CEDAR CITY — Youth wrestlers in Iron County recently completed a successful season, with a number of athletes placing top in various age and weight categories.

Third-grader Stihl Bulloch of Iron County Wrestling Academy placed first in the 87-pound category at Youth Super State, Nephi, Utah, Feb. 10, 2024 | Photo courtesy of ICWA, St. George News / Cedar City News

“They have all done a great job this year and the coaches are really proud of them,” said Iron County Wrestling Academy’s Marcus Robinson, who has served as the group’s co-head coach along with Austin Bulloch, with Dusty Hone providing assistance.

Robinson explained that the recently completed season was the first year that the youth wrestling programs from Cedar, Canyon View and Parowan were combined into one team.

The ICWA wrestlers kicked off the 2024 calendar year by competing in the Iron Town Jr. matches at Canyon View High School on Jan. 6. The following week, they took part in back-to-back events at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, with the Southern Region taking place on Jan. 11 and the Beehive Brawl being staged on Jan. 12-13.

The following weekend (Jan. 19-20), the Sevier Valley Center also hosted the 1A-4A Junior High State Tournament, which saw 32 boys and two girls from Iron County Wrestling Academy participate.

Robinson said the state tournament, which was open to students in fourth through ninth grades, does not allow “clubs,” so ICWA’s athletes had to be split by their high school boundary areas.

“We had 16 boys and one girl represent Canyon View, 14 boys and one girl represent Cedar and two boys represent Parowan,” Robinson said, adding that if the team scores would have been combined, the boys would have finished fourth overall at state.

Members of Iron County Wrestling Academy at 1A-5A Junior High State Duals, Richfield, Utah, Feb. 2-3, 2024 | Photo courtesy of ICWA, St. George News / Cedar City News

Among the 21 placers from Iron County were the following seven state champions:

Kyndal Halgren (6th grade), 4th-6th division, 90 pounds.
Kabella Holyoak (6th grade), 4th-6th division, 170 pounds.
Jack Clark (4th grade), 4th-6th division, 61 pounds.
KC Spencer (6th grade), 4th-6th division, 73 pounds.
Ridger Benson (8th grade), 7th-9th division, 75 pounds.
Brayden Spencer (8th grade), 7th-9th division, 112 pounds.
Moni Matakaiongo (8th grade), 7th-9th division, 124 pounds.

Then, on Feb. 2-3, Iron County Wrestling Academy participated in the 1A-5A Junior High State Duals, also at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. In that event, ICWA won six of their eight duals and placed third overall behind first-place Delta and runner-up Juab.

“This was a great last dual tournament with this team,” Robinson said. “We are sending a lot of eighth graders up to the high schools and it is going to be a couple years before we have a team as strong as we do right now.”

Iron County Wrestling Academy logo | Image courtesy of ICWA, St. George News / Cedar City News

Then, on Feb. 9-10, ICWA had 34 wrestlers compete at Youth Super State at Juab High School in Nephi.

“It was a great tournament and it was the biggest Super State tournament held yet,” Robinson noted, adding, “Of our 34 wrestlers, we had 19 of them hit the podium.”

Following that season-ending event, Robinson said the following in a message on the ICWA website:

I am really proud of the kids in this program. All of them contribute to this team and to each other’s individual success. There are a lot of hard nights at practice that make it possible for these kids to have good days on the weekends and to have success on the mat. Even those that did not place play a part in the success of their team mates as they have all helped each other improve throughout the season.

For more information about Iron County Wrestling Academy, visit its website or its Facebook page.

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