Region 9 wrestlers ready to take on best in state at UVU

File photo from 3A State Wrestling Tournament, Orem, Utah, Feb. 14, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

OREM – Becoming a state champion wrestler has been a dream for these Region 9 wrestlers for years, but now is their chance to win the final tournament of the season and claim that championship.

The wrestling 3A State Championship will be held at Utah Valley University Friday and Saturday. Over the next two days, wrestlers will be battling for that coveted championship.

“You get to the state tournament and the agony of defeat and euphoria of winning is so exciting,” SC head coach Nick Lang said.

Desert Hills head coach Brian Pace is expecting a few of his wrestlers to take state. He’s expecting all 16 of his wrestlers to compete.

“We want to be mentally ready, step on the mat, be successful and score some points,” Pace said. “There’s not any there that I can see that will be dominated. They’re all good workers. We’ve been reviewing some of the things we need to improve on. We are trying to go out there and have fun and enjoy the battle.”

File photo of Jason Longmore for Dixie and Liam Williams for DH at 170, Dixie vs. Desert Hills, Wrestling, St. George, Utah, Jan. 12, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

Desert Hills has three wrestlers that are seeded in first place going into the tournament: Chance Bundy (145), Liam Williams (170) and Byron Anderson (182). Ryker Boyce (106) and Jared Viramontes (113) are seeded second and could also take that championship.

Snow Canyon has nine state qualifiers and is hoping to “one-up” last year’s record of placing seven wrestlers in the top six. Lang said he’s excited to see some of his wrestlers compete for titles, namely Reese Jones, Tanner Nelson, Tanner Wilde, and Seth Rogers.

“It will be a dogfight for Seth Rodgers,” Lang said. “He would have to beat returning state champion Cooper Skinner from Bear River. He was No. 1 in the state for 3A. Seth faced him earlier this year and Seth held his own for the first two periods, but Cooper extended his lead in the third period.”

Lang also mentioned that Christian Case hasn’t wrestled more than two matches this year, so he thinks he could make an interesting run for the championship.

“We’re doing whatever we can to have (Case) finish the season strong,” Lang said. “He’s the all-time pin leader at Snow Canyon. He’s always dangerous. People have to respect him, even if he’s injured.”

Hurricane head coach Ryan Christiansen is planning on eight to 10 of his 11 wrestlers to place.

Dalton Petty for Desert Hills and Caleb Armstrong for Hurricane at 126, Pine View Casperson Invitational, Wrestling, St. George, Utah, Jan. 14, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“My expectations for state are that I expect to place in the top five teams,” he said. “I expect two or three kids to be able to take state (namely the Armstrong brothers, Caden and Caleb). We just expect to go up there and have a really good showing.”

Levi Webb (132) had ear surgery this week, so he is fortunate to be wrestling at state.

Dixie head coach Jarad Carson is taking seven wrestlers to state and is hoping for a good showing from some of his best athletes.

“We’ve got a pretty good shot at placing four of five kids,” he said. “I’m really excited for them to represent Region 9 and Dixie High. At some point, everyone at state has a long road. But to push forward, the later on you get, you’re going to face some tough opponents.”

Hobbs Nyberg (160) has fared well throughout region and placed third in the region/divisional meet.

Hobbs Nyberg for Dixie and Korey Barlow for Pine View at 160, Dixie vs. Pine View, Wrestling, St. George, Utah, Jan. 19, 2017, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

“Hobbs is just one of those gifted athletes and has a unique talent. If he can catch a kid out of position, he will beat him,” Carson said.

Cedar has 11 wrestlers competing at state. Quaid Murray (192), Nathan Ellis (220) and Daniel Jordan (285) all were seeded second during the regional/divisional meet last week and will be the leaders for the Redmen.

Pine View has six wrestlers at the tournament and Ben Worlton (132) has an excellent chance at taking state. He also was ranked second, but has a chance to win state in his final season. He will have to beat Brady Lowry from Canyon View, who bested him in the regional/divisional match. The two would meet in the final if both get to that point.

The coaches are hoping all of Region 9 does well and brings home some state champions.

“It would be good for Southern Utah to have some state champions, whichever school they go to,” Lang said.

Pace said: “We hope that Region 9 does well. We’re hoping that everyone does well. Good luck to all the coaches.”

Follow the brackets and matches live at trackwrestling.com.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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