Ryan Matkin, wrestling at 126 lbs, goes head-to-head with a Delta wrestler during a home match on Jan. 31. Matkin and other members of the Carbon High Wrestling team are working hard to qualify for the State Tournament by posting a strong result at the Region Tournament in Richfield this weekend.
With a short time left before the State Tournament, the Carbon High Wrestling team is hoping that a strong performance at the Region Tournament this weekend will see a handful of wrestlers qualify and advance to State.
Carbon High head coach Steve Woodhouse said the team has fought through a tough season and despite plenty of challenges the team is hopeful of sending a group of wrestlers upstate to Orem for the State Tournament on Feb. 15-16.
"The team has far exceeded my expectations this season," Woodhouse said citing the youth and inexperience on the team this season.
At a tournament held in North Sanpete over the weekend, Woodhouse said four Carbon High wrestlers posted a strong performance at the event out of the eight that traveled to Mount Pleasant.
Kahill Hunt, who wrestles at 145 lbs, took third place in his division going 5-1 in the six matches he wrestled.
"Kahill was very confident and wrestled under control at the tournament," Woodhouse explained.
Ryan Matkin, who competes at 126 lbs, finished in fifth place in his weight class with a record of 5-2 at the tournament.
"Ryan probably had the most competitive weight class at the tournament," he said.
Two other Carbon High wrestlers finished on the cusp of finishing in the top six of their weight divisions. Bradlee Chatterton, wrestling at 106 lbs, and Luke Cristando, wrestling at 113 lbs, both finished with 3-2 records at the tournament. Woodhouse said they both came close to finishing in the top six and that their performances at the tournament should bode well heading into the Region Tournament this weekend.
"It was a great showing by both of them this weekend," Woodhouse said.
The North Sanpete tournament came on the heels of a tough home defeat to Delta on Jan. 31. Carbon competed well in most of their matches but faced a deep deficit due to not being able to field a full roster of wrestlers in each weight division.
Despite the loss, Woodhouse said the team put the result behind them before heading to North Sanpete.
"Delta is a great team we faced," he said. "We needed to be tougher but the team did a good job of putting it behind them before going to North Sanpete."
In order for any Carbon High wrestlers to qualify for the State Tournament, Woodhouse said they will need to finish in the top eight within their weight class at the Region Tournament this weekend in Richfield on Friday and Saturday. The event was originally scheduled to take place in Delta.
Several wrestlers who competed at the State Tournament last season are expected to be present in Richfield, Woodhouse said.
"Our goal this weekend is to qualify at least six wrestlers for State," he said.
Woodhouse said the team's performance at a match against South Sevier on Jan. 24, where they won 7 of 9 matches, as an example of the hard work the team has put into the season.
"The team has lots of matches under their belts now. The keys are to continue the hard work, focus on the goals, wrestle tough and see where we end up," he said.