Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

January 11, 2022
THS hosts Best of the West Tournament

GHS’s Rounds and SHS’s Olson claim individual titles 

Tooele High hosted 25 teams and 463 total wrestlers in three separate tournaments over the weekend. The Best of the West Boys, Best of the West Girls and Best of the West JV Tournaments showcased top wrestlers and teams from throughout the state. Tournament director, Cody Valdez, who has been running the tournament for 10 years shared, “There were so many great matches, and it is always great to host some of the best wrestlers in the state here at Tooele High.”

“There are a lot of excellent wrestlers in Tooele County, and it’s wonderful to have top quality wrestling right here in our own backyard,” he added. “I would love to congratulate all of the wrestlers and coaches for a successful tournament and for representing our three high schools so well this past weekend.”

In the boys’ tournament, local wrestlers Grant Rounds (165 pounds) from Grantsville and Stansbury’s Josh Olsson (175 pounds) brought home championships while the Cowboys’ Ethan Rounds (165) and Kole Johnson (113) placed second. Spanish Fork took home the team title with 203.5 points followed by Green Canyon (194.5) in second and Copper Hills (178.5) in fourth. Salem Hills claimed fourth (166.0) and Stansbury was fifth (136). Grantsville placed eighth (102.5) and Tooele earned eleventh (84). 

At 165 pounds, Grantsville’s Rounds and Rainer both advanced to the championship match. In the bout, Rainer, a junior, had Rounds, a senior, on his back twice, but both times Rounds was able to escape, and the second time, Rounds reversed Rainer and pinned him near the end of the second period (3:56). Rounds claimed the Best of the West Champion title, and Rainer finished second. 

Coach Jake Phillips commented, “It’s never easy to wrestle your teammate, let alone your workout partner at a tournament, especially in the finals. Both wrestlers went out and pushed each other. Grant came out on top this time, but if you wrestle that match 10 times, I think they split 5 and 5. Both Ethan and Grant are wrestling at a very high level. They push each other every day at practice, and it’s showing. Champions come in pairs, you are only as good as your workout partner! Both of these wrestlers have a great chance of standing on top of the podium in February.”

At 175 pounds Stansbury senior Josh Olson claimed the second local title of the night. He pinned Green Canyon’s Jackson Landon right as the first period ended. Coach Tyson Linnell shared Olson’s journey. “Josh Olson wrestled a great tournament overall. He is my senior leader of this team and went out and showed all the younger guys how to win a tournament as well as win those close matches so that you can get to wrestle in the finals.”

“Saturday morning was a rough start for us, only winning two out of nine matches and dropping to five wrestlers left to place. Before Josh’s semifinals’ match my wife went and found Josh and told him ‘we need you to win this match.’ He told her `I’m not losing a match today’ and he went out and wrestled one of the best matches I have seen Josh wrestle. It wasn’t flashy; he didn’t pin the other wrestler. He only won by one point, but he went out there, owned the mat, and wrestled smart in every situation to get a win that the team really needed.”

“His finals match put an exclamation point on Josh’s last Best of The West tournament. After finishing as a runner up last year, Josh really wanted to win it this year, and end his senior year as the tournament champion.” 

One of the most exciting and tightly contested matches of the night was the 113 pound final. Grantsville senior Kole Johnson faced off against junior Andrew Fox of American Leadership Academy, another 3A school, which portends future match-ups in divisionals and state. Johnson and Fox wrestled two periods deadlocked at 0-0 before Fox got an escape with 1:25 remaining in the match to go up 1-0. Johnson then scored a takedown 20 seconds later to go up 2–1, but Fox was able to score the reversal with 45 seconds remaining to lead 3-2. Johnson was unable to score on Fox and claimed second place. 

Coach Phillips explained, “This was a great match back and forth. Fox from ALA is the top-ranked 113 across all six classifications. I felt like Kole pushed a lot of the action and controlled most of the match. He made one small mistake and gave up a reversal which was the difference in the match.”

At 106 pounds, Stansbury freshman Tyler Khoundet finished third. He won the 3rd place match by major decision 12-0 over freshman Payton Redd of Logan.

Tooele senior Mason Flygare (120 pounds) won his final match to claim fifth place with a fall (1:47) over Dixie senior Oscar Walsh. Tooele Coach Barrett Willson noted, “Our guys showed a lot of fight. We had two place fifth and two place sixth. I am really proud of each of them.”

Grantsville junior Rylan Albrecht (126 pounds) fell in the 3rd Place Match in a close 8-7 decision to Green Canyon’s Aaron Shumway.

In the 132-pound bracket, Stansbury sophomore Brandon Ploehn claimed third with a pin over sophomore Copper Redd of Logan. In the same bracket, Ethan Gavin of Tooele won sixth.

The fifth-sixth place match at 144 pounds featured Tooele senior Rhys Stoddard against Grantsville sophomore Payton Yates. Stoddard battled to a 4-2 decision in sudden victory overtime to place fifth while Yates took sixth.

Grantsville senior Jadiah Jensen (175 pounds) earned a victory in the 5th Place Match to claim his medal. He won the match by major decision 8-0.

In another local match-up, Stansbury’s Ian Rogers took on Tooele junior Dalton McQuiddy in a lengthy overtime match in the 215 pound bracket. Rogers finally prevailed 5-2 in Tie Breaker 1. Rogers claimed fifth with McQuiddy finishing sixth.

At 285, Stansbury senior Alex Rosas won the third place match 8-6 by decision to finish third over Orem’s Alex Hansen.

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