We’ve been working all year for this. That’s the big thing about it — it’s a whole year’s worth of work all paid off in two days. So it’s really cool to watch those kids come through. —Duchesne coach Ken Lym
OREM — After taking home first place in the 160-pound round, Altamont’s Wyatt Jessen narrowly extended his team’s lead over second-place Duchesne and put them that much closer to a state title.
And just one key first-place victory away from a championship, Jessen then confidently endorsed Cody Miles for a guaranteed victory in the 195-pound bout that would have most likely sealed the win for his team.
“That pin meant a lot for our team. I did everything I could and it worked. We’ve got one more kid, and he can win it. I know he can. Cody Miles — he’s going to win it,” he said.
Panguitch’s Kelton Cropper and Duchesne begged to differ.
Cropper (40-4) came up with a huge win over Miles while the Eagles rallied and pushed nine guys through to the championship round, five of whom came out victorious, to walk away with a nail-biting 199.0-195.5 victory over the Longhorns.
“We just battled with them because, really, Altamont had a run on us and there was a good chance that they were going to win it. Each one of the ones that needed to show up did, and you can’t be disappointed with that at all,” Duchesne coach Ken Lym said.
Going in as the favorites, it was no surprise for the Eagles. It was a culmination of all their hard work.
“We’ve been working all year for this. That’s the big thing about it — it’s a whole year’s worth of work all paid off in two days. So it’s really cool to watch those kids come through. And they knew what they were working for and they knew what they needed to do. There wasn’t a lot that needed to be said — they nailed it,” added Lym.
Colby Harper and David Vantassell got things rolling for the champs with a second- and first-place finish in the opening two rounds to get some momentum going.
Then, after Stockton Moat, Steven Skewes, Gaitlin Thompson and Shayden Summarell all dug deep and came up clutch with state titles, Duchesne got solid contributions from several other guys and had four second-place finishers en route to the state championship.
“Our key was definitely our final-round matches. We had nine guys in the finals and had five guys win it all. Other than that, there wasn’t much magic, so it was really our finals’ guys that led us, did it for us,” Lym said.
1. Duchesne, 199.0
2. Altamont, 195.5
3. Panguitch, 134.0
4. Monticello, 123.5
5. Wayne, 79.0
106 — Championship: Jonah Schoppe (Panguitch) 34-10, Jr., over Colby Harper (Duchesne) 7-10, Fr., (Dec 6-1); 3. Matt Beh, Monticello; 4. Hunter Webb, Altamont.
113 — Championship: David Vantassell (Duchesne) 34-1, Jr., over Stetson Wright (Milford) 22-8, So., (Dec 11-9); 3. Kaden Beckstead, Panguitch; 4. Kehl Bradbury, Wayne.
120 — Championship: Kody Hafen (Snow Canyon) 54-6, Sr., over Jayce Lind (Juab) 36-16, Jr., (Dec 6-4); 3. Steven Robinson, Monticello; 4. Connor Rowley, Duchesne.
126 — Championship: Danny Thompson (Altamont) 49-14, So., over Kolton Owens (Panguitch) 25-7, Jr., (Inj. 1:28); 3. Jade Holm, Milford; 4. Brayson Wilcox, Monticello.
132 — Championship: Zac Musselman (Monticello) 43-3, So., over Matthew Taylor (Duchesne) 42-9, Jr., (Dec 6-2); 3. Luke Dahl, Wayne; 4. Jessen McKinnon, Altamont.
138 — Championship: Mckay Foy (Altamont) 50-5, Fr., over Austin Trapp (Piute) 39-7, Sr., (Fall 4:32); 3. Barlow Pace, Wayne; 4. Tyler Draper, Monticello.
145 — Championship: Stockton Moat (Duchesne) 27-9, So., over Shandon Bradford (Monticello) 42-6, Jr., (Dec 4-3); 3. Tyson Norman, Altamont; 4. Bodell Jessen, Altamont.
152 — Championship: Steven Skewes (Duchesne) 44-4, Jr., over Paul Deanda (Monticello) 35-16, Jr., (Fall 1:59); 3. Dylan Lansing, Whitehorse; 4. Carson Brown, Panguitch.
160 — Championship: Wyatt Jessen (Altamont) 45-9, So., over Kellen Mooney (Panguitch) 41-7, Jr., (Fall 4:36); 3. Chris Jordan, Telos; 4. Shelden Blackwater, Whitehorse.
170 — Championship: Gatlin Thompson (Duchesne) 33-14, Jr., over Tyler Bagy (Panguitch) 29-4, Sr., (Dec 11-5); 3. Domakin Stansfield, Altamont; 4. Trenton Jay McKenna, Altamont.
182 — Championship: Shaydon Summarell (Duchesne) 30-11, Sr., over Trae Williamson (Milford) 25-8, So., (UTB 4-2); 3. Russell Mitchell, Altamont; 4. Chad Valentine, Monument Valley.
195 — Championship: Kelton Cropper (Panguitch) 40-4, Jr., over Cody Miles (Altamont) 47-14, So., (Dec 11-6); 3. Colter Wright, Milford; 4. James Oldroyd, Wayne.
220 — Championship: Tava`e Pei (Wayne) 32-3, Jr., over Aaron Verduzco (Duchesne) 34-8, Jr., (Fall 2:43); 3. Brandon Jones, Bryce Valley; 4. Wyatt Weston, Rich.
285 — Championship: Parker Knudsen (Monticello) 34-12, Jr., over Morgan Smith (Duchesne) 11-7, Sr., (Fall 1:32); 3. Jalon Cornia, Rich; 4. Dainen Parry, Altamont.
Ryan Love is a full-time student and has been a part-time sportswriter for Deseret News since October 2012.
Follow him on Twitter @RLove7724