In 1981 the first 4 time State Champion was crowned at the Utah State Wrestling Tournament. In the next 33 years, 28 more names were added to the list. It’s an elite group made up of wrestlers from all five classifications and 23 schools. Saturday night at UVU two more names were added to the elite list.
Cole Eldredge, Monticello High School senior, will go down in history as the 30th Utah wrestler to earn the elusive and prestigious title of 4 time state champion. Eldredge also added MHS to the list of only six schools who have had more than one wrestler achieve the feat. Buckaroo alum Aaron Butler’s name has stood alone, high on the wall In the MHS wrestling room since 2008, as the schools only 4 time champion.
Eldredge was stellar in his final state tournament, pining every opponent in the first period, with his longest match going only 1:32 in the state finals. At the end of the day, the other 1A coaches celebrated the accomplishments of Eldredge and his cousin Zac Musselman by awarding them both Outstanding Wrestler Awards. It was the second time the Buckaroos have swept the outstanding wrestler awards, as they earned both awards last season. It was Eldredge’s second time winning the award.
The Buckaroos finished in third place as a team, behind Duchesne and Altamont. The Buckaroos took 13 wrestlers to the state tournament and brought home 8 medals.
Freshman Zac Musselman made quite a statement earning his first State Championship for the Buckaroos. Musselman won by fall in the first period in both early round matches on his way to the finals. In his final match he faced Brady Farnsworth of Altamont. It was the ultimate match up. A freshman needing the win in order to set himself on a path for the prestigious 4 time champion award, and a senior with three time state championships already under his belt. The two battled hard, but in the second period, Mussleman got the upper hand, taking Farnsworth down and earning the win by fall. Musselman was the only freshman to win a state championship in the 1A division.
Senior Brandon Musselman made the most of his final state tournament, making his fourth trip to the center mat and earning his second state championship. Musselman dominated his opponent, Benton Erickson of Piute, scoring 16 unanswered points to win by technical fall early in the third period to take the title. Musselman won by fall in the first period in both of his first round matches.
Shandon Bradford, sophomore, earned the chance to wrestle on the center mat for a Championship, and earned well deserved second place medal. Bradford wrestled tough throughout the tournament, winning by fall in each of the first two rounds. Despite his hard work in the finals he came up short of the victory in an 11-6 loss.
In the consolation championships three Buckaroos came through big for the Buckaroos, earning much needed key points for the team race to help them hang on to their third place finish. Brayson Wilcox, Paul DeAnda and Parker Knudsen each suffered tough losses in the semi-final round, but came back with strong with a win in the next round to stay alive and make their way to the medal round. All three earned exciting wins, Wilcox 4-2 and DeAnda and Knudsen by fall in the consolation finals and brought home third place medals for the Buckaroos. Spencer Squires earned back to back wins after his first lost to make the consolation finals, but fell short in his final match and earned a 4th place meal from the tournament.
Buckaroos Brandin Clark, Thomas Anderson, Clayton Westcott, Justin Cecil and Tyler Draper wrestled hard for the Buckaroos but did not place at the tournament. The Buckaroos graduate two Champions this year, and have one junior among their state qualifiers, but with the remainder of the team being sophomores and freshman and a strong group of incoming freshmen next season the Buckaroos seem to have a bright future.