by Tad Barton
The final winter sport preview for the 2015-16 school years at San Juan High belongs to the Bronco wrestling team.
The San Juan mat men will kick off their season this Friday and Saturday, December 4 and 5, at the Moab Tournament hosted by Grand County High School in Moab.
The wrestlers and coaches are optimistic to get the season started, as they feel they have one of the best teams San Juan has had in a number of years.
Four grapplers on the squad qualified for the UHSAA tournament last year, led by Reilly Myrick who is currently ranked number three in 2A at 182 lbs and placed third at the 2A State Championships in 2015.
Dominik Perkins, Coleman Black and Grange Simpson are the other three San Juan wrestlers who qualified for the 2A tournament last year.
These four, along with a strong underclassman roster, look poised to have a great year.
Head Coach: Steve Simpson (first year)
Key Wrestlers: Reilly Myrick, SR 182 lbs; Dominik Perkins, SR 135 lbs; Coleman Black, JR 170 lbs; and Grange Simpson, SO 160 lbs;
Others to watch: Sammy Warren, SO; YaKeisin Tso, SO; DJ Howell, SO; and Dylan Howell, SO.
The Lady Broncos basketball team started off their season the right way, picking up a win against Whitehorse last Tuesday night, November 24.
The Broncos trailed by four after the first quarter, 14-10, but battled back. They held the Raiders to just two points in the second while scoring 18 of their own to take a 28-16 lead at the half.
San Juan kept things rolling in the third quarter as they poured in another 15 points and held Whitehorse to just five, keeping the home team to single digits for the second straight quarter and building their lead to 22 points, 43-21.
The Raiders fought back in the final period outscoring the Broncos 12-10. It just wasn’t enough, as San Juan picked up the 20-point victory, 53-33.
All 16 girls on the Bronco bench played and were led by Tyla Morris, who finished the night with 14 points and six steals.
Krista Grover tossed in 11, while KrysTelle Noyse added nine and made the toughest play in basketball by taking a charge.
Mary Royer chipped in seven, while Lakesia Lopez had a big game scoring five points and pulling down eight rebounds.
Megan Grover added four points to the Bronco total, Sharla Yanito had two and Alexis James rounded out the scoring for San Juan with one point.
Coach Justin Moon was pleased with the overall performance of his team. Although his team wasn’t very sharp offensively, he really liked their hustle and hard work on defense.
The Lady Broncos next faceoff against Red Mesa High School at the Jerry Richardson Tournament in Shiprock, NM at 6 p.m. on Thursday. The tournament continues December 4-5, with future opponents and game times TBA.
Not to be outdone by the ladies, the San Juan boys started off their season with a win, knocking off the Shiprock Chieftains at home. The Broncos broke open a close 35-33 game in the third quarter and then cruised to a 73-57 win over the Chieftains.
San Juan scored first, but quickly fell behind as the lead seesawed back and forth in the first quarter, ultimately ending up in a 17-17 tie after one.
In the second quarter, the Broncos built a small lead, but every time it looked like they might pull away, the Chieftains answered to keep it close.
After two quarters of play, San Juan held a narrow two point lead, 35-33.
The Broncos pulled away in the third quarter doubling Shiprock’s 11 points by scoring 22 themselves to build a 13-point lead, 57-44, heading into the final quarter.
San Juan again outscored the Chieftains in the fourth quarter, this time by three points, 16-13, resulting in a 73-57 final in favor of San Juan.
The Broncos were led by Jaden Torgerson and Caleb Pugh who each scored 19 points. Torgerson also had 17 rebounds, while Pugh had nine. Max Slavens finished with a double-double, scoring 15 and securing 11 rebounds.
Zach Brown came off the bench to score six points and snag four boards, just ahead of Jaxon Lee who added five points and four rebounds. Dylan Ivins chipped in three points,
Keaton Hiatt and Nathan Nielson each had two and Mason Bethea and Aaron Mitchell each finished with one point respectively. Bethea also had six rebounds.
San Juan hosts Aztec, NM on Thursday, December 3 with a 7 p.m. tip-off.