San Juan qualifies five for 3A state wrestling tournament Feb. 19
It’s been a challenging season for the San Juan High School wrestling team, at least logistically. More than one event was cancelled for the Broncos this season due to COVID-19.
Despite the difficulties this year, San Juan wrestlers returned to Blanding Saturday evening, February 6 from a successful 3A Division A State Qualifier trip to Richfield.
With solid performances, five Bronco wrestlers earned spots in the 2021 state tournament: Parker Snyder, Landon Burke, Deklan Helquist, Zach Palmer, and Jeter Perkins. Tyler Bayles and Callen Burke will represent the team as alternates.
San Juan finished in eighth place out of the nine teams that took to the mat at the Sevier Valley Center over the weekend.
The Broncos were led by freshman Parker Snyder, who went 2-1 to finish in second place at 113 pounds. On his way to the championship match he beat Hayden Nielson of American Leadership by technical fall in the quarterfinals and Manti’s Kayden Blackham by 10-2 major decision in the semis.
Snyder’s 17 points against Nielson were the fifth-most single-match points scored in the tournament. In the championship match, he suffered a loss by fall to Juab’s Kaden Ercanbrack.
At 182 pounds, senior Landon Burke went 3-1 at the tournament to finish third, winning over Nathan Burton of American Leadership by 8-3 decision in the third place match. Burke’s other two wins were by fall.
Freshman Deklan Helquist picked up a fifth place finish at 106 pounds, going 3-2 on the weekend and defeating Leonardo Leyva of Carbon in the fifth place match. All three of his wins were by fall, and his 22-second win over Leyva was the ninth-fastest fall of the tournament.
Bronco junior Zach Palmer went 2-3 at 170 pounds to finish in sixth place in the division. He beat Carbon’s Daron Garner by fall in the third place quarterfinals and Alex Vigo of American Leadership by fall in the semis.
At 152 pounds, junior Jeter Perkins also finished in sixth place on the weekend with a 3-3 record. Two of his wins were by fall, one by major decision, and one by forfeit.
First-year San Juan head coach JJ Grover said he is impressed by what he’s seen from his wrestlers not only at the division tournament, but all season long.
“The boys have fought through a hard season,” he explained. “They’re excited about what the future holds, they’re excited about wrestling, and that’s a good feeling for a coach.”
Part of that future is now. The Broncos return to Richfield for a one-day state tournament on Friday, February 19 looking to bring home their first individual state championship in over a decade.
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