Park City High School wrestling aims to pin down progress |

Park City High School wrestling aims to pin down progress

Tony Pelegrin, Park City High School's wrestling coach, expects a team of between 13 and 15 people this season.

"About half the team is brand new; haven't wrestled before," he said. "It will be a young team."

That's good in that it helps build the team, Pelegrin said, but the team still has a ways to go before being competitive against others in its division.

Because Park City has so many options for winter sports, including all kinds of skiing and snowboarding, wrestling sometimes takes a back seat to other sports. But that doesn't mean the team is without talent, and Pelegrin said there are several wrestlers to watch this season, including a handful of veterans who have the potential to go to state.

Senior Cameron Shine is currently the team's most experienced wrestler. He competed at state last year and won two matches. He will compete in the 126-pound weight class this season.

"Cameron is pretty solid all the way around," Pelegrin said. "He's one of the kids that pursued it even in off season. He's gone to camps. … He's technically sound with his moves."

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Bridger Gull, also a senior, transferred from Altamont this year and also has state experience.

"He's a really strong 180 wrestler," Pelegrin said. "When you get up in the weight you tend to get some kids that are just heavy, but this kid lifts and worked out through the summer so he will have a good season this year."

Pelegrin hopes that two returning athletes, sophomore Jake DeLeo (138) and senior Kiefer Maples (either 138 or 145), will both make state this season after building experience with the team over past years.

Among the team's recruits are three girls new to the sport. One, sophomore Rebekah Hardman, has considerable potential, but also a long road ahead, Pelegrin said.

Pelegrin said Hardman currently weighs about 95 pounds, meaning she will have to build about 10 pounds of muscle to be competitive in the 106-pound class, the lowest available.

However, Pelegrin said Hardman is aggressive and has experience in martial arts, which could help her maintain the right mindset through the long season.

"If you are timid, you tend to be on your heels when wrestling," he said. "A kid that is athletic and wants to compete, and likes to win and is competitive in that aspect, the aggression kind of goes hand in hand with that."

That said, Pelegrin isn't looking for aggression "for aggression's sake."

"You're not trying to hurt your opponent, you're trying to dominate your opponent. but sometimes the opposite happens," he said.

Pelegrin said this season should be fun to watch. With little pressure on the team, he hopes they feel the freedom to surprise.

The Park City Miners will start their season with a dual meet against Grantsville on Dec. 2. Their first home tournament (of three this season) is on Dec. 5 against Summit Academy.