The Grand County High School (GCHS) wrestling team begins its season hosting the Red Rocks Invitational in Moab this weekend with a larger turnout than the team has seen in the past several years.

This season, the Red Devils will have 14 competitors on hand for the first tournament of the year, up from 10 last season. GCHS wrestling coach Dennis Wells said he anticipates 12 of 14 weight classes to be represented by the team, up from just eight weights filled last season. The Red Devils have two wrestlers in both the 106-pound and heavyweight classes.

“We’ve got more kids this year, so we’re headed in the right direction,” he said. “We have about four to five experienced guys and a lot of guys who haven’t wrestled much before.”

Among the experienced wrestlers are senior Maison Moyle at the 132 or 138 class, junior Jaymmin Hester at heavyweight, junior Dylan Harrison at 145 and Landon Morales at 106, who Wells said has been wrestling “his whole life,” despite only being a freshman.

Beginning the season at the Red Rocks Invitational is a good way to start the season, not just because it’s at home, but also because of the format and structure, Wells said.

“I like our tournament, especially at the first of the year,” he said. “It’s a round-robin format and there are A and B divisions, which are like varsity and junior varsity. I want the younger guys to have a good experience, so I’ll put a lot of them in division B with the other young guys instead of filling all the weights in the A division against the tough kids,” said Wells. A round-robin style tournament means that each wrestler competes against every other wrestler in their weight class and division. The win-loss record determines places.

Competition at the Grand County High School gym is set to commence on Friday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 9 a.m.

Following the Red Rocks Invitational, the Red Devils next compete at the Desert Hills Thunder Invitational in St. George on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14.

Coach Dennis Wells encouraged by increased turnout

When: Friday, Dec. 6, at 1 p.m. and Saturday, Dec. 7, at 9 a.m.

Where: Grand County High School gymnasium (608 S. 400 East)