A hold for the holidays
When head wrestling Coach Rene Potter puts together the North Summit Tournament every year, in the back of his head, he is hoping to win. Stocked with good wrestlers year in and year out, the Braves always have a chance, but with the popularity of this annual event, competition is always fierce.
This year, the tournament was hit like a hurricane by 5A Hunter High School, who swooped into the competition with one of the best teams they have had in years. the final round, Hunter had a whopping seven wrestlers competing far more than any other school and finished with championship wins in five weight classes.
"I knew they were good," Potter said. "But, I didn’t think it was that it was that kind of quality."
Behind Hunter, Jordan was in second and North Summit took third in the 10-team tournament. Potter said he had expected a few more of his wrestlers to last until the championship round.
"We lost a few we shouldn’t have lost," Potter said.
The Braves still had plenty to celebrate. The imposing six-foot five-inch Wes Collins dominated in the 215-pound weight class and was named outstanding wrestler in the upper weights. Despite his size, Collins devotes most of his year to wrestling and splits the rest of the time with the unlikely sport of cross-country running, rather than football and basketball, as one might think. At the 189-pound level, Ty Wright lost in the finals to Mountain View. One-hundred and seventy-one pounder Chase Black also lost in the championship round.
In the semifinal round, Caleb Adams (160-pounds), Courtney Orgill (130-pounds) and Travis Moore (135 pounds) each took third.
Part of the excitement of wrestling is the talent of the young men, regardless of class. Potter says that although he doesn’t have the depth of teams like Hunter and Jordan, he still has quality wrestlers that could compete with anyone in the state.
"If you’ve got a good wrestler, you’ve got s good wrestler," Potter said.
The North Summit Tournament reflected that quality with schools like 1A Duchesne all the way up to 5A schools. A high-school squad from Mountain View, Wyo. was in even in attendance.
Although no Park City wrestlers lasted until the final round, there were still notable performances. At the 112-pound weight class, Justus Minardi once again showed his talent and consistency with a fourth-place finish. Ninth-grader Jeremiah Hickman also fared well, finishing in third place in the 140-pound class. Park City assistant coach Doug Payne said his team looks forward to participating in the tournament each year.
"It’s a good mix," said Payne. "Some of the smaller schools don’t have the numbers, but they’re good wrestlers."
As opposed to duel-style tournaments, where teams must wrestle every team in attendance, the North Summit Tournament is a bracket-style championship tournament where once a wrestler as lost twice, they’re gone. It’s the same style used in the region and state championship, and so it gives the teams a very competitive experience.
"It allows you to get a wider range of kids," Potter explained. "Usually by the final round, the wrestlers are very good. It’s a very competitive atmosphere"
Noticeably missing was county rival South Summit, who traveled up the road to the Weber Duels over the weekend. Potter says that they were missed as North Summit traditionally has the stronger competitors in the upper weights and South Summit boasts a strong line-up in the lower weights.
"If South Summit and I could get together, we be awesome," Potter said, chuckling.
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