White Pine High wrestlers got back into action in the New Year at Milford, Utah, Jan. 5.

Coach Mark Dolezal was absent, having suffered a couple of broken ribs in an accident over the holiday break and Joe Sedlecek took over the coaching duties.

Dolezal later said Erik Pickens (152) took the second place medal to earn 28 points for the Bobcats. White Pine placed 10th in a 15-team field with 64-points.

“Eric had a solid tournament,” he said, “but lost a close match in the finals to a good wrestler from Dixie. Matches like this are only going to help him at the state tournament.”

Pickens advanced to the finals with four pins, over Bridger Poulsen (Lincoln County), Jarrett Johnson (Canyon View), Wade Wilbanks (Pine View) and Reese Fautin (Piute). But he lost in the finals on a 5-4 decision to Matt Brooks (Dixie).

Luke Finicum (160) was 2-2 at Milford. He first lost a 9-2 decision to Anthony Cox (Snow Canyon), then won by fall over Ryder Hendry (Pine View), lost a 14-2 decision to John Stokes (Desert Hills) and won by fall over Joshua Allsop (Dixie) to earn sixth place.

Dolezal said, “Luke continues to improve each week. He is in a strong weight class and is starting to be competitive with the best wrestlers. He will have his hands full the next few weeks, but we know that this is only going to make him a better wrestler at regional and state.”

Nathanial Dolezal (182) was a fourth place finisher. “We had intended for Nathanial to wrestle in the JV tournament, but because of a lack of numbers he was moved to the varsity tournament. After winning his pod, he won his first match of the bracket tournament that ensured he place 4th. Nathanial has placed in three varsity tournaments as a freshman this year, if he continues to improve he is going to be a factor at the end of the season.”

He received a bye the first round, then pinned Tivon Mercies (Cedar City) and J.T. Riddle (Pine View). But he lost by pin in the semifinals to Bryson Barnes (Milford) and lost the third place match by an 8-5 decision to Breecan Fisher (Snow Canyon).

Sebastian Lyons (195) was seeing his first tournament action of the season Dolezal said. “He wrestled well, going 2-2, but we know that he is going to get better each week and will be ready at the end of the season when regionals and state come.”

He lost the first match by fall to Charles Dorris (Canyon View). In the consolation bracket, he pinned Dylan Rice (Canyon View), lost to Jacob Cottam (Dixie), but won the sixth place match by fall over Isaac Potter (Canyon View).

At 220 pounds for the Bobcats, Kegan Hexem was 2-2 at Milford and also took sixth place.

He received a bye in the first match, but lost the next match by fall to Remington Veater (Panguitch). He then lost to Jacob Oldroyd of Wayne High by fall, but won the match for 6th place by fall over Jeffery Nisson (Desert Hills).

Dolezal said, “Kegan had a solid tournament but lost a couple of matches that could have went either way. When Kegan get on a roll he is hard to beat and the next two tournaments will give him a chance to improve before we hit the postseason.”

This week, Jan. 11-12, White Pine travels to Mojave, Arizona, for a dual team tournament.