Broncos finish second in division tournament, qualify 21 wrestlers for 2A state tournament

by Rhett Sifford
Sports Editor
The San Juan High School wrestling team headed into the postseason this past weekend with strong momentum.
Never ones to disappoint, the Broncos took advantage of a prime opportunity to maintain that momentum in front of their own fans when they hosted the Utah 2A Division B Tournament on Saturday, January 27.
Eight teams descended on Blanding and filled the SJHS with highly-competitive wrestling that began at 10 a.m. and extended for nearly 12 hours.
The Broncos scored 210 points to finish as Division Runners-up. Beaver won the division with 303 points and Duchesne was third with 168.
Three San Juan wrestlers earned individual division championships: Chad Yellow, Parker Snyder, and JD Palmer. In total, 21 Broncos qualified for the 2024 Utah State Wrestling Tournament.
Palmer was the standout. He went 3-0 with all three of his wins by fall. For his efforts he earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler honor for the upper weights.
Yellow was 3-0 with two wins by fall and one by 5-4 decision. Snyder was 3-0 with one win by fall, one by 9-5 decision, and one by a very tight 1-0 decision.
Runner-up finishers for San Juan included Logan Keith and Trace Bennett. Keith was 2-1 with both wins by fall. Bennett was 2-1 with one win by fall and one by 7-2 decision.
Deklan Helquist, Miken Keith, and Jared Burke all finished third for the Broncos with 3-1 records. Helquist and Burke both earned three wins by fall apiece.
Keith’s path was a bit more interesting. He earned one fall, a 9-2 decision, and an 8-5 decision against teammate Lynnox Benn in the third-place match.
Lynnox Benn finished in fourth after losing to his own teammate. He earned a 2-2 record with both wins by fall. Rigley La Giglia went 3-2 to finish fourth with all three wins by fall. Thomas Hardin was also fourth with a 2-2 record, earning one win by fall and one by 10-6 decision.
Grady Lacy, Hunter Keith, El’Myron Begay, and Taylor Black all earned fifth-place finishes for the Broncos. Lacy was 4-2 with an impressive four wins by fall, the most in the tournament.
Keith was 2-1 with both wins by fall. Black went 3-2 with two wins by fall and one by 8-4 decision. Begay was 1-2 with his win coming by fall.
Staley Dandy got a sixth-place result for San Juan with a 2-3 record. Both of his wins were by fall and his 14-second pin on ALA’s Kanden Anderson was the second-fastest of the tourney.
Taren Bayles was also sixth. He ended the tournament with a 1-3 record with his win by fall. Porter Keith was seventh with a 3-2 record on the weekend. One of his wins was by fall, one by 9-4 decision, and one by 15-7 major decision.
Chance Laws also finished seventh for the Broncos. He was 1-2 with a win by fall. Kai Fox and Trai Bass rounded out the State-qualifying positions for San Juan in eighth place. Bass was 2-3 with both wins by fall. Fox was 1-3, winning by 21-15 decision.
The division tournament was the final home event for San Juan Head Coach Steve Simpson. He is retiring from coaching following this season.
Many people went to social media to describe the tournament as an outstanding event and congratulated San Juan High School for an excellent hosting effort.
Posting on the San Juan Bronco Wrestling Facebook page, Assistant Coach Shane Musselman thanked the wrestling moms, table helpers, coaches, school administrators, referees, StreamUtah.Live broadcasters Art Adair and Tad Barton, and all the fans for helping to make the event a success.
The Broncos have two weeks to prepare for the 2024 Utah State Wrestling Tournament. It’s coming up February 9-10 at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday