It’s been an encouraging start to the 2020-21 high school boys wrestling season for Green Canyon, which likely has its best team in its four-year history.
The Wolves currently have 42 athletes on their roster and that increased depth is starting to pay off. Case in point: Green Canyon had nine placers en route to finishing fifth out of 14 teams at the Battle Royale on Tuesday at Herriman’s Mountain Ridge High School.
Mountain Ridge won the bracketed tournament in relatively comfortable fashion as it racked up 206 points to runner-up Copper Hills’ 172.5. Green Canyon accumulated 128.5 points, only three fewer than fourth-place Altamont.
“I think we are a step or two ahead of where we were this time last year,” GC head coach Ryan Webb said. “We’ve been able to get our numbers up and from that we’ve added some decent talent. These kids are pretty gritty. We had a round or two not go our way, but they battled pretty hard to score points. I think that was evident in the placement matches. Almost every one of my kids won their placement match. Just a great group of kids.”
Green Canyon was led by a quartet of consolation champions in Daxton Darley (113 pounds), James Shumway (126), Mason Morris (145) and Garrett Herzog (285). Darley and Shumway are returning state placers, while Morris was a 4A medalist in 2018 and 2019.
All four grapplers bounced back from semifinal setbacks by prevailing in their third-place matches — Herzog and Shumway in pinning fashion, and Darley by major decision. Morris won his final bout in overtime.
Other Green Canyon wrestlers who earned a spot on the podium were Quinn Richards (fourth at 106), Jaron Darley (fifth at 132), Jared Hurtst (sixth at 152), Josue Velez (fifth at 160) and Luke Blake (fourth at 182). Morris, Velez, Jaron Darley and Herzog won three matches apiece for the Wolves, with Herzog securing all of his victories by fall.
Shumway, a defending state runner-up, only lost once at the tourney and it was a 5-3 heartbreaker to Maxon Benson of Pleasant Grove in the semis.
“We were wrestling a couple of kids up a weight to fill some holes in the lineup,” Webb said. “We didn’t have our 195-pounder there and that hurt us. I feel like we left quite a few points on the table. We had some tough losses that kept us out of the finals.”
Logan brought three athletes to the Battle Royale and all of them medaled. Aaron Franckowiack (182) and Malakye Lindsey (195) placed fifth, while Ty Stearns finished sixth in the heavyweight division. Lindsey and Stearns won three duels each.