OREM— Fueled by wins from southern Utah locals Drew Hansen (Pine View), Tyler Stevenson (Desert Hills) and Dallin Brooks (Cedar), the 3A Utah high school wrestling all-stars beat out all other classifications to take home the 2015 SIMPLII All-Star Duels Title.
The 3A team scored 41 team points and won by a healthy margin over all other teams (Wild Card- 34, 5A- 32, 4A- 32, 2A-23, and 1A -6). Region 9 athletes helped make the match-winning difference as they were responsible for 11 of those 41 points.
“It’s a great opportunity to come up here for the kids,” Pine View head coach Brett Gifford said. “It’s been a long time since Pine View has had a kid come up and represent our school. Cody and Tyler (Stevenson) are great kids and they wrestled really well. I thought Cody did really well and he wrestled a tough kid from Spanish Fork and he wrestled tough and did a great job staying tough and in the match. Tyler did a great job wrestling the Mountain Crest kid and he kind of dominated in control.”
To start off the night for Region 9, in the 113-pound category, Hansen jumped out to an early lead on Brayson Wilcox of Monticello and held on to win the bout 4-3, adding 3 points for the 3A All-Star team cumulative total.
Hansen got a quick start when he undercut and flipped Wilcox mere seconds into the match, scoring a takedown. Hansen applied strategy given to him by his coach early on and spectacularly dropped Wilcox. He then proceeded to dominate the first and second periods, later scoring a reversal to make it 4-0. During the reversal, Wilcox escaped the pin, scoring a point to get on the board at 4-1. Heading into the final period, Wilcox fought hard, managing another escape point to cut the score to 4-2. In the waning moments of the match, Hansen got whistled for stalling, forfeiting another point, 4-3. Ultimately, it was too little too late for Wilcox as Hansen closed out the win.
“I was really happy to get the win,” Hansen said. “It was a really close match and he was a really tough kid. I just knew he was more tired than I was, so I had to just keep on fighting. I wanted to come up here and wrestle the best I could and it’s been 12 years since a Pine View kid has been up here at the All-Stars, so I just wanted to represent my team the best that I could.”
Gifford expressed his pride in working with Hansen over his career.
“For Drew to work as hard as he has all summer,” Gifford said. “And all year over the last four years to come up and wrestle for us has been exciting and it’s fun for our team to come support him. It means that much more that Drew was able to come away with a win. When you work that hard, good things happen.”
In the heavyweight division, Tyler Stevenson handled Mountain Crest’s Andrew Anderson at 220, 7-2. Stevenson scored a takedown early on in the first round, and finished the match nearly pinning Anderson as time expired.
“My initial reaction is holy cow that kid is tough,” Stevenson said. “It was hard and it was also hard to come back after Christmas break and get back in shape, but that was a hard match. We were both pretty gassed towards the end. We have a lot kids like that in our wrestling room — big, strong tall kids — and I knew how to get in on him and that gave me an advantage.”
Brooks won his match in the 170-pound division over Derrick Thompson of Altamont, 8-3, and added four points to the cumulative total. Desert Hills’ Cody Stevenson was close in the final round of his match against Spanish Fork’s Heber Shepherd, but got taken down late and dropped that match 5-2.
Tyler Stevenson said the feeling of camaraderie with his usual Region 9 foes was like a dream come true at the All-Star Duels.
“This is my first year in the All-Star Duel,” Stevenson said. “And I got to wrestle with my twin brother Cody and my best friend Drew, who I also consider to be my brother. It was a cool experience to be on the same team like we always have wanted to be.”
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