Utah wrestling: Panguitch pins down fourth consecutive wrestling trophy

Panguitch wrestler Cael Houston said wrestling isn’t a sport that comes naturally to him, but he and his teammates sure tried to make it look like second nature as they took the 1A championship Saturday night in Richfield.

“I’ve had to work for it,” Houston said after outlasting Piute’s Monty Morrison in a five-round match for the individual 165-pound 1A title. 

“Monty is a phenomenal wrestler, I’ve loved wrestling against him and it’s a great match for the state title,” Houston said. This is his second time on top of the individual podium. 

His team pulled out its fourth consecutive victory, scoring 215 points to Altamont’s 163 and Milford’s 162. 

“It’s an honor to be a part of this team,” Houston said. 

The opening day of the tournament was rough on the Bobcats as they lost some matches early on they were counting on, said Panguitch coach Colin Marshal. 

“We left here last night feeling a little deflated,” Marshal said. “We got together and talked a lot about what we’ve done through the season. Today during every match we had a row of boys right on the rail screaming and yelling to pick their teammates up. 

“Today it just went so much better,” Marshal said. He said the field of 1A teams is as good as he’s seen since he started coaching, with high-level talent and great coaching coming from the schools Panguitch has faced off against this year. 

Panguitch landed six wrestlers in championship bouts, winning five of them.

“A lot of those we were not picked to win, in fact we’d lost some of those matches in divisionals,” Marshal said. “The kids just found a way to grind those matches out.”

One of the upsets of the night in Panguitch’s favor came in the 132-pound match when  Braxton Atkin was able to pin Milford’s Hagen Mayer in the final minute. Mayer had been leading throughout. 

“Mayer is a high-level wrestler, we were just happy to be in that match,” Marshal said. “But Braxton found a way to win it.”

“I was fighting for it, and it was time,” Atkin said. “It’s nice to know that our team can pull it through and take it come.” 

Sophomore Shad Partridge had to overcome an injury early in the season, making it hard to get on the mat some days, coach Marshal said. Partridge was able to beat Wayne’s Rayce Jeffery by fall in the 126-pound division for first place. 

“I really wanted it, it’s really all I wanted this whole year,” Partridge said. He said while the physical is tough, it’s the mental aspect of the sport that’s hardest to overcome. 

“I just feel really good,” said Tanner Marshal, a junior who won the 106-pound division for the Bobcats. “It took three years of food, because I’ve been 106 all three years. I’d like to just thank my friends and family who support us.”

“This is huge,” said Cole Harland, who took the 185-pound individual title in a three-round match against Rich’s Jordan Johnson.  “I’ve been battling with this for the past four years. I’ve taken second once and third once.”

Harland said it was a great way to end his high school wrestling career. 

“This is my opinion, but they are the best team and best coaches in the world,” Houston said.

“I was really proud of them,” coach Marshal said. “Toward the end we had some kids shifted around and some chances, but when it came to the mat, they just put forth maximum effort.”

“We put together a great group of boys,” Marshal said. “We’re fortunate to be in a town that the kids want to be involved, and the parents get behind them.”

1A state tournament

At Sevier Valley Center

Team scores

Panguitch, 215Altamont, 163Milford, 162Piute, 95.5Monticello, 88.5Bryce Valley, 32Rich, 30Wayne, 27

Individual results

106 — 1. Tanner Marshall, Panguitch; 2. Boston Thompson, Milford; 3. Max Albrecht, Panguitch; 4. Justin Goodrich, Altamont.113 — 1. J. Treydon Harris, Monticello; 2. Trexton Spaulding, Milford; 3. Peyton Thomas, Milford; 4. Tavin Leibbrandt, Panguitch.120 — 1. Dillon Ivie, Altamont; 2. Judd Netto, Milford; 3. Randy Marshall, Panguitch; 4. Parker Hallows, Wayne.126 — 1. Shad Partridge, Panguitch; 2. Rayce Jeffery, Wayne; 3. Trenden Thompson, Milford; 4. Owen Crofts, Panguitch.132 — 1. Braxton Atkin, Panguitch; 2. Hagen Mayer, Milford; 3. Bryson Henrie, Panguitch; 4. McCrey Beal, Altamont.138 — 1. Colton Barnes, Milford; 2. Daxon Morrill, Piute; 3. Joshua Wheeler, Monticello; 4. Cameron Atkin, Panguitch.144 — 1. Mckray Gayler, Piute; 2. Isaac Leech, Bryce Valley; 3. Tyson Wheeler, Monticello; 4. Ronan Mooney, Panguitch.150 — 1. Quaid Thompson, Milford; 2. Kade Severe, Piute; 3. Jacob Marshall, Panguitch; 4. McClaine Murdock, Altamont.157 — 1. Brayden Webb, Altamont; 2. Javlin Robison, Monticello; 3. Tesler Fields, Milford; 4. Cale Agamaite, Diamond Ranch Academy.165 — 1. Cael Houston, Panguitch; 2. Monty Morrison, Piute; 3. Morgan Finicum, Milford; 4. Dalton Holden, Tintic.175 — 1. Bryant Mullins, Altamont; 2. Theron Evans, Panguitch; 3. Lester Barlow, Water Canyon; 4. S. Thomas Fullmer, Monticello.190 — 1. Greysen McKinnon, Altamont; 2. Collin Stewart, Bryce Valley; 3. Koda Bridges, Panguitch; 4. Talan Renner, Diamond Ranch Academy.215 — 1. Weston Mullins, Altamont; 2. Jesse James, Piute; 3. Marcus Denny, Whitehorse; 4. Gage Julander, Panguitch.285 — 1. Cole Harland, Panguitch; 2. Jordan Johnson, Rich; 3. Kaleb Witbeck, Altamont; 4. Justen Beebe, Milford.

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