The Grand County High School wrestling team placed seventh out of 13 teams at the Moab Invitational, which it hosted on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2.
Grand senior Kayden Robertson went undefeated in the two-day round-robin tournament. At 138 pounds, he went 7-0 with four pin-fall and three decision victories. He improved upon his season-opening decision over Monticello’s Kayden Draper, this time defeating the Buckaroo by second-round pin-fall.
Robertson said he did strength workouts during the off-season to prepare for the step-up in competition that accompanies Grand’s move from 2A to 3A.
“It was tough to focus on wrestling with football, so I had to adapt,” he said.
Robertson, who took fifth in 2A at 126 pounds last season, has loftier goals than that this season.
“I want to make a run at taking state,” he said. “Just making it to the finals would be awesome.”
Coach Dennis Wells said the 138-pound class is probably the toughest in the state.
“(Robertson has) wrestled really well,” he said. “He beat the Monticello kid by 3-2 decision at the dual and pinned him here, and that’s probably his toughest opponent.”
Joining Robertson with another undefeated first-place performance was sophomore Carson Whitney at 106 pounds. Whitney went 6-0 with four pin-fall wins and two technical falls. As a team, the Red Devils scored 120 points. Monticello placed first at the invitational with 289.5 points.
The Red Devils’ small roster will be detrimental to the team score all season, Wells said.
Grand has only eight out of 14 weight classes filled, leading to as many as six forfeit losses to each team they face this season. Grand currently has only 10 wrestlers on the roster.
“Wrestling is hard to get the kids out,” Wells said. “They know it’s tough.”
Wells said that several football players and other former wrestlers decided not to participate in wrestling this season. Former Grand wrestler Carson Sheets moved to Altamont and Dakota Johnson hasn’t healed from a broken arm suffered in October, leaving the wrestling team a shell of what it could have been.
Although they’re low in numbers, the Grand wrestlers have performed well in the tournament. Senior Gage Hansen took second in the heavyweight class with a 5-1 record, including two pin-falls, while freshman Jimmie Johnson took second at 120 pounds with a 5-2 record, including two pin-falls.
Another freshman, Jaymmin Hester took third at 220 pounds with a 2-2 record; both of his wins were by pin-fall. Dylan Harrison took fifth at 138 pounds, going 3-4 with all of his wins by pin-fall. Trea Meyer went 1-6 at 182 pounds, his victory being a 7-6 decision over Wayne’s Jacob Oldroyd.
Robertson said that despite the low numbers, this is the best Grand team he’s been a part of.
The Red Devils compete in another large invitational, the Desert Hills Invitational in St. George, on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, before returning home to face San Juan in a dual on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.
Red Devils place seventh out of 13 at home tourney
“I want to make a run at taking state. Just making it to the finals would be awesome.”
When: Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m.
Where: Grand County High School gymnasium, 608 S. 400 East