It was an impressive team performance that earned the Monticello Buckaroos their second straight Region title last Saturday, proving that together, everyone really does achieve more.
The Bucks came to wrestle and were strong throughout the day, leading in every round, and finishing with 255 points, well ahead of second place Wayne with 217.
The Bucks blew away the rest of the competition, nearly 100 points in front of third place Panguitch, with Milford, Escalate and Piute bringing up the bottom.
Eighteen of the 20 team members placed in the top four, to earn a spot at the State Tournament, which will take place this week at Utah Valley University in Orem.
A big factor in the Buckaroo’s dominating finish was the fact that of their wins on the day, all but four were won by fall, adding a large number of points to their total.
The finals looked a lot like a Monticello home dual, with a large number of Buckaroo fans in the stands, and 11 men in orange and white on the mat.
Aaron Butler was the first champion of the night for the Bucks, earning his fourth Region title, and was voted by coaches as the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler in the lower weights for his efforts.
In the finals, Butler dominated his opponent, taking him down and putting him on his back several times in the first period to build a huge 10 point lead before putting his man on his back for the pin quickly in the second period.
At 112 pounds, the Bucks showed their dominance by putting up an all-Buckaroo final match. Colton Musselman took on Ricky Wilcox for the top spot. Musselman came out with the quick takedown, but Wilcox fought hard, not allowing Musselman to put him on his back in the first period.
In the second period, Wilcox could not keep Colton at bay, and he was turned him for the pin and the Region Title.
James Musselman was ready to wrestle for his title, but his opponent forfeited the match, giving Musselman the first place finish.
Jesse Barton rounded out the Buckaroo champions at 215 pounds. The match was physical from the whistle, but Barton ended up on the bottom and on his back early.
He fought off the bottom and quickly showed his opponent how it felt, with a take down and near fall points. But Barton wasn’t able to hold him there and his opponent got the escape. With seconds remaining in the first period, Barton put it into overdrive, took his man and earned the pin and the championship.
A long list of Buckaroos join Wilcox and brought home hard fought second place medals. Among the second place finishers are David Boyle and Quanah Lee, who each were handed devastatingly close losses. Boyle was the first, putting in a great match and battling to the very end in the 103 pound bout. But despite his efforts, Boyle couldn’t get a final takedown and lost 9-7.
Lee couldn’t find a way to put up points in the first period, and got on his back for just long enough in the second to get behind by four. He worked hard in the third period, turning his opponent and scoring near fall points, but he couldn’t get the pin, and lost in an heartbreaker, 5-4.
Trevor St. Clair worked hard, but could not keep from ending up on his back. Down 10-0 going into the third period, St. Clair put it all on the line, earning five points in the period, but is was not enough for the win.
Kevin Anderson and Rhett Adair both came out firing in their matches. It looked good for the Bucks, as both took their opponents down and put them on their backs, but neither was able to get the pin, and both ended up losing by fall in the second period.
CJ Cordaso worked hard in his match, but was unable to score before being put on his back for the fall and the loss.
In the first round, the Bucks set the tone for the day, winning 18 matches, all by fall. Round two was tougher for the Bucks. Jeremy Grisham started off with a tough loss, followed by Jacob Regalado being defeated by teammate Aaron Butler to send both to the consolation bracket.
Trevor St. Clair picked up a 7-1 win to put himself into the finals, but Nolan Black and Chase Randall both suffered losses, sending them into the consolation bracket.
Kevin Anderson won his match by fall, but in doing so, sent Adam Mitchell to the consolation bracket. Rhett Adair picked up a close 4-3 win, followed by falls by Colton Musselman and Jesse Barton, to earn three spots in the finals.
Tyrel Shupe and Ronald Robinson lost their matchs, and went to consolation rounds. Ricky Wilcox, Quanah Lee, and CJ Cordasco won by fall and David Boyle won an exciting 7-3 match to help all four Bucks secure their place in the finals.
On the consolation side, Skyler Hall earned an exciting win by fall to stay alive in the tournament. In the next round, only those who earned a win would qualify for the State Tournament. Five wrestlers took to the mat.
A bittersweet moment for the team and the fans, as Jeremy Grisham earned a great win by fall, but handed teammate Skyler Hall his second loss of the day, putting him out of contention for a spot at state.
Willie Schmidt was also unable to overcome his opponent and ended up being the Bucks’ only other casualty of the tournament.
Chase Randall and Adam Mitchell both came back strong from losses in the previous round and put quick first round pins on the board.
In the consolation finals, Tyrel Shupe, Ronald “Taz” Robinson, Chase Randall, and Nolan Black earned third place medals. Shupe was behind early, but fought back to tie the score, before putting his man on his back twice and pinning him in the second period. Robinson wasn’t on the mat long before he put his man on his back for the fall.
Chase Randall wasted no time establishing dominance in his match. Randall put his man on his back right off the whistle, but couldn’t get him flat in the first two minutes, so he promptly came from the bottom in the second period, turned his opponent and pinned him. Black was down 2-0 after one period, but came from the bottom in the second for an escape, and took his man down immediately to his back for the pin.
Working hard and earning fourth place finishes for the Bucks were Jeremy Grisham, Adam Mitchell and Jacob Regalado. Skyler Hall won a final victory by fall in a match to determine 5th and 6th in his weight.
The Bucks wrap up the 2007-08 season this weekend at the State Tournament at Utah Valley University in Orem. Wrestling starts Friday at 9:30 a..m. and runs through the day until 4:30. Saturday rounds begin at 10 a.m., with consolation finals at 11:45 and the finals fanfare starting at 3:30 p.m.