The road to a state championship is about to get easier for high school athletes from Cache County.
The UHSAA Board of Trustees has finalized its realignment for the next two academic years, and the 4A classification will have a much different look starting in the 2021-22 academic year. For starters, only 13 schools will be competing for state titles in athletics at the 4A level, down from 21 — 22 in football — during this current realignment period. Additionally, there will only be two regions instead of three.
Region 11 will not change as it will still be comprised of Bear River, Green Canyon, Logan, Mountain Crest, Ridgeline and Sky View. The St. George teams will now contend in Region 10 instead of 9. Those schools are Cedar, Crimson Cliffs, Desert Hills, Dixie, Hurricane, Pine View and Snow Canyon. The St. George region will be losing Canyon View, which is dropping down a classification.
The old 4A Region 10 will completely disband after the 2020-21 academic year. Ogden, Ben Lomond and Juan Diego will compete in the 3A classification, while Tooele, Stansbury and Cedar Valley will jump up to 5A. The Juan Diego football program has been competing in 3A jumping this current period, while Park City has been competing in 4A in football and in 5A in all other programs. The Miners will be in 5A in all of their programs during the upcoming period.
One other major change the Board of Trustees approved was the return of 1A football. Here is the breakdown for each classification: 6A (26 schools, 26 in football); 5A (33 and 32); 4A (13 and 13); 3A (22 and 12); 2A (28 and 12); 1A (31 and 12).
PREP BOYS WRESTLING
Green Canyon bounced back from its narrow dual loss to Marsh Valley (Idaho) by dominating a pair of non-conference opponents Thursday. The Wolves dispatched of West Jordan, 78-6, and Ogden, 63-15. Green Canyon fielded athletes in all 14 weight classes in both duals, while Ogden and West Jordan only had 10 apiece.
Green Canyon’s Mason Morris (138 pounds) and Will Wheatley (195) won both of their Thursday matches by fall. Against the Jaguars, the Wolves got pins from Quinn Richards (106), Ty Thomas (132), Jared Hurtst (145), Josue Velez (152), Kyler Bellefy (160), Luke Blake (182) and Dylan Atkinson (220). In addition to Morris and Wheatley, Daxton Darley (113), Aaron Shumway (120), Ty Thomas (132) and Garrett Herzog (285) stuck their foes from Ogden. Defending 4A state runner-up James Shumway (126) won by decision for the Wolves.
In its 39-34 Wednesday setback to Marsh Valley, Green Canyon got pins from Hurtst (152), Wheatley (195), Herzog (285) and Darley (113). Morris (145) rolled past his opponent 15-2, while Blake (182) and Richards (106) gutted out narrow decisions.
Like Green Canyon, Preston notched a pair of dual victories this week. The Indians hosted Logan and Grace on Wednesday, and outpointed both Grizzlies — Logan by a 58-30 scoreline and Grace, 42-34. Logan forfeited at five weight classes and Grace at four.
In their dual against Logan, Preston got pins from Gentry Geary (220), Tavin Rigby (120), Brayden Weisbeck (132) and Tayden Edwards (138). Preston sophomore Emery Thorson continued his undefeated start to the season with a 20-12 triumph by major decision over Logan veteran Jacqe Miller at 170 pounds.
Likewise, Logan reigned supreme in pinning fashion five times against its rivals. Will Pearce (106), Ryan Lazzari (126), Malayke Lindsey (195) and Ty Stearns (285) conquered by fall for the Grizzlies.
In its victory over Grace, Preston got wins from Caigun Keller (145), Jaden Perkins (152), Jonathan Seamons (160), Thorson (182) and Rigby (120). Seamons ended his match early by technical fall.
This is the first time in several years Preston, which earned a big win over Blackfoot earlier this month, has field a full dual squad.
Ridgeline was in action Wednesday and lost to a very, very good Box Elder team, 66-3. Brenden Gessel (152) was victorious in a relatively comfortable decision for the Riverhawks.
Marsh Valley went 2-0 against competition from Cache Valley on Wednesday as it prevailed against short-handed Sky View, 69-12. Matthew Leak (152) and Dee Wilde (170) put the Bobcats on the scoreboard with pins.
PREP GIRLS WRESTLING
The first-ever dual for the Mountain Crest girls program was a success. The Mustangs made a Wednesday trip to Copper Hills and left with a 54-24 win. This is the first season girls wrestling is a sanctioned sport in the Beehive State.
Haley Pierce (108), Eastyn Nyman (128), Brooklyn Swanson (132), Ella DeKorver (136) and Kennedy Peapealalo (245) stuck their opponents for the Lady Mustangs. Mountain Crest fielded athletes in 13 of the 14 weight class, while Copper Hills had nine varsity grapplers.