The Carbon High Dinos wrestling team hit the mats Wed. Dec. 19 to face the Pine View Panthers from St. George. The Panthers have continued to be ranked as one of the top 3-A teams in the state. Despite this fact, the Dinos entered the matchup confident.
According to Dinos head coach Dave Smith, "this was probably the best the team has played so far this year."
The Dino wrestlers walked away victorious by the score of 42-30. This win served as a reminder that a small school with determination and heart, can defeat a large school with top records.
Carbon individual winners included Zack Burdick; 103 lbs., Derek Woods; 119 lbs., Cody Bunderson; 125 lbs., Cameron Dansie; 140 lbs., Shea Timothy; 152 lbs., Keenan Atwood; 145 lbs., Andrew Christensen; 189 lbs., and Tyson O'Neil; 275 lbs.
After walking away with arms raised in victory from the meet against Pineview, the Dinos traveled to Reno for a national tournament held Dec. 21-22.
The Reno Tournament of Champions serves as the toughest high school tournament in the United States. This years tourney hosted 84 teams from 14 different states.
Teams traveled from as far as California, Oregon, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Texas, Virginia, Alaska, Nevada, and Utah to compete in the highly ranked tournament.
After the teams traveled long and far to compete in the tournament, the wrestlers entered a meet unlike any other.
The arena which housed the tournament was large enough to hold 16 mats for ongoing competition.
When wrestling teams entered the building, mouths dropped and eyes grew wide. The excitement and intensity filled the hearts of all competitors, including the Dino wrestling team.
Although the team was weary from the long journey to Reno, the wrestlers were prepared to compete at the highest level of their careers.
The Carbon team entered the tourney with big hearts and walked away with almost everybody on the squad winning at least one or two matches.
The team finished the tournament ranked 40th, midway in the standings for all teams who attended.
The only individual wrestler to place in the tournament was Cameron Dansie who finished in eighth place in the 140 lbs. division. Dansie is also currently ranked number one in the 3-A state division in his weight category.
The 3-A, 152 lbs. division finds Shea Timothy currently ranked in first place, however, Timothy did not place at the Reno tournament.
Despite not placing at the tourney, Timothy finished the meet 5-2, finding himself one match short of the placement round.
Other outstanding wrestlers for Carbon included Zack Burdick at 130 lbs. who finished 4-2, and Derek Woods who finished 3-2 in the 119 lbs. division.
Nathan Horrocks at 112 lbs. and Tyson O'Neil at 275 lbs. are currently ranked sixth in their respected divisions in the 3-A ranking while Adam Christensen is ranked fourth in the 189 lbs. division. Despite being ranked in the state divisions, these wrestlers missed placing at the Reno tournament.
The team was exhausted by the end of the event and faced a long tiresome journey home. Although physically tired, the team was jumping with excitement for the experience of a lifetime they had just encountered.
"Even though no Carbon wrestler made the finals, it was a great experience for all. The wrestling there was top level. For sure, every Carbon wrestler learned a lot. We are much better for the experience," explained coach Smith.
The team plans to carry over the Reno tournament experiences to their next meet which will be against Millard on Jan. 3.
The Dinos will be well rested and anxious to compete once again as the team moves forward in regular season competition.