CEDAR CITY — The Panguitch High School boys wrestling team won its fifth straight state 1A championship on Saturday.

Panguitch High wrestler Cameron Atkin took first place in the 144-pound bracket at the 1A state wrestling tournament Richfield, Utah, Feb. 10, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Cory Norman, St. George News / Cedar City News

The Bobcats saw seven wrestlers advance to the finals in their respective brackets, with six of them emerging as champions. That pushed Panguitch’s team point total to 199, while runner-up Milford finished with 187. The two-day tournament was staged at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.

Panguitch head coach Colin Marshall noted that his team had trailed Milford at the end of the tournament’s opening day on Friday.

“It was close right from the beginning,” Marshall told St. George News / Cedar City News via phone on Sunday. “We knew it was going to take everybody doing well to come out on top. We went into our finals in second place and we knew that the difference maker would be how the kids did in the finals.”

Marshall said the Bobcats “left it all out there” during Saturday’s finals.

“This year, we’ve battled some adversity … we’ve had some bad injuries and lost a few wrestlers to injury and had some come back,” Marshall said. “We’re not 100%, but ultimately, you know, we were able to get a good solid team together for the championship. They all really put forth their best effort and made the difference.”

Panguitch High wrestler Jacob Marshall was named outstanding wrestler of the tournament, while his father and coach Colin Marshall was named 1A coach of the year, Richfield, Utah, Feb. 10, 2024 | Photo courtesy of Panguitch High Athletics, St. George News / Cedar City News

Panguitch’s six individual first-place winners at state were as follows, from lightest to heaviest, along with their finals opponents:

At 132 pounds, Panguitch junior Shad Partridge defeated Dillon Ivie of Altamont by injury in the first round.
At 138 pounds, junior Braxton Atkin defeated Milford junior Judd Netto by a 2-0 decision. It was Atkin’s third straight state title.
At 144 pounds, junior Cameron Atkin (Braxton’s twin brother) defeated Monticello senior Zac Thayne by a 9-2 decision.
At 157 pounds, junior Jacob Marshall defeated Milford senior Tesler Fields by a first-round pin.
At 190 pounds, sophomore Maverick Albrecht defeated Piute sophomore Boedy Morrison by a 3-2 decision.
At 215 pounds, Panguitch senior Gage Julander defeated Rich sophomore Boston Jolley by first-round pin.

Coach Marshall said that Maverick Albrecht typically wrestles at 175 pounds, the same weight as teammate Koda Bridges, both of whom weighed within a few pounds of each other heading into state.

“Maverick decided to take that step up (to 190),” Marshall said. “It really paid off but that was a tough decision on what to do with him. He’s worked so hard at improving his wrestling skills and additional lifting weights and improving his overall strength and athleticism.”

Marshall said that Albrecht and Piute’s Morrison had wrestled each other multiple times during the season.

“They’ve always been close,” he said. “Maverick’s been able to beat him but they’ve always been really close battles. We didn’t expect anything different with the finals. But it was no easy feat. He really had to put in a lot of effort.”

Another close battle took place in the 113-pound bracket, where Milford sophomore Boston Thompson edged Panguitch sophomore Max Albrecht in an 8-5 decision.

Also placing among the top four finishers in their respective brackets for Panguitch were Randy Marshall (third place at 126 pounds), Koda Bridges (third at 175 pounds), James Houston (fourth at 113 pounds) and Tanner Marshall (fourth at 120 pounds).

In total, Panguitch had 20 boys qualify for state, just five of whom are seniors.

“We’ve got a solid group of juniors that will be coming back next year,” coach Marshall noted.

“Hopefully we can recruit a few new ones to take the place of those seniors leaving,” he added. “We should have a solid group coming back. Looking across at the other schools, they do as well, so next year will be another battle, I’m sure. But we’re looking forward to the future of Panguitch wrestling right now.”

Other Southern Utah athletes who won their respective brackets at the 1A state tournament included Wayne senior Krey Bradbury at 120 pounds, Piute senior Kade Severe at 150 pounds and Milford senior Morgan Finicum at 175 pounds.

1A boys wrestling top 5 team scores

Panguitch, 199.
Milford, 187.
Altamont, 169.5.
Monticello, 122.
Piute, 70.

1A/2A girls

Panguitch High wrestler Kieren Moody competes in the 1A/2A girls tournament, Richfield, Utah, Feb. 9-10, 2024 | Photo courtesy of VaLynda Moody, St. George News / Cedar City News

Another highlight for Panguitch was seeing the school’s first-ever individual state champions in girls wrestling, head coach Colin Marshall noted. Freshman Alexa Marshall, the coach’s daughter, won the 105-pound bracket while junior Kieren Moody took first in the 135-pound bracket. Although they were the only two wrestlers on the Bobcats’ girls team, their wins gave Panguitch a score of 44 team points and a sixth place finish in the 1A/2A combined girls tournament.

“That was an historic moment for Panguitch girls wrestling,” Marshall said.

Winning the 1A/2A girls tournament was Duchesne with 195 points, while runner-up Rich scored 147.

Enterprise, which placed third with 130 points, had four individual state champions, namely senior Elizabeth Cox at 100 pounds, junior Alexandra Ramirez at 115 pounds, junior Addilee Hall at 125 pounds and junior Ina Slivers at 235 pounds. In her finals match, Slivers defeated senior teammate Shelby Putman by a second-round pin.

1A/2A girls top 7 team scores

Duchesne, 195.
Rich, 147.
Enterprise, 130.
American Leadership Academy, 106.
North Sevier, 58.
Panguitch, 44.
Kanab, 42.

2A boys

In the 2A boys tournament also staged on those same days and venue in Richfield, the Millard boys emerged as the overall winners with 331.5 team points, while runner-up Beaver scored 262.

Millard won seven of the 14 finals matches, while Beaver won four. Taking state individually for the Beavers were freshman Trexden Olsen at 106 pounds, sophomore Jex Bradshwat at 132 pounds, senior Tavyn Hollingshead at 150 pounds and senior Kutlur Matheson at 215 pounds. Beaver senior Russell Evans, a three-time state champion, came up just short of his fourth individual title when he lost a 3-2 decision to Grand County sophomore Austin Paris in the finals of the 138-pound bracket.

Also winning an individual state title was Enterprise senior Michael Williams, who won the finals of the 113-pound bracket by defeating San Juan junior Chad Yellow in a 13-7 decision.

2A boys top 5 team scores

Millard, 331.5.
Beaver, 262.
San Juan, 155.5.
North Sevier, 119.
Kanab, 112.

Complete results for the boys 1A and 2A tournaments may be found on the following link on trackwrestling.com. For 1A/2A girls results, click here.

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