by Scott Boyle
Monticello High School won its ninth team state wrestling championship on February 15 at the Maverik Center in Salt Lake City.
Coach Kent Adair’s cohorts, riding on the backs of five individual state championships, two seconds and two thirds, outpointed the four time defending champs, Altamont Longhorns, by the score of 205 to 180.5 to give MHS their 49th state championship overall.
The Bucks now have crowned 88 individual state wrestling champions.
Number 84 is Hunter Bowring, who became the 25th Buckaroo wrestler to win two state titles with his win in the finals. Bowring pinned all three of his opponents at state, including the final, when he pinned rival Austin Trapp of Piute with just 52 seconds left in the match and trailing 5-2. Bowring was 45-4 on the season.
Number 85 is Brandon Musselman, who won at 138, pinning two of his opponents and dominating at 13-3 in his other match. Brandon wins his first state title after finishing second the past two years. He finishes the season with a 43-6 record.
At 152, Cole Eldredge, #86, won his third state championship in a row in dominating fashion, pinning all three opponents in the first period to become just the 13th three timer for the Buckaroos.
Eldredge, a junior, who will be going for a four-peat next year, completed a 47-4 season, tying former Buckaroo David Boyle (2010) for the most wins in a season. In his three title winning tournaments, Eldredge has pinned eight of nine opponents.
Austin Wilcox also won his third state title in a row (14th) and is the 87th Buckaroo state champion. Wilcox utterly controlled the 182 bracket, pinning all three opponents in just 111 total seconds of wrestling. He also won 47 matches to just three defeats to join Boyle and Eldredge in that category.
In fact, so dominating has been Wilcox that in his three state championship tournaments, he pinned every wrestler he faced. That is nine pins.
The 88th Buckaroo state champ is senior Jake Giles. Giles won after defeating the top seed Tony Brown of Altamont in the semi-finals, also a key win in the Buckaroo team championship. Giles wrestled his way to 38 wins and just eight losses this year.
What about next year, you ask? The Bucks graduate seven seniors, Bowring, Dailynn Warren, Curtis Baird, Chandler Draper, Eric Anderson, Wilcox, and Giles. They account for 116 of the 205 team points, but have two returning state champions and will be joined by a good group of freshmen wrestlers.
Altamont, on the other hand, graduates four seniors – only two that placed – and will have three returning state champions. Number ten coming up is SS’s prediction!
Second place finishers Chance Weahkee and Eric Anderson were instrumental in the Buckaroo title run. Weahkee surprised many by making the final in the 120 lb bracket. Weahkee, a junior, finished the season at 23-11, losing in the finals 10-5 to a three time state champion from Altamont, Brady Farnsworth. He earned the Buckaroos 20 important points. He finished third as a freshman for the Buckaroos.
Anderson’s run to the finals capped an amazing two-weeks for the Buckaroo senior. A fifth seed, Anderson put together three upsets in the Divisional tournament, and pinned in all three wins.
At state, he pinned his first two opponents, including the former number one seed in divisionals from Panguitch for the second time in a week, to get to the finals.
Like Weahkee, Anderson came up short against a three time state champion from Altamont, Rylee Foy. Anderson finished the season with a 20-12 record. He placed fourth at state as a sophomore.
Third place, perhaps, is the hardest place to achieve. It comes only after suffering a loss along the way, a loss that might have put one in the finals. Devastating, most often.
Such was the case for freshman Shandon Bradford, who lost to teammate Weahkee in the semifinals, but came back to pin two wrestlers from Duchesne to claim third place.
Senior Dailyn Warren (26-10) barely lost in the semifinals to eventual 132 champ, Peter Cucinotti of Telo Academy (right, I’ve never heard of it either), but came back with two wins, including one over teammate McKayd LaRose, to capture third place as well. Warren pinned his Duchesne opponent in the final match to end his Buckaroo wrestling career.
Freshman Parker Knudsen grabbed third place as well. After losing to eventual 285 champ, Hawkan Cornia of Rich in the semis, Knudsen did the difficult, pinning both his opponents to take the third place medal. Knudsen finished the season with a 30-14 record.
Lady Bucks to state!
The Lady Buckaroos basketball team ran their winning streak to nine in a row with three region victories in the final week of the regular season to capture the Region 19 title.
With a 48-22 Friday night win over Pinnacle, the Lady Bucks capped a swift week, also redeeming their only region loss of the year with a solid 43-37 win over Green River and besting Navajo Mountain in a makeup game canceled earlier on account of snow, 67-39.
The win puts the Lady Bucks in the Region 19 #1 spot, against the winner of the Region 18 #4/Region20 #6 play-in game. Those two teams will probably be 7-11 Intermountain Christian and Bryce Valley, at 9-13 on the season.
Coach Ben Wolford’s Buckaroo gals sport a 17-5 record on the season.
Common opponent with IMC is Tintic, whom the Lady Bucks defeated in December in just their second game by six points and to whom IMC lost to twice by six points and 10 points.
The only common opponent the Lady Bucks have with BV is Green River, whom the Bucks were 1-1 against and whom BV bested 52-27 the first game of the year.
Game time for the opening round at the 1A state tournament is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.
The Esplin Boys of MHS basketball ran their record to 14-3 with a perfect 8-0 Region 19 record with a 72-42 win over Pinnacle in Price on Friday night.
The Buckaroos started slow, actually trailing Pinnacle 19-16 after one quarter before turning on the gas and outscoring the Panthers 56-23 the rest of the way.
Austin Maloy and Tanner Eardley led the Bucks with 16 points apiece. Dillon Maughan (three treys) and Sheldon Black both scored ten points in the win as ten different Buckaroos scored. Matt Freestone led the rest with eight points.
The Bucks have two games this week, on Tuesday with Ignacio, Colorado and Friday at Monument Valley before closing the regular season with Green River at home on Thursday, February 27.