The Monticello Buckaroos wrestling team proudly hoisted a well-deserved Second Place Team Trophy at the 1A State Wrestling Championship Saturday night at Utah Valley University in Orem.
It isn’t the trophy they had hoped for. From the start of the 2009-10 season, this team firmly established their goal to repeat as a team champions.
The Buckaroos wrestled hard, placing 10 and putting eight wrestlers in the finals, the most ever for a Buckaroo team. And despite falling short of their team goal, they finished the season with the same dignity, sportsmanship, and pride they carried throughout the season. It was a testament to the strength of the team to watch those suffering the agony of defeat gather around to celebrate the success of the champions.
The Buckaroos finished second behind Altamont, and bested third place Rich by 54 points. The final round was all dressed up in orange and black as eight Buckaroos took to the mat to wrestle. At the end of the day, three names were added to the list of Monticello High School State Champions, as David Boyle, CJ Cordasco and MJ Wagstaff each stood atop the podium to receive top honors.
Boyle led his first opponent 10-0 before earning a pin, and a 4-1 win in the next round sent him to the finals. The match was all Boyle as he dominated Altamont’s Chance Goodrich to a 10-0 victory. A visibly emotional Boyle stood at center mat and realized a dream he’s had since 5th grade as his hand was raised as state champion.
Cordasco earned a fall in the first round and a big 8-2 win in the semi’s to advance to the finals. Cordasco worked all year in anticipation of this moment and he wasted no time setting the tone. He had control throughout the match securing a 6-1 victory over Justin Post of Rich. At the end of the day, Cordasco’s performance impressed the 1A coaches as well, and he was named the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weights division. In eight of the past 10 years, a Buckaroo wrestler has brought home the award.
MJ Wagstaff hadn’t spent much time on the mat prior to the finals, defeating both early round opponents in less than a minute of mat time, :23 in round one and :35 in round two. In the finals he faced Kalen Larsen of Rich. Wagstaff took him down twice in the match, letting him up each time as he tried to make something happen. The final score of 5-4 doesn’t paint a clear picture of Wagstaffs dominance and an impressive run to be a champion.
Brian Robinson, Coltan Musselman, Ricky Wilcox, Adam Martinez and Tazz Robinson all made their way to the spotlight match and each earned a second place medal in their weight classes. Robinson pinned his way to the finals. The Buckaroo freshman made his first appearance on the big stage where he fought hard in his loss to Altamont Senior Brady Edman.
Musselman won in the first round by quick fall, and was leading 8-1 when his semifinal opponent was injured. In the finals, Musselman met Milford’s Travis Hatch. The two have battled many times, maybe none as exciting as this. Trading points back and forth through three periods, Hatch led by one with seconds left when Musselman made a last ditch effort to escape. Time ran out, and after the officials debated, awarded Musselman a point to send the match into overtime. Unfortunately, Hatch struck first to win 10-8.
Wilcox put up a fall and a 12-5 win in the early rounds before heading into the finals. Despite his best efforts, Wilcox was unable to turn Duchesne’s Wilford Pratt in regulation, and the two stood tied at 4 when regulation ran out. In overtime, Pratt scored a take down and won. Pratt won all three tournament matches in overtime.
Wrestling center stage in front of a packed house of screaming fans brings its own pressure, but Buckaroo Adam Martinez had the added element of facing Altamont’s Bryson Foy, who was attempting to win his fourth title.
Martinez came out fighting, unwilling to accept that Foy was an unbeatable opponent, earning two takedowns and leading 4-2 after the second period. In the third, Foy six points for an 8-5 victory that was much closer than the score showed.
Tazz Robinson took center stage in the final match. He earned his spot in the finals after a 30 second first round pin and a 7-1 victory in the semi-finals. Robinson tried to find a way to work a move Altamont’s Dalton Smith, but found himself in a shoving match for much of the match, as Smith attempted to knock Robinson off balance. Tazz worked hard, impressing many with his speed and agility, as he repeatedly came from the bottom on the whistle to escape. In the end, he came up just one short in a 5-4 loss.
Finishing with fourth place medals for the Bucks are Tyrel Shupe and Nephi Barlow. Shupe started strong with a second period pin in his first match. He fought hard to get into the finals, but came up short in the 9-6 decision. In the consolation bracket, Shupe kept the crowd on the edge of their seats, with an exciting 8-6 win in overtime. In his final match, he got down early and lost by fall.
Barlow started his tournament with a big pin, before a loss put him in the consolation round. He pinned teammate Jarod Hansen and qualifed for the medals round, where he was defeated by fall.
Coming up short of the medals are John Mayne and Jarod Hansen. Hansen came back after a first round loss and pinned his opponent from Whitehorse to stay alive. Mayne needed a second round win to stay alive, and won by fall. He wrestled strong in the next round, but came up short in the 12-8 loss.
Also competing for the Bucks are James Johnson, Calvin Hazelton, Tim Ryan and Skyler Hall. All four made great efforts, with Johnson, Hazelton and Ryan gaining valuable tournament experience. The Bucks graduate seven, but look forward to a strong group of incoming freshmen next year.