The wrestling season opened for White Pine High on Dec. 1 and they have participated in two tournaments in Utah heading into this coming weekend.

Coach Mark Dolezal reported the tournament at Panguitch was “a good one for us to start the season off with. The varsity wrestlers had strong competition and the JV got much needed mat time. Each wrestler got seven or eight matches at both levels. We learned what we need to work on.”

In Panguitch, Eric Pickens (152) was the champion, winning all eight of his matches. “He took control of his matches and focusing on the mistakes of his opponents, makes the opponent wrestle his style,” Dolezal said.

Sven Pickens (160) placed sixth at Panguitch going 3-5. Dolezal commented, “He wasn’t his normal aggressive self to begin with, but later got that turned around.”Jorge Chamorro (220) was 2-6 at Panguitch and Justin Mabson (170) suffered a shoulder injury in his first match and had to withdraw for any further competition.

In the JV matches, Zeke Vinson (170) and Sebastian Lyons (145) both placed second, each only losing one match. “Lyons is a freshman, but experienced at the middle school level and Vinson, a second-year wrestler, has improved dramatically from the start of last season,” Dolezal said.

Luke Finicum, another freshman, placed third at 152 pounds.

On Dec. 8-9, the team competed in the AK Memorial tournament in Stansbury Park, near Tooele, Utah.

Dolezal said, “We went 2-3 in our duals, not too bad for only filling half the weights. Like Panguitch, this tournament gave our wrestlers at least seven matches. Every match we learn a little more of what is needed for us to improve.”Lyons (145) was 2-6, Finicum (152) was 3-5, Pickens (160) was 4-3, Vinson (170) was 3-5, Jorge Chamorro (220) was 2-6.

Kegan Hexem (195) was third place at 7-1. Dolezal said, “Kegan had won all five matches in his pool, but lost a close semifinal match, but came back hard to pin his opponent in the third-place match. A great start to his season.”

This week Friday and Saturday, the Bobcats travel to the prestigious Desert Storm Classic at Dixie High School in St. George, Utah.