Shorthanded Miners optimistic about season
Park City loses meet with Highland but has high hopes for the season
The Park City wrestling team’s meet with Highland technically goes down as a loss, but the Miners are winning at the individual level.
The Miners are currently at a disadvantage as a team because their current roster only has seven boys and four girls. Park City forfeited a lot of matches on Thursday because it didn’t have anyone to wrestle in certain weight classes. Coach Todd Combs said that he is hoping to add four or five more wrestlers soon once their paperwork and hydration tests are in.
But the wrestlers that the Miners do have are talented. They’re led by senior Stone Combs, who finished third in the state at the 220-pound weight class last year. The two wrestlers ahead of him graduated, leaving the door open for a state championship for Combs.
“Stone getting ranked No. 1 is huge for Park City wrestling, I don’t think we’ve ever had a state champion, so he has an opportunity,” Todd Combs said.
Park City had two more wrestlers place at the state championships last year who also return this year in senior Jared Miller for the boys and senior Annika Futch for the girls. Miller finished sixth in the 120-pound weight class last year, and Futch was the runner-up in the girls’ 108-pound weight class.
“I’m most excited having three state-ranked wrestlers, I think that’s probably the first time Park City’s ever had that in their history,” Todd Combs said. “Jared Miller’s a two-time placer, and he’s ranked in the state, so we’re looking for big things out of Jared as well and hopefully he can reach No. 1 on the podium at the end of the year. Annika Futch, our state runner-up there, and we get a trifecta of three state champs, that would be great.”
Those three started the season the right way on Thursday night. Stone Combs and Futch earned pins early on in their respective matches, while Miller wrestled up a weight class and needed three periods to earn the win.
A few new faces made their debut for the Miners as well. Newcomer Luis Vasquez, wrestling in the 144-pound weight class, won his match. Todd Combs liked what he saw from both his returning wrestlers and the new faces.
“We got some wins from some new kids that have been wrestling for about two weeks, which is a very good sign that things could go well for the number of kids that we have,” Todd Combs said. “Our returning state placers did well tonight. We expected them to do well, they certainly came out and did well.”
Despite the small roster, the Miners feel that they have plenty of potential at the individual level. And for the newcomers, there’s plenty of time for Todd Combs to coach them up between now and the state tournament in February.
“When we get into some of our tournaments, hopefully we can go and perform as a good tournament team and get a number of our athletes to place in tournaments,” Combs said. “I think that’s where we could shine a little more than our dual meets.”
Park City Head Coach Pete Stoughton mentioned how his team will bring their trademark enthusiasm to what should be a relatively-rain soaked course, saying in a prepared statement, “we anticipate radiant smiles on all of our riders faces this weekend.”
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