CEDAR CITY – After two days, six mats, eight rounds, 13 teams, 42 matches and countless takedowns during the weekend, Salem Hills left on top at the Irontown Duels on Saturday.
Salem Hills took home the first place trophy with 369 points, Cedar took second with 311 points, and Snow Canyon took third with 295.
Five Region 9 teams attended the Irontown duels, but the matches were set up so the region didn’t have to wrestle against each other.
“I liked that we had a tournament close to home without having to see our region six different times because if you wrestle the same guys four or five times in a year, it’s kind of frustrating and mind-numbing,” Warriors head coach Nick Lang said.
Of the five Region 9 teams, three placed in the top five. Canyon View took fourth with 263 points. Dixie and Hurricane were the other teams within the region.
“I like the duel team tournaments because you wrestle as a team,” CV head coach Dallas Lowry said. “I like how it’s just a comraderie between the team. You’re not just out there for yourself, you’re there for your whole team.”
Outside of Region 9 were Cheyenne from Las Vegas, Clark from Las Vegas, Enterprise, North Sanpete, Milford, Page from Arizona, Salem Hills and South Sevier.
“We saw some really good wrestling,” Lang said. “We saw some teams from Vegas that were really good. We saw some other schools from Utah that are in a different division than us, they give us a different kind of look. It’s all leading up for us to peak at the right time which is divisionals and the state tournament. This tournament is great for helping us polish up where we’re good, and helping us identify where we have some room for improvement.”
There were 24 wrestlers that ended the tournament undefeated, but then the coaches and organizers created an All-Star bracket, which pitted undefeated wrestlers against each other.
One of the key matchups placed CV’s Cobe Berrett and Cedar’s Dallin Glover against each other.
“I’ve wrestled most of my life, so it’s kind of about skill,” Berrett said. “Condition, shape, that’s all one thing, but when it comes down to it, hard work is harder.”
Berrett took an early lead against Glover, but got trapped and pinned shortly after.
“(My favorite part was), nothing against Cobe (Berrett), but coming back and beating him because he is such a good competitor,” Glover said. “We’ve never wrestled before, and we’ve always wanted to, and we got it. I love him to death, but that was a good part of today.”
Another undefeated wrestler from Region 9 was SC’s Kody Hafen, who said he just dropped down in weight. He was glad to wrestle and get used to the weight he is now in.