Region 9 wrestlers place well in divisional tournaments with state finals on the horizon

ST. GEORGE — The divisional rounds of the UHSAA Class 4A state tournament took place over the weekend with half of the groupings going to Mountain Crest High School and the other half going to Hurricane High School. Region 9 teams competed at both locations while six athletes won their respective weight classes over the weekend.

Wrestling divisional tournament at Hurricane High School, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 7, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

At Mountain Crest, Canyon View’s Gabe Lake took first place in the 132-pound bracket for the Falcons while 16 wrestlers from Canyon View moved on to the 4A state championship in their respective weight classes. For Cedar High 10 wrestlers moved on to the finals while two Crimson Cliffs wrestlers advanced as well.

The other Region 9 teams went to Hurricane where they competed in Division A. Pine View wrestler Jaren Marx took first place in the 106-pound bracket for the Panthers while Hurricane had Josh Armstrong (152 lbs) and Clayton Warr (160 lbs) who both won their brackets as well.

Dixie has six wrestlers advancing, Pine View and Hurricane have 11, while Snow Canyon has 10.

The Region 9 champion Desert Hills Thunder also had a great showing at the divisional round, sending 18 wrestlers onto the state tournament while Ryker Boyce (145 lbs) and George Hall (195 lbs) both took first in their brackets.

Wrestling divisional tournament at Hurricane High School, Hurricane, Utah, Feb. 7, 2020 | Photo by Ryne Williams, St. George News / Cedar City News

When asked about their preparation for the state tournament, Thunder head coach Brain Pace said the Thunder are acting like it’s just any other tournament.

“We just want to focus on good technique, good position and make sure that we’re eating right, hydrating right, getting the rest that we need and getting the mental focus that we need,” Pace said.

The region champions were led by Ryker Boyce, who is a two-time returning state champion. Boyce boasts a 43-4 overall record and won the 145-pound bracket at the divisional tournament.

“I want to go out there and have fun,” Boyce said of the state tournament. “I don’t like letting the stress get to me, so I just want to go out there and wrestle hard. That’s my mindset this year; just have fun.”

Boyce said wrestling has taught him a lot of life lessons but it has shown him that you have to work hard. When it comes to his grades, Boyce finishes what he has to do to get good grades and he attributed wrestling to that hard work.

Boyce is working towards his third state championship in his four-year high school career. When asked about being the best wrestler in Desert Hills history, he said, “I’m going for it.”

“It’d mean a lot,” Boyce said of a possible third state title. “Ever since I was little I’ve wanted to be a four-time state champ. I didn’t get it sophomore year, so I’d like to be the first Desert Hills three-time state champ. It’d mean a lot to me.”

The Class 4A state finals begin on Friday and end Saturday at Utah Valley University.

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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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