Wrestling is largely considered an individual sport. But day in and day out through the season, team members work to make each other better. They know that the strength of the individual is built through the strength of the team.
Through everything they do, they form a brotherhood. It comes from countless hours of hard work, their time in “the room,” short walls, long bus rides, and tournament weekends.
They celebrate the wins and are there to pick each other up in the losses. They all want to make their way to the podium on the final day as an individual, but they know the victory is so much sweeter when they get to share it with their brothers.
On February 9, in their final state tournament as a 1A team, the Monticello Buckaroo wrestlers stood as a team atop the podium celebrating their Buck Pride together as 1A State Wrestling Champions. It was their second championship in a row and the 11th overall for MHS wrestling.
The Buckaroos came to defend their title and left no doubt who the best team was, finishing with 207.5 points, nearly 65 points ahead of second place Panguitch.
At the end of the night, the Buckaroos crowned four champions, five runners-up and five third place medals. Every member of the varsity team earned a medal.
In his 40th year of coaching at MHS, Head Coach Kent Adair was voted 1A Coach of the Year. It is the third time Adair has been the 1A Coach of the Year. He received the award for 2A coaches in 2005.
The award is voted annually at the state tournament by other coaches in the division. Adair has been at the helm for the Buckaroos for the past 19 seasons and has 21 years as an assistant coach.
After months of hard work and training, nine Buckaroos made it to the center mat to wrestle for a chance at the championship. At the end of the day, four made it to the gold medal.
Sophomore Paxton Christensen led off for the Buckaroos in the finals, earning a strong win by fall in the first period over Jesse Peterson of Wayne. Christensen earned wins by fall in both early rounds on his way to the finals.
Brevin Olson faced off in the finals against Jax Coburn of Piute. Both sophomore wrestlers came into the match seeking their second state championship, but at the end of the night only one would continue their quest for the coveted title of four time champion.
In a tough match, Olson earned the 4-2 win and will continue his attempt to become the fourth Buckaroo wrestler in school history to earn four championships. Olson had wins by fall in both early rounds.
Senior Mark Beh earned his second state championship for the Buckaroos by defeating teammate Dillan Wheeler by second period fall. Beh had a strong weekend, earning a win with a 13 second fall in the first round and had a dominating 15-0 technical fall win on his way to the finals.
Senior Kayden Draper won his championship match, defeating teammate Robert Musselman by second period fall. Draper had a stellar tournament, defeating his first round opponent by a 17-second fall and winning in the semi-final round with a 45-second fall.
Finishing with hard-earned second place medals are Dillan Wheeler, Robert Musselman, Zach Cecil, Tuff Adair and Dillon Slack.
Wheeler, a sophomore, earned a win by fall and a strong 14-0 win before a tough loss to teammate Mark Beh in the finals.
Musselman, a sophomore, earned two wins by fall in the early rounds and was defeated by teammate Kayden Draper in the finals.
Cecil, a junior, earned a first round win by fall and had a 10-2 win to send him to the finals, where he was defeated 4-3 by Tanner Tsinigine of Monument Valley High School in an exciting match.
Adair, a sophomore, had a first round bye before a big win by fall to earn a spot in the finals where he was defeated by Diamond Ranch senior Jackson Butler.
Junior Dillion Slack earned a win by fall in the first round and had an exciting 10-9 win before a tough 7-2 loss in the finals to Jacob Oldroyd of Wayne.
The Buckaroos were strong in the consolation finals, winning every match with Tate Ramsay, Matt Beh, Steven Robinson, Wyatt Fullmer, and Eldean Lammert all earning third place medals.
Ramsay, a freshman, had a first round bye and a second round loss but followed with two strong wins by fall.
Beh and Fullmer, both seniors, earned first round wins by fall before tough losses sent them to the consolation bracket. Both Buckaroos fought back, with Beh earning two wins by fall and Fullmer picking up a fall and an exciting 9-7 sudden victory win.
Robinson lost a heartbreaker in the first round, 5-2, but came back with a fall, and 7-1 and 5-3 wins.
Lammert had a bye in round one and a second round loss but came back in the consolation rounds with two wins by fall.
Sophomore Drew Westcott earned a win by fall at the tournament. Freshmen Tyler Thayn and Logan Draper and sophomore Alan Pettit all fought hard for the Buckaroos and gained valuable tournament experience.
Freshman Cameron Bailey was ready to wrestle for the Buckaroos at the tournament but was disqualified at weigh-in for a skin condition, which is always disappointing but is necessary to protect the other participants.
The Buckaroos graduate five state placers this year and will move to the 2A ranks next season, but will look forward to a good season with the return of a strong group of wrestlers, including three juniors, seven sophomores, five freshmen and several strong incoming eighth graders.