The Morgan High Wrestling team capped a busy first week of wrestling competition with wins over 5A Wasatch and 4A Ridgeline. After opening their season with a 54-23 loss to North Summit on Wednesday, November 29 in Coalville and competing in the Layton Invitation Tournament on December 1-2, the travel-weary Trojans opened their home season with a huge victory, 31-28, over the 2017 4A State Champion Wasps on Tuesday, December 5 and followed with another home victory, 50-25, on Wednesday, December 6 over the Riverhawks.
Tuesday, in the final match of the night, with the Trojans trailing the Wasps, 25-28, sophomore wrestler Spencer Belinski (145lbs) pinned Wasatch’s Barrett Banfield with :54 seconds remaining in the first period to seal Morgan’s four-point victory over the Wasps. Belinski, wrestling in his first varsity match, broke a 3-3 tie in his match with the pin. “Spencer wrestled very well for us both Tuesday and Wednesday nights. He had big wins for us both nights,” Coach Dustin Rock shared.
Against Wasatch, the wrestling opened with the 152lbs bout and closed with Belinski’s pin at 145lbs. Winning on the night were Antonio Nava (160lbs) by major decision 14-4; Hayden Stuart (170lbs) by fall; Chase Trussell (220lbs) by decision 5-0; Weston Stegelmeier (285lbs) by fall; Jarrett Jorgenson (126lbs) by fall and Belinski (145lbs) by fall. At 106lbs Waylen Pentz lost a close battle by decision 6-4, and Joseph Mecham, 113lbs, fell by decision 3-2. Chris Payne, who jumped from 106lbs last year to competing at 132lbs this season, lost a tough match to defending 4A State Champion Sammy Heywood, by decision.
““It’s nice to bring in a quality team like Wasatch to wrestle. It helps us gauge our level of preparedness and see where we need to go,” Coach Rock explained. “I was very pleased by how our team wrestled against Wasatch.”
Wednesday, the Trojans hosted the 4A Ridgeline Riverhawks from Cache Valley. The Trojans commenced with two quick pins at 106 and 113 by Pentz and Mecham. Pentz pinned his opponent in the first period, and Mecham won by fall in :51. After forfeiting the 120lbs weight class, Morgan earned points from Jorgenson with a pin at 126 and Payne (132lbs) with a 11-7 victory by decision. Belinski (145lbs) pinned his opponent for the second night in a row, this time in a come-from-behind fall in the third period with :31 remaining. Nava (160lbs) earned a tech fall (20-3) early in the third period and Stuart (170lbs) also pinned his opponent for the second night in a row. The 195lbs forfeit by Morgan was followed by two falls by Trussell (220lbs) and Stegelmeier (285lbs) to seal the 50-25 victory. Fighting hard, but losing on the night, were Isaac Ware (138lbs) by decision 6-0, Taylor Bearnson (152lbs) by major decision 16-4 and Chase Peterson (182lbs) by fall.
“All of the kids wrestled great both nights. I was thrilled to get the wins and want to give special mention to Spencer and Hayden for big wins both nights,” Coach Rock noted.
“These early matches give us an opportunity to get mat time and really see where we are as a team and where we need to improve,” Rock continued. “I am pleased with how we are competing at this point in the season and it was good to get these two home wins.”
Morgan will wrestle Evanston and Bear River in a tri-dual on Wednesday, December 13 in Evanston before the state placers from 2017 travel to Reno, NV on December 15-16 for the Reno Tournament of Champions. The remainder of the team will compete at Weber High December 15-16 in the Jody Warren Duals. The Trojans last competition before Christmas will be a tri-dual in Richfield against Millard and South Sevier on December 19. The Trojans will be back at home on January 3 to host the reigning 3A State Champion Juab Wasps. Mark your calendars now to come see this exciting match up!
Layton Invitational Tournament Results
In the varsity competition, Chase Trussell (220lbs) won first place going undefeated in four matches. Waylen Pentz (98lbs) earned third place with a 5-2 record. Jarrett Jorgenson (126lbs) placed fifth with a 5-2 record while Joseph Mecham (113lbs) received sixth finishing 4-3, and Chris Payne (132lbs) earned eighth going 3-4. Chase Peterson (160lbs) and Hayden Stuart (170lbs) also earned points for the team by extended runs in the consolation bracket.
Montana Cragun (132lbs) won the JV tournament with Spencer Belinski (138lbs) placing second. Freshman Tanner Belinski (132lbs), who squared off against Cragun in the semifinal match, ended his first high school tournament in sixth place.
“Our JV kids wrestled well at the LIT. I was proud of them and several of them got some good wins and great mat time,” Coach Rock remarked. JV wrestlers participating in the LIT included Tom Howard (160lbs), Taylor Bearnson (145lbs), Chance Toone (145lbs) Tyler Chase (132lbs), and Isaac Reese (132lbs).
North Summit Results
Only four Trojan wrestlers came away with victories in their matches while the team was forced to forfeit three weights: 120lbs, 195lbs and 220lbs.
“It is good to get the first match out of the way,” Coach Dustin Rock shared. “I saw some positive things tonight; the kids fought hard and didn’t give up. Some of our older kids looked good and other less-experienced kids need more work.”
The Trojans’ started the night with an extra period battle at 106lbs. Freshmen Waylen Pentz of Morgan and Tristan Smith of North Summit battled to a 5-5 regulation tie before Smith prevailed in the waning seconds of the extra period to take the match by decision 7-5.
At 113lbs, sophomore Joseph Mecham faced the Braves’ Gavin McCowen and broke a 2-2 stalemate in the second period with a win by fall.
Fellow sophomore Jarrett Jorgensen, wrestling at 126lbs, also recorded a pin over Kaden Tinkham in the second period after leading 8-2 in points.
Senior wrestler Chris Payne lost a tough match at 132lbs by decision 12-7 to the Braves’ Ryker Pentz. An early five-point lead by Pentz put Payne, who wrestled 106lbs last year, wrestling from behind the entire match. Payne
Morgan’s next victory came at 152lbs. Junior Taylor Bearnson wrestled a strong match and pinned his opponent in the first period. “Taylor was a star tonight,” Rock noted. “He jumped up a weight class and came out strong and really wrestled well this evening.”
The Trojan’s final victory came in the heavyweight match that pitted Morgan senior Chase Trusell against North Summit’s Eddie Rodriguez. Trusell won the match by tech fall 15-0.
Morgan’s other wrestlers all lost by fall to the talented North Summit team. After the match Coach Rock recognized, “We do have some work to do. I am excited for the L.I.T. [Layton Invitational Tournament] this weekend. It will give everyone more experience and opportunities to get in more matches.”
Additional Varsity Results: 138lbs-Isaac Ware loss by fall; 145lbs-Cass Giles loss by fall; 160lbs-Tom Howard loss by fall; 170lbs-Chase Peterson loss by fall; 182lbs-Hayden Stuart loss by fall.