2. Marcus WIlson, Wayne; 3. Morgan Finicum, Milford; 4. Mclane Leibbrandt, Panguitch
160 — 1. Luke Finicum, Milford; 2. Ryker Conk, Rich; 3. Jonathan Nunez, Piute; 4. Korbin Atkin, Panguitch
170 — 1. Blake Barnes, Milford; 2. Cael Houston, Panguitch; 3. Jesse James, Piute; 4. Lester Barlow, Water Canyon
182 — 1. Calvin Holm, Milford; 2. Jaedon Rowe, Rich; 3. Lincoln Trapp, Piute; 4. James Wintch, Milford
195 — 1. Porter Trapp, Piute; 2. Skyler Williams, Milford; 3. Elias Romero, Milford; 4. Gage Julander, Panguitch
220 — 1. Wade Christensen, Panguitch; 2. Jaden Kriegh, Tintic; 3. Eli Brooks, Rich; 4. Spencer Slade, Milford
285 — 1. Rhyder Ambrose, Milford; 2. Cole Harland, Panguitch; 3. Garrett Kirgan, Tintic; 4. Arik Blevins, Panguitch