Orange and Black dominated the sidelines during the final round of the Region 20 wrestling tournament on Saturday.
Twelve Buckaroos took to the mat in eleven weights, hoping to claim a title. It was an impressive day for the Buckaroos, a team of only 19 members, where 12 made the finals, nine were region champions, and 16 qualified to compete in the State Tournament,
It is the fourth region championship in a row for the Buckaroo mat men. At the end of the day, Monticello easily dominated the team race finishing at 272 points with second place Panguich a distant 145.5 and Wayne rounding out the top three with 140.
Coach Kent Adair received the honor of being voted Coach of the Year for Region 20. It’s the third time Adair has been recognized with the region award for his efforts.
Five years ago, the Buckaroos returned to the 1A ranks, and finished just 19 points behind Wayne High School at the Region tournament. Wayne had been a powerhouse in the region for many years but over the past four years, the Bucks have established dominance, bringing home four Region Championship titles in a row.
The Buckaroos set the tone early in the day, winning six of their nine first round matches, and adding 12 more wins in round two.
Overall, the Buckaroo ability to earn wins by fall gave them a sizable number of points. On the day, all but six of their wins came by fall. Of the six that were points wins, two came at the hands of David Boyle, who continues to dominate his opponents in wins by Technical Fall.
Brian Robinson, David Boyle, Ricky Wilcox, CJ Cordasco, Adam Martinez, Tyrel Shupe, Nephi Barlow, MJ Wagstaff and Tazz Robinson all finished atop the podium.
In the finals Robinson led 6-2 early in the second round before pinning his man. Boyle added two technical fall wins to his MHS record, dominating his opponents by getting the 15 point wins only seconds into the second period each time, including his finals match.
Wilcox had an exciting 4-1 battle in the finals, following a fall and a 4-1 win in the early rounds. Cordasco was only taken down once throughout the day, late in his 6-2 final win, after pins in each of his early rounds.
Martinez started his day with a one minute pin and finished with an exciting second period pin in the finals. Shupe got behind early in his first match, but came back quick and strong, earning a first period pin. In the finals, he gave the Buckaroo fans what many have referred to as the greatest moment of the day. Down 6-5 with only 16 seconds left on the clock, the two were battling for a takedown that would win the match. Sitting on the mat with his opponent essentially in his lap, Shupe followed the direction of his coaches, and with an amazing amount of strength, threw his opponent over his shoulder, put him on his back and earned the pin with only six seconds left on the clock, bringing the team and the crowd to their feet.
Barlow earned two exciting first period pins on his way to his championship medal. Wagstaff dominated his opponents, leading 10-1 and 7-1 before pinning them both in the first period.
Tazz Robinson wrapped up the finals for the Bucks. Robinson had his man on his back in the first period, but time ran out before he could secure the pin. He wasted no time in the second period, turning his man quickly for the pin and the win. Robinson earned the quick pin on the day for the Bucks, finishing off an opponent in an early round in only 22 seconds.
Finishing strong with second place medals were Coltan Musselman, Skyler Hall and Jarod Hansen. Musselman had falls in both of his early matches, and fought hard in an exciting finals match that kept the fans on the edge of their seats. In the end, he came up just short in the 5-4 loss.
Hall was impressive coming back from several weeks of recovery, with falls in each of the first two rounds and a great finals effort.
Hanson had an early round fall to set him up for the finals against teammate Nephi Barlow.
Bringing home third place honors is John Mayne, who put two very exciting second period falls on the board to earn his spot. Fourth place finishers are James Johnson, Tim Ryan and Calvin Hazelton.
Also wrestling this weekend for the Bucks were Caleb Bailey, Kelland Brewer and Van DeMille, who had an exciting 8-5 victory in the first round. All three gained valuable tournament experience.
This week, the Buckaroos will take on their final challenge of the season at the Utah State Wrestling Tournament at Utah Valley University in Orem. Rounds on Friday run from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday rounds run from 2 to 5 p.m. and the finals begin at 6:30 p.m.
Buckaroo updates can be found throughout the tournament at monticellobuckaroowrestling.blogspot.com. Wrestling fans can also receive instant match by match updates to their email or cell phone through twitter. Fans can sign up for a free twitter account and search MHSBuckaroos to follow all the tournament action, including video of matches.