Grizzly sends six wrestlers to state
Mar 06, 2019 01:50PM
● By Greg James
Copper Hills sent six wrestlers to the state tournament at Utah Valley University Feb. 13–14. (Photo by Greg James/City Journals)
By Greg James | [email protected]
The Copper Hills Grizzlies wrestling team finished its season by hosting the Division A finals for 6A. At that tournament, the Grizzlies qualified six wrestlers to move on to the state championships. The team’s hard work is evident in their youth and high school program.
Victory Wrestling has become an important feeder program into Copper Hills High School’s varsity wrestling team. The youth club team participates year-round in meets, but its season enjoys a vast number of boys after the high school season ends in February.
The Victory spring recreation league runs February through March and is held in the school’s wrestling room Mondays and Wednesdays. It is run by the Grizzlies’ coaches Jeff Humphreys, Gardner Wheeler and Scott Pace.
Humphreys credits the youth program for the influx of good wrestlers into the Grizzly program.
“It teaches leadership, work ethic and self-esteem to these athletes,” he said.
The Grizzlies season began with losses to Bingham and Davis. Sandwiched between those losses was a victory over Cyprus. The preseason meets prepared them for their region competition.
At the Herriman dual, the Mustangs dominated the Grizzlies, winning all but one match. Junior Dakota Buckner pinned his opponent with 34 seconds left in the opening period.
Buckner finished his season with a 38-14 overall record and finished 6th at the state meet. He led the team with 31 pins this year. He was ranked fourth overall in his weight class by wrestleutah.com. He defeated Granger’s Kitchner Koala in the Division finals.
In the 120-pound weight class, Copper Hills qualified two wrestlers. Ryan Bullough wrestled at a higher weight class for his team much of the season, but he finished fourth overall at the divisional meet, and Jaden Fowers finished fifth.
Both wrestlers finished their season with more than 30 victories (Bullough had 34; Fowers had 35).
Senior Ryan Hatch finished ninth at 160 pounds. He closed out his high school wrestling career with a 25-17 record this season.
At 195 pounds, junior Hyrum Ivie placed seventh overall and competed at the state wrestling meet.
Sophomore Kaden Bybee closed finished the regular season with a 16-20 overall record and placed seventh at the divisional meet.