With a young and inexperienced team, “still suffering from some injuries, too,” said coach Brad Loveday, Pahranagat Valley wrestling took part in the 36-team Desert Storm Classic JV tournament in St. George, Utah last weekend.
He explained entering his wrestlers in the JV tournament is helpful to get them more experience and confidence. “We might have one or two that could be in the varsity tournament, but choose to put everyone in the JV tourney.”
Pool play is done on Friday, he said. “You are in a pool of six other wrestlers in your weight and you get five matches. Then on Saturday you are put into bracket in your weight class, depending on how you did on Friday. If a man wins most of his matches, he will be in a bracket with others who did equally well. But for example, if you lost all your matches the first day, you would be paired with others who also did not do so well, and you could get up to five more matches. That way, you don’t just get only two matches on the weekend and then you’re out.”
For the Panthers, Matthew Prince (120) went 2-5, as did Tyler Escarsca (145).
Ammon Rassmessen, also 145, went 3-4 at the tourney winning two of his matches by fall and the third by forfeit.
Garrett Bowen (160) was 4-3. He won his final match by fall over Kenton Johnson of Canyon View High.
Thayne Solario (170) earned a 5-3 record. He recorded three wins by fall, including one in 59 seconds over Ashely Wagner of Desert Hills.
Reece Thornton (170) placed sixth for the Panthers, the highest place finisher for the team.
He was was 6-2 at the tournament and lost the fifth place match by a 14-2 decision over Cooper Dastrup of Dixie High, after having pinned Dastrup earlier in the third round.
Peter VandeSluis (182) had a 6-3 record including a fall over Kaemon Eto of Pine View High in the final match.
Jon Stewart (195) won his last three matches to go 5-4, and pinned his last three opponents.
Pahranagat Valley is on Christmas break and the next action will be the Panther Invitational Jan. 6 in Alamo. Loveday said he expects about 15 teams will participate.