Wrestling season begins | ParkRecord.com

Wrestling season begins

Jen Watkins, Of the Record staff

The wrestling teams at Park City, South Summit and North Summit high schools will begin competing next week with PCHS having its first match at home on Nov. 24 at 6 p.m. against Oakley and East. SSHS will have a match on Nov. 25 at Clearfield High School. NSHS will attend the Evanston Tournament on Dec. 4.

Wrestling coach Brenan Cole may be new to Park City, but he’s bringing many years of experience with him as he prepares to coach at PCHS.

A native of Colorado, Cole most recently coached for the BYU-Idaho intercollegiate team and was an assistant coach at Idaho Falls High School in Idaho Falls, Idaho, a 5A school known for having several wrestling state championships. Last year, Cole helped 10 high school wrestlers reach the top four spots in their respective weight brackets.

"We’ve got a really good team this year," Cole said. "I’m really excited. Looking at our team, these guys are just focused. They’re so much more focused this year than even last year."

Alongside Cole, are veteran coaches Doug Payne, Dave McNaughton and George Rocchi.

PARK CITY MINERS

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Head coach: Brenan Cole

Assistant coaches: Doug Payne, Dave McNaughton, George Rocchi

2008-2009 record: 12-11, first winning season in the program’s history.

2008-2009 region finish: Fourth place

2008-2009 state finish: Took four individuals to state.

Key returning wrestlers: Justice Minardi who placed fifth last year at state

Keys to success this season: Consistency. "We will be constantly working to become better as a team," coach Brenan Cole said. "Our team has a lot of heart and so something that will be a focus is taking that desire and determination and putting it to the test in the wrestling room, and by going to some tough tournaments. We will always be striving to improve."

Biggest challenges this season: "We still are a young team and so we need to understand that success does not come over overnight," Cole said. "We need to focus on the basics. We love the opportunity we have this year to build on what the program has done in the past and just keep going forward."

The team to beat: Wasatch. "They are very physical and are very sound technique wise," Cole said. "They have some returning state placers from last year and so that always is a boost to the program."

SOUTH SUMMIT WILDCATS

Head coach: Gary Crandall

Assistant coaches: Garry Walker, Lynn Thornton

2008-2009 record: First at Evanston Invitational; first at Weber Duals; second at 2A State Duals; second at High Country Classic; first at Divisionals.

2008-2009 region finish: First place

2008-2009 state finish: Second place

Key returning players: State champions Jonsen Crandall, Cody Thornton, Forrest Lucas, Jeff McCormick and Colton Thornton. State placers Niko Klus, Austin Maisey, Cody Angell, Connor Crandall, Jake McCormick and McKay DeGering.

Keys to success this season: "We are returning five previous state champions and six previous state placers," coach Gary Crandall said. "We are also returning several other wrestlers that just missed placing at state last year. Our main key to success this season will be to stay focused on our goals and to work hard. We will have several battles for the varsity spot in many weights. There is not much of a drop in talent between kids that will be varsity and the kids that will be junior varsity. Several spots could flip-flop throughout the year."

Biggest challenges this season: "Our biggest challenge will be to fill all the weights, especially the upper weights," Crandall said. "And we need to remain injury free."

The team to beat: Millard. "They are a perennial power and have taken state the last four years in a row," Crandall said. "They have great coaching and hardworking kids. North Sevier will also be very good this year and will cause several upsets in various weights."

– Compiled by Lexi Reidhead, SSHS

NORTH SUMMIT BRAVES

Head coach: Rene Potter

Assistant coaches: Lew Woolsey, Colby Foust

2008-2009 state finish: Fifth place

Returning players: Seniors Josh Weston, James Crofts and Daniel Beenfield. Beenfield placed second at state last year. Others wrestlers to watch include junior Courtney Orgill and sophomores Dixon Richins and Chris Robinson.

Keys to success this season: Strong worth ethic and confidence.

Biggest challenges this season: Filling all the weight categories. In the past, the team has had several byes that make it difficult to win as a team.

The team to beat: South Summit. SSHS has a tough wrestling program and the kids have wrestled one another since grade school.

Compiled by the NSHS journalism class

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