Orem • He piloted his folding chair, gripping each side of the green seat as tightly as he could, rocking side to side. He held his breath and watched nervously as one of his many pupils wrestled for a shot at furthering the dream of winning a state title.
Yes, Maple Mountain coach Justin Judkins is having a blast.
The leader of the defending 4A state title Golden Eagles is ready to lead his dominant program to glory once again after Maple Mountain jumped out to a commanding 26-point lead in Day 1 of the 4A state wrestling tournament at the UCCU Center on Wednesday.
"We just have a great group of kids," he said. "They're hard workers, they do anything I ask, and when you're willing to work that hard, good things will happen."
Good things are happening to the Golden Eagles again.
Three-time state champion and 120-pound wrestler Britain Carter moved on to the semifinals, as did two-time state champ and 152-pound star Grant LaMont along with 10 other Golden Eagle wrestlers.
For LaMont, who will wrestle at Utah Valley University after serving an LDS Church mission, having the opportunity to finish with another crown is just what he wants.
"I don't want to have any regrets," he said. "I've got a lot of wrestling ahead of me, but this is it for high school."
Chasing Maple Mountain in the 4A team ranks is Box Elder, which sits comfortably in second place heading into Day 2.
Bees coach Mike Ripplinger said his team wrestled Maple Mountain earlier this year and knew how tough of a challenge the Golden Eagles posted coming in, but added that anything is possible in a state tournament.
"If you don't believe you're going to win," he said, "you're probably not going to win."
Two-time defending state champion and 160-pounder Rasten Yeates advanced to Thursday's semifinals and could face Maple Mountain's Kimball Bastian in the finals.
"It would be such a satisfying thing to see him win his third title," said Ripplinger, who has coached Yeates since he was 5 years old. "He deserves it."
The group from Maple Mountain has a chance to write another chapter of an era of wrestling that began four years ago, when the school first opened its doors.
LaMont said finishing with another team title is so high up on the wish list, he'd choose a chance to hoist another trophy with his teammates over another individual gold medal.
"I know how good it feels to be an individual state champ," he said, "but it's a lot better to be a team champion. It's a lot better." TEAM SCORES
1. Maple Mtn. 159.5
2. Box Elder 133.5
3. Mtn. Crest 90.5
4. Mountain View 65
5. Herriman 62
6. Westlake 52.5
7. Salem Hills 34.5
8. Highland 34
9. Bountiful 32.5
10. Clearfield 31.5
C. Lightfoot (Murray) def. J. Tilley (Box Elder)
T. Rasmussen (Salem Hills) def. J. Ortiz (Mt. View)
C. Strand (Herriman) def. T. Archuleta (Logan)
T. Cox (Maple Mtn.) def. B. Labrum (Mountain Crest)
T. LaMont (Maple Mtn.) def. B. Goldstrohm (Skyline)
K. Smith (Box Elder) def. C. Thiel (Clearfield)
C. Kodele (Clearfield) def. D. Enciso (Timpanogos)
J. Jensen (Herriman) def. T. Lowe (Mountain Crest)
Z. Harris (Maple Mtn.) def. C. Kirkland (Roy)
J. Evans (Orem) def. J. Smith (Box Elder)
B. Carter (Maple Mtn.) def. E. Hansen (Sky View)
L. Erickson (Olympus) def. D. Palmer-Rando (Cyprus)
B. Dart (Mountain Crest) def. B. Griffin (Provo)
Z. Porter (Clearfield) def. H. Hiskey (Maple Mtn.)
J. Zufelt (Westlake) def. I. Herrera (Sky View)
T. Kelly (Maple Mtn.) def. T. Teeples (Logan)
J. O'Hearon (Maple Mtn.) def. T. Trujillo (Herriman)
R. Lindley (Mountain Crest) def. M. Merkey (Cyprus)
S. Hardy (Box Elder) def. J. Horsley (Bountiful)
B. Butler (Westlake) def. J. Johnson (Mtn. View)
C. Albertson (Olympus) def. C. Robins (Orem)
T. Hubbard (Box Elder) def. C. Killan (Maple Mtn.)
L. Knutzen (Maple Mtn.) def. M. Kendrick (Mountain Crest)
W. VanTassell (Salem Hills) def. C. Schwab (Mountain Crest)
J. Wengreen (Mountain Crest) def. J. Carlisle (Maple Mtn.)
J. Searle (Roy) def. B. Robinson (Maple Mtn.)
H. Rentfro (Westlake) def. L. Gimmeson (Bountiful)
J. Armstrong (Salem Hills) def. M. Parrish (Box Elder)
G. LaMont (Maple Mtn.) def. J. Avery (Westlake)
K. Lindely (Mountain Crest) def. A. Kingsley (Clearfield)
M. Williams (Box Elder) def. N. Disera (Cyprus)
S. Stokes (Mountain View) def. A. Garcia (Maple Mtn.)
J. Crossett (Mtn. View) def. T. Roberts (Herriman)
R. Yeates (Box Elder) def. W. Taylor (Maple Mtn.)
K. Bastian (Maple Mtn.) def. H. Ballam (Logan)
S. Lauti (Highland) def. T. Fredrickson (Mtn. Crest)
N. Sorenson (Box Elder) def. C. Spencer (Maple Mtn.)
K. James (Skyline) def. J. Hansen (Sky View)
S. French (Herriman) def. D. Clark (Highland)
K. Taylor (Maple Mtn.) def. A. Werling (Box Elder)
J. Searle (Maple Mtn.) def. W. French (Herriman)
J. Tolman (Box Elder) def. H. Phillips (Clearfield)
T. Niederhauser (Mountain Crest) def. C. Fallentine (Cyprus)
D. Shepherd (Provo) def. C. Goates (Skyline)
S. Cottam (Woods Cross) def. D. Wilkey (Herriman)
B. Gunter (Box Elder) def. M. Gill (Mountain View)
J. Wixom (Maple Mtn.) def. D. Mathis (Bonneville)
A. Tovey (Bountiful) def. T. Syndergaard (Mountain Crest)
J. Flores (Box Elder) def. Z. Hansen (Springville)
C. Correia (Highland) def. J. Whitterend (Herriman)
A. Anderson (Mountain Crest) def. W. Rudman (Olympus)
M. Ngatuvai (Mountain View) def. T. Lancaster (Box Elder)
J. Hamilton (Bountiful) def. A. Zollinger (Orem)
J. Wildman (Logan) def. L. Nonu (Highland)
P. Nu'usa (East) def. K. Smoot (Box Elder)
R. Edward (Mountain View) def. D. Burningham (Herriman)