Vernon leading Oakley School program
In The Oakly School’s wrestling duals against South Summit last Thursday, the highlight of the meet was the performance of Greg Vernon. Overall, The Oakley School was outmatched by South Summit, but Vernon gave Oakley one win in seven matches. Vernon, wrestling at 140 pounds, won 14 7 against varsity wrestler Stuart Davis, who is ranked fifth in the 2A division. "I’ve had a lot of good matches here in Utah," Vernon said of his opponents. "The toughest so far was the final match at the North Summit invitational," said Vernon. After going into overtime, Vernon won the 140 pound weight class championship with a pin in the final seconds. According to Coach Russell Love, the matches are preparing Vernon for the Rocky Mountain Rumble, to be held at Utah Valley State College (UVSC) this weekend. The Rumble will be attended by 32 schools including Wasatch High School. State champions and coaches from all over the region will be in attendance, which will give Vernon some much needed exposure. Vernon will be wrestling as an independent and hopes to catch the attention of some higher division coaches so he can be ranked. "He is very coach-able and humble," said Love. According to Love, Vernon is smart on the mat allowing him to beat his opponents in different ways. "His teammates think he’s unbeatable and they expect a lot of good things out of him," Love said. According to Love, Vernon remains humble and is always working on getting better. Vernon moved to Oakley from Clearwater, Fla. last year and will finish his senior year at the Oakley School. In Florida, Vernon started wrestling the summer before his freshman year. His interest in the sport came from his sister’s boyfriend, who suggested he join the Bad Cats Summer wrestling program in Clearwater. Throughout high school, Vernon developed a passion for wrestling that is apparent today in his style and technique. Vernon is able to read his opponent and adjust to different styles of wrestling, making him a strong challenger to likely qualifier for state. In Utah, Vernon is undefeated and has only given up three takedowns. Love attributes this not only to Vernon’s knowledge, but to his strength on the mat. "He is strong on his feet, which makes it hard to take him down," Love said. Love says that Vernon also has intensity on the mat that gives him a mental edge over his opponent. "If he does well at the Rumble Vernon will have a chance to go to state this year," said Love.
Love hopes the program will remain strong next year and that more kids will try out. South Summit beat The Oakley School 33-4. The Rocky Mountain Rumble will be held Jan.13 14 at the McKay Events Center on the UVSC campus
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