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Orem • The separation between larger classifications is minuscule, but the difference between an opponent competing in Class 5A compared to one from Class 1A is astronomical. The depth, overall talent and physical makeup favors larger programs every single time.
Wrestling is no different. The 4A classification won the Simplii All-Star Dual at Utah Valley University on Tuesday with an overall score of 41. The Wildcard team consisting of wrestlers across the state finished second, with 36, and Class 5A placed third, with 34 overall points.
But wrestling is one of the few sports where the competitive disadvantage is not as prevalent for individual battles. Grapplers from small-enrollment programs not only contend on the mat against opponents from higher classes they beat them, too. The All-Star Dual created the pedestal for small programs, not in the team sense, but individually, to make statements.
For Piute's Austin Trapp, who knocked off Shion Abe from Viewmont a disparity of the largest degree with a 1A player facing a 5A player viewed the match as an opportunity to represent his entire classification.
"Yeah, I did, because a lot of the time I don't think 1A gets the credit that they deserve," Trapp said when asked if he took the match against the 5A classification personally. "I just shows as much as or more heart because you don't have all the kids that they do. You don't get opportunity that they do. The work that you put in is pretty much by yourself."
North Sevier's Dillon Torgerson defeated Dalton Stutzman from Layton in overtime, with a two-point takedown. The sport pairs two wrestlers of equal weights in the center of the mat, narrowing the competitive gap in other sports.
"It means a lot. It shows that our school is as good as any of the others," Torgerson said. "We put in as much time and work as everybody else. It shows that just cause we're a small school it doesn't mean we can't run with the big guys."
North Summit's Jaxon Cole knocked off Wasatch's Braiden Parker who is considered one of the top wrestlers for the best program in the 4A classification in a shining example of the smaller classifications answering the bell .
"Honestly, in wrestling, it's the kid with the bigger heart and who is willing to train more and harder," Cole said. "... I feel like I represented the 2A classification really well."
Trapp and his "whole family" made the three-hour trek from Junction as the only wrestler from his school to be invited to the annual All-Star dual. The experience inspired more confidence for the state tournament in February.
"What went through my mind [after the match] is a 1A kid can beat a 5A kid," Trapp said. "... It prepares me a lot mentally. I beat a kid that's 5A, who's super good, and I beat him."