Cedar takes ‘Battle of the Bell’ in blowout as wrestlers prep for divisionals

Ayden Peterson for Dixie vs. Dustin Barrick for Cedar at 138, Dixie vs. Cedar, Wrestling, St. George, UT. Jan. 25, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – The “Battle of the Bell” used to be one of the biggest deals in local sports. Longtime rivals Dixie and Cedar would strap on their singlets and wrestle for the pride of southern Utah and the traveling bell trophy.

Dixie vs. Cedar, Wrestling, St. George, UT. Jan. 25, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

And while the trophy still travels and the wrestlers still suit up, it’s not much of a rivalry anymore as Cedar defeated Dixie 75-6 Thursday night at DHS.

“I wrestled for Cedar in 94 and 95 and I was basked in the light of the rivalry between Cedar and Dixie,” said Redmen wrestling coach Luke Payne. “It sucks to see it decline. It was a great rivalry and I wish wrestling was bigger than it is – like it was back then. Even in the early 2000s we had some one-match duels that were amazing.”

Still, Payne, who has been coaching as an assistant and as the head coach at Cedar for more than 15 years, said the sport is still strong and this is a key time of year for it.

“Being the last regular-season match, it’s good to see our wrestlers performing well,” he said. “And divisionals are in two weeks at Dixie as well, so this was a good experience for us. I was impressed with how our guys wrestled tonight.”

The 4A Divisional rounds, which take place Feb. 2-3, are divided between two locations this year. Placed by seedings from last year’s finishes, four top teams will travel to Vernal for one Divisional and four more of the top teams travel to St. George and Dixie High. At Vernal, Desert Hills, Canyon View and Stansbury will compete against host Uintah. In the Dixie Divisional, Cedar, Mountain Crest, Payson and Bear River will compete.

The state wrestling tournament, with the top teams, plus the top individual wrestlers, takes place Feb. 9-10 at Utah Valley University.

Cedar celebrates after winning The Battle of the Bell, Dixie vs. Cedar, Wrestling, St. George, UT. Jan. 25, 2018, | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

As for Thursday’s Cedar-dominated duel at Dixie High, the Redmen won all but one match. Cedar started with a win by Thad Taylor at 106, but Korbin Suwyn of Dixie tied the team score with a victory at 113, making it 6-6. Unfortunately for the Flyers, they would not score another point all night.

“They’re down this year,” Payne said. “Injuries have really hurt them. They lost some guys at the end of football season that would have really helped them. But we have some guys that are really doing well. Caleb Weaver at 160 has had a phenomenal year.”

Michael Wolfe gave Cedar the lead at 120 with a pin and that started the avalanche of points for the Redmen. Carlos Jimenez and Dyllon Arenivar won on forfeits to make it 24-6 and then Cedar got six more points from Dustin Barrick at 138 to make it 30-6.

Tyson Roundy won in an 8-1 decision over Faisiota Faumui, then the Redmen got three straight pins by Michael Anker, Caleb Weaver and Treyton Payne. Kioni Alvaraez got the final technical fall of the night at 195 for the Redmen. The other three weight classes (182, 220 and 285) were won on forfeit by Cedar.

“They gave us a lot of those points because of the forfeits,” Coach Payne said. “But I like the way we’re wrestling right now. We are peaking at the right time. We’ve been working really hard in practice and it is paying off.”

Also Thursday, Canyon View defeated Desert Hills 38-20. Winners from that match were Falcons Jacob Smith, Kasey Robinson, Dawson Stoor, Brady Lowry, Colten Shumway, Braydon Cavalieri, Trenton Stapley, Tyler Haley, and Gabe Blad, and Thunder wrestlers Caison Ault, Brody Finlinson, Ryker Boyce, Byron Anderson, and Enoka Fuailetolo.

Email: sports@stgnews.com

Twitter: @oldschoolag

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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