The Grand County High School wrestling team went 1-7-1 at the Desert Hills Invitational in St. George, which took place on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, but had several strong individual performances, including a pair of undefeated wrestlers in Gage Hansen at heavyweight and Carson Whitney at 106 pounds.
The Red Devils’ only win in the head-to-head tourney was a 48-12 win over Dixie on Saturday. The Red Devils also tied Kanab 36-36 on the second day of action.
Grand lost all four of its duals on Friday and its other three duals on Saturday, but coach Dennis Wells said the losses are because of how few wrestlers the Red Devils have on the roster.
“We could have won seven duals if we fielded the team we should have,” he said. “A lot of our meets were close for us only fielding eight weights.”
On Friday, Grand lost 36-33 to the All-Stars, 35-30 to Hurricane, 54-24 to Page, Arizona, and 48-30 to Enterprise. On Saturday, the Red Devils were beaten 46-24 by Snow Canyon, 66-12 by North Sevier and 42-30 by Pineview.
Hansen and Whitney each won nine matches, while Kayden Robertson went 8-1 at 138 pounds, losing only to Shawn Sorensen of North Sevier, last year’s 132-pound state champion. Trae Meyer also went 6-3 for the Red Devils.
“Our experienced wrestlers are pretty good,” Wells said. “If we had more wrestlers, we could have beaten everyone except North Sevier and maybe Page.”
Wells dismissed the relevance of the tournament’s being hosted by a 4A school, but still said there was strong competition.
“Other than Desert Hills and Snow Canyon, the schools in St. George aren’t all that good at wrestling – I think North Sevier was the strongest team there,” despite being one of the smallest schools there, he said.
The Red Devils were scheduled to host San Juan on Wednesday, Dec. 13, before heading to the Manti Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16.
“I think (the Desert Hills Invitational) was good competition to get us ready for the 3A duals when we come back in January, then region and state after that,” Wells said.
Hansen and Whitney go undefeated, Robertson goes 8-1
“We could have won seven duals if we fielded the team we should have. A lot of our meets were close for us only fielding eight weights.”