OREM – Trevor Ottenschot remembered standing on the mat one year ago at the Maverik Center celebrating with his cousin, Hunter Neville, after Neville beat him in the 182-pound final at the 3A state tournament.
One year later and now at heavyweight, Ottenschot is two wins away from doing some celebrating of his own.
The Desert Hills senior improved to 42-2 with a pair of pins as he moved on to the semifinals Friday in the opening day of the 2015 3A tournament at the UCCU Center. In total, Cedar and Pine View each had three wrestlers advance to give Region 9 10 qualifiers on the day across 10 different weights.
Ottenschot was joined in the semis by Thunder teammates Tyler and Cody Stevenson along with 182-pounder Ethan Del Toro. Head coach Warren Richins heaped a full dose of praise on the foursome.
“Not only are they phenomenal athletes, but they’re awesome kids,” Richins said. “They work hard and have the best work ethic I’ve ever seen. They go out there and they game.”
Ottenschot credited the experience of wrestling his cousin for a title as a catalyst for his effort this season. Neville is serving an LDS mission, but the pair stay in touch with plenty of email.
“He says how excited he gets when I tell him how I’ve been doing,” Ottenschot said of his cousin. “It’d mean a lot to me and to Hunter if I can win.”
Ottenschot will wrestle Maka Kioa of Tooele in his semifinal match.
Cody Stevenson advanced in defense of his 195-pound state title with a pair of first-round pins to reach the semifinals. He credited using a take-no-prisoners approach for his success.
“I just take my shots, set them up, and be aggressive right off the bat,” Stevenson said. “It usually works.”
And having his twin brother as an official motivator and practice aprtner certainly helps.
“To have two returning state champs going at it in practice is the best kind of practice,” Stevenson said.
Tyler Stevenson advanced at 220 pounds by matching his brother’s effort with a pair of first-round pins.
Del Toro had a first-round fall, but went the full distance in beating Bear River’s Brett Smart by a 7-2 decision. Del Toro will be graduating from Desert Hills in two weeks and heading to Mexico for his LDS mission on March 4.
“Between Ethan and Trevor, they’re two of the most humble kids I’ve ever met,” Richins said. “At one point, we thought he wasn’t going to wrestle this year, but he was able to work it out.”
Another pair of brothers are among Pine View’s semifinalists. Sophomore Liam Williams advanced at 145, and senior Hunter Williams is through at 152. Head coach Brett Gifford said the duo do their work year-round.
“They have a mat at home so they can practice in the off-season,” Gifford said. “They’re good brothers for each other and work hard in the wrestling room. They have different styles, but it’s fun to see them be successful and do well.”
Drew Hansen had to wrestle only once at 113 pounds for the Panthers, but he came through with an 11-2 victory over Snow Canyon’s Jeffrey Wilde to advance.
Cedar’s trio of semifinalists are Jace Roundy at 132, Dallin Brooks at 160 and Jaxon Williamson at 170. Roundy wrestles Payson’s Jed Loveless in his semifinal, Brooks takes on Toby Haltiner of Bear River, and Williamson will face Uintah’s Alek Shope.
Follow Tom Zulewski on Twitter, @Tomzsports.