Morgan claims 2nd place at State Wrestling ChampionshipsFeb 24, 2023 12:11PM ● By Liisa London Mecham
The Morgan High Wrestling Team placed 2nd at the 3A State Tournament.
For the third year in a row, the Morgan High wrestling team claimed second place at the 3A Wrestling Championships. Senior Cole Keele won an individual state title at 285 pounds, while sophomore Drew Korth (126), junior Zak Sargent (157) and senior Aydon Thomson (215) advanced to the championship bouts and finished second. Overall, nine Trojans earned spots on the podium while six others fought to the blood round only to lose one match short of placing but still adding points to the team total.
“It was truly a team effort to place second. With only one champion, each team member was needed to contribute to our point total to help us earn second. Everyone pitched in, and every wrestler who advanced to state (25 total) won at least one match this year,” Coach Dustin Rock said.
Juab won their seventh consecutive state title with 291.5 points while Morgan scored 198, followed by third place South Summit with 181.5.
“It’s good to be competing and bringing home trophies,” Rock said. “We are doing everything we can to try to catch Juab.”
In his championship match, Keele faced off against South Summit freshman Trayun Boger. It was the third meeting for the pair this year. Boger took the first match during Morgan’s Senior Night, and Keele prevailed two weeks ago at the Divisional Championship. With the record at 1-1 and the heavyweight championship in the balance, the two wrestled to a 0-0 tie at the end of the first period. In the second period, Keele started on the bottom and earned the escape 45 seconds into the period. Up 1-0 going into the final period, Keele worked to keep Boger down, but Boger escaped 34 seconds into the period to tie the score at 1-1. Keele remained patient and got a takedown with 36 seconds remaining in the period to go up 3-1 before pinning Boger at 5:29 to win his first state title after placing third the past two years.
“I couldn’t be happier for Cole,” Rock said, “‘He did exactly what we told him to do, to remain patient and to wait for his chance. He did it and won a state title.” Keele plans to play football for the University of Utah after graduation.
Sophomore Drew Korth advanced to the finals on a pin and two major decisions. Facing off against three-time state champion Dayson Torgerson of Richfield, to whom he had already lost this season, Korth, the defending 113-pound state champion, knew Torgerson would “be a big challenge, and he wanted it.” Torgerson took control of the match to go up 4-1 at the end of the first period and extended his lead to 8-2 after two. A takedown early in the third brought Torgeson to 10-2 before Korth made one last escape to bring the final score to 10-3.
“Drew is a threat as a wrestler any time he can get a hold of you,” Rock said. “He fought a good battle against a four-time state champion until the very end of the match.”
In his finals match, junior Zak Sargent faced a familiar foe in South Summit sophomore Benjamin Smith. Sargent had only prevailed over Smith once at Senior Night in Morgan and had fallen to him twice previously. In the title match, Smith opened with a takedown before Sargent answered with an escape and a takedown to go up 3-2. Then Smith scored on a reversal, and Sargent escaped again in the final seconds of the period to tie up the match 4-4. After a scoreless second period where Sargent failed to get off the bottom, the third period began with Smith on the bottom. Smith scored a reversal late in the period to go up 6-4 and win the 157 pound title.
“Zak had a great tournament,” Rock said. “He is looking great. He’s worked hard and has come a long way this year.”
Senior Aydon Thomson made the most of his 2023 state tournament after not placing in 2022. “To go from not placing to the championship match is quite impressive,” Coach Rock said. “Aydon wrestled tough, and we’re very happy for him.”
In his championship final, Thomson fell behind in the second period and was unable to score before he was pinned in the third period (5:31). Thomson advanced through his early rounds, winning by fall, a 5-2 decision, and a close 2-1 victory in the semifinals.
Freshman Luke Woolsey, wrestling at 113 pounds, took fourth place, and sophomore Ryler Jorgensen (120) earned fifth place. Lance Toone (175) lost in the opening round and had to wrestle back through every consolation round to garner sixth place.
Senior Rylee Creasey, who won a state title at 215 pounds in 2022, dropped to a lower weight this year because the team needed a 190-pounder. Creasey opened the tournament with two pins, but he lost a tough sudden victory overtime match 4-2 in the semifinals to end his quest to earn a second title. “I’m heartbroken for Rylee,” Coach Rock said. “He has practiced and worked all season for the team, and it didn’t go his way at the tournament.”
Creasey came back in the consolation bracket to win his next two and take third.
Junior Treyson Rich (215) also wrestled an excellent tournament, according to Rock. Rich lost an 8-6 sudden victory overtime match in the quarterfinals to Juab’s Aiden Seely, but he won his next two matches to advance to the consolation semifinals. After a loss there, he faced Seely again for the 5th Place Match and won it by fall to earn fifth.
Advancing to the blood round for the Trojans were Max Holtry (106), Maverick Guymon (132), Taite Toone (138), Donavin Gibson (144), Rylan Crowther (150) and Gabe Toone (165).
Rock and his coaching staff (Zeth Porter, Jeff Holtry, John Rock, Ed Kinsey, Chris Payne and Jarett Jorgensen) are looking forward to next year when they return 17 of the 25 state qualifiers, including eight freshmen. As the eight seniors–Keele, Creasey, Thomson, Taite Toone, Gibson, Rylan Crowther, Brayden Porter and Reese Carter–graduate, the coaches would like to thank them for four great years of wrestling and wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors. The coaches would also like to express their appreciation for the support they have received from the parents, fans and community members throughout the season.
“We had a great year with a young team. I’m proud of how everyone stepped up and did his part. We’re excited for the future of Morgan Wrestling and hope to continue building on our success,” Rock said.