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Orem • Players must endure 24 hours of hell to make the Juab High wrestling team.
"I always say, 'You can leave whenever you want, but you can't come back,'" Wasps coach Joel Holman said.
The team arrives at 10 p.m. for a nine-minute match. In total, they'll participate in 24 exercises until 10 p.m. the next evening, ranging from carrying one another up and down the bleachers, running 1 mile with a 45-pound plate strapped to their body, climbing walls and walking on their hands.
"It's basically a workout to simulate a match," Holman said. "We crank it out. Every hour, you've got to wake them up. When you get to 4 a.m., they're freaking dead tired."
Several kids will quit, but the ones who survive earn the right to wear the crimson and gold. It's the ultimate mental preparation, and one that helped the program win its first Class 3A wrestling title at the UCCU Center at Utah Valley University on Saturday with a team score of 242.5. Defending champion Bear River finished second with 204 points.
"It beats you down," said Ashton Seely, who joined rarefied air as a four-time champion after defeating Cedar City's Quaid Murray 16-6 in the 195-pound final.
"Once it hits 3 [a.m.], you're like, 'What am I doing here?' But every guy in there is feeling the same way," Seely continued. "Then 4 a.m. rolls around and everybody is laughing. Our saying is: You do it because it's hard. Out there on that mat was one of the hardest things I've done. That's something that has been prepped for us. That's something once we pass the 24-hour, we know we're able to accomplish anything."
Gentry Warner, who won the 120 title, said you sleep for at least 24 hours afterward, but you're refreshed and prepared for the season once you awake.
"It's hard," Warner said. "There's no way to put it. It's pretty enduring, but it's fun. I love it."
The never-quit mentality was on display in the final match of the season at 285.
Into overtime and completely spent, Dylan White mustered one last surge to knock off Cedar City's Daniel Jordan, 5-4.
"It prepared me for it a lot," White said. "I had to grit it out."
"After the 24 hours, I give them a pep talk," Holman said. "[I] say, 'Look, you guys just did something that people would say is extremely hard. You guys are the Navy SEALs of high school sports, so when you need something to drop in the well, remember how tired you are. You're never going to be that tired or that sore no matter how many matches you wrestle.'"
106 • Ryker Boyce, Desert Hills, def. Conner Ingram, Juab, 9-2
113 • Jarett Jorgensen, Morgan, def. Dylian Moore, Stansbury, 5-2
120 • Gentry Warner, Juab, def. Josh Larsen, Stansbury, 10-1
126 • Jayce Lind, Juab, def. Caleb Armstrong, Hurricane, 5-2
132 • Brady Lowry, Canyon View, p. Ben Worlton, Pine View, in 2:42
138 • Logan Gustafson, Stansbury, def. Antonio Nava, Morgan, 9-8
145 • Kaygen Canfield, Bear River, def. Chance Bundy, Desert Hills, 4-2
152 • Cooper Skinner, Bear River, def. Cooper Skinner, Bear River, 9-8
160 • Conner Wengreen, Ridgeline, p. Bryken Jensen, Bear River, in 5:58
170 • Liam Williams, Desert Hills, def. Joey Aagard, Juab, 8-1
182 • Owen Pentz, Morgan, p. Byron Anderson, Desert Hills, in 1:39
195 • Ashton Seely, Juab, def. Quaid Murray, Cedar City, 16-6
220 • Chase Trussell, Morgan, def. Hootchy Brewer, North Sanpete, 5-4
285 • Dylan White, Juab, TB-1 Daniel Jordan, Cedar City, 5-4
Team scores • 1. Juab, 242.5; 2. Bear River, 204; 3. Morgan, 168.5; 4. Desert Hills, 165.5; 5. Stansbury, 110.5; 6. Cedar City, 96; 7. Canyon View, 88.5; 8. Ridgeline, 75.5; 9. Hurricane, 67.5; 10. Union, 60; 11. Snow Canyon, 54; 12. North Sanpete, 53; 13. Logan, 47; 14. Tooele, 40.5; 15. Carbon, 36.5; 16. Dixie, 29; 16. Richfield, 29; 18. Pine View, 28.5; 19. Grantsville, 22.5; 20. Ben Lomond, 12; 21. Juan Diego, 8.5; 22. Park City, 1