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Back on the mat

It seems that size does matter for the Park City High School wrestling team, which is minus a heavyweight and a 103-pounder on the team roster. Stocked with more talented wrestlers than they have had in years, the Miners are enjoying the start to their season, except for forfeiting at the lightest and heaviest weight classes.

Despite the voids, though, the team seems to be marching on. This weekend at the Carbon Duels in Price, the Miners walked away with two medals and two winning records to push them past a team from Tooele and the American Leadership Academy in the 10-team tournament. The Miners finished 7th overall based on total points scored.

And a heavyweight is on the way. Cash Knight will wrestle in the heaviest class as soon as a tendon injury in his foot clears up.

Leading the charge for Park City was South Summit High School transfer Brandon Woolstenhulme, who wrestles in the 112-pound weight class. Coming off a solid winning record at Tuesday’s tournament at Granger High School, Woolstenhulme followed that performance with another strong one, going undefeated through the entire Carbon tournament. Right behind him was Justus Minardi, who finished with a record of 8-1. Minardi wrestles in both the 125-pound and 130-pound weight classes and competed in both at Carbon depending on the competitor. Minardi’s only loss came in the 125-pound class. He also fared well at Granger, winning all his matches, which brings his record on the young season to 11-1.

Woolstenhulme and Minardi weren’t the only ones leaving Eastern Utah with a winning record. One-hundred-and-forty-pounder Luke Coleman had a winning record of 5-4 as did Maddie Magee, who wrestled in the 119- and 125-pound weight classes, respectively.

According to Park City assistant wrestling coach and athletic director Doug Payne, the team started out on a bit of a down note on Friday, but rebounded on Saturday. He wasn’t sure if it was the long bus ride or just getting acclimated to the large tournament, but by Saturday, the team was ready to go.

"They came back Saturday like they wanted to wrestle," commented Payne.

Even for those who didn’t finish with a winning record, the weekend was not lost. In a duels format, the wrestlers are able to compete with every other wrestler in their weight class, regardless of wins or losses. That means that all the boys competed all weekend, giving them valuable experience and making Park City’s long drive to Price well worth it.

The Park City team, which is made up primarily of juniors and sophomores and just two seniors, may be one of the most complete and strong the school has fielded in years. Payne is joined by a committee of other coaches, including one of the former Wasatch coaches, Dave McNaughtan, which should help the team even more this season.

The Miners were scheduled to host a tournament on their own mats against Juan Diego Tuesday, and then have two more tournaments before neighboring North Summit hosts its annual pre-holiday bracketed tournament the weekend before Christmas.

Payne said the Miners are excited to finally make an appearance at the in-county event where they can feasibly last until the final rounds and produce some medal winners.

"We’re looking forward to it," Payne said. "It will be nice to have some people going deep into the tournament."

The Miners will wrestle at a tournament at Jordan High School on Dec. 16, at Ogden on Dec. 17 and then compete in the North Summit Warriors on the Warpath Invitational Dec. 19 and 20.


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