Hayden continues to dominate, 8 Tigers earn 1st
OAK CREEK — In a smaller than expected South Routt tournament, Hayden High School senior Garrett Salazar was scheduled to wrestle the same opponent from Saratoga three times. However, if he won the first two bouts against Kellen Reeder, the third would be unnecessary.
In the first meeting, Salazar swiftly took down Reeder and pinned the Panther in 26 seconds. In round two, Salazar recorded the fall in a minute and 49 seconds.
“The second time around, my coaches told me to work my moves a little bit more,” Salazar said. “I was working my moves, and then I was up 13-0 and my coach told me to pin him.”
Salazar’s two pins and first-place finish helped Hadyen earn 159 points and a win at the Soroco HighSchool tournament on Saturday, Dec. 14.
Salazar was one of eight Tigers to finish first at Soroco, and he wasn’t the only one to wrestle just twice to earn that title. Freshman Kodi Ingols at 106 pounds, freshman Sabyn Hager at 113 pounds, junior Kyler Campbell at 120 pounds, sophomore Dylan Zimmerman at 126 pounds and senior Hunter Planansky in the 195-pound bracket all hit the mat just twice and won first.
For some, like Salazar, Planansky and Zimmerman, those wins came easy. Figuring that would be the case, head coach Nick Planansky gave them a task.
“Use it as a practice,” he said. “Some of those kids, they’re pretty tough in practice, so use it like another practice.”
So, they all tacked on points using takedowns and near falls before pinning their opponents.
For Kyler Campbell, victory did not come easy. He led for the first two rounds, but his opponent, Jerry Everett out of Saratoga (Wyo.) earned a takedown and a near fall in the final 30 seconds of the third to go up 5-4. Campbell acted fast, spinning out of Everett’s grip to earn a reversal and the 6-5 decision win with five seconds left to wrestle.
Junior Wyatt Murphy had to grapple with four wrestlers, all of which he pinned in order to win the 138-pound weight class.
Payton Planansky had to do the same at 152 pounds. The Hayden junior’s toughest battle came in the final round against West Grand’s Cameron Wood. Planansky was down and trying to come back via points, but ended up winning by fall in 4:36.
In order to stand on top of the podium, Planansky had to defeat his own teammate Jack Nelms in the first round. Nelms, a senior, went 0-4 on the day, but walked away with the Heart of a Warrior award in honor of the late former Hayden wrestling coach Chad Jones. Jones’ daughter, Piper Jo, presented the award to Nelms after the coaches voted him the recipient.
“It doesn’t have to go to the best wrestler. Coaches can pick whoever they want,” Soroco head coach Jay Whaley explained. “The Nelms boy, he suffers from a (disorder) called Tourettes. It’s just pretty cool he does as well as he does. Three of the six coaches vote for him.”
Soroco junior Kody Logan remains undefeated
Kody Logan cannot be stopped. The Soroco junior is 9-0 on the season, has finished first in the 160-pound weight bracket at both Middle Park and the Rams home tournament.
Logan had four people between him and another victory on Saturday. First, he faced freshman Jake Lindley of Hayden, who he pinned in 1:39. Logan earned a pin in 14 seconds in the next round and 1:09 in the third round. In his final bout, the Ram took down Hayden freshman Cody Hawn in 1:45 to stay undefeated.
“Nobody’s beat him yet,” Whaley said. “Next week, he’ll be down to 152, I think. We’ll see what he wants to do.”
Soroco senior Gene Bracegirdle was close to a first-place finish, but fell in his final match at 145 pounds. He recorded the first takedown late in the first frame against 145-pound Zane Varner of Rangely and started the second period in the down position. Bracegirdle nearly earned a reversal, but his move pushed he and Varner out of bounds, so he wasn’t granted the points. The Rangely wrestler tied it up with a near fall late in the period.
Going into the third, Varner was in the down position and with an escape, took a 3-2 lead. With just under a minute left to compete, Varner took down Bracegirdle to lead 5-2. The Ram needed an escape and a take down to tie it. He had a few chances to try to stand, but his opponent stayed heavy and prevented Bracegirdle from earning any points.
“Ah, we’ve had better days,” said Whaley. “We were a little flat. We lost some matches I don’t think we should have. We’ve got to win the close ones, and we lost some of those. I saw some good things, as long as everybody’s improving.”
Whaley was especially pleased with senior Zack Clyncke’s improvements in the 138-pound bracket. The second-year wrestler was new to the sport last fall. This winter, he’s 5-3. Clyncke was pinned in the second period of his first match, but went on to win his next two. He won via fall in the first period against Alex Black of Rangely and earned a technical fall in 4:46 over teammate Gavyn Salberg.
“Even the matches he lost, he showed process,” Whaley said. “I was telling his Dad, I wish he had one more year because he’s gonna be a difference maker in one more year. He’s progressing at that level. I’m proud of that kid.”
In his final bout, Clyncke met Murphy, the bracket winner from Hayden. He was Murphy’s greatest challenger, not allowing a pin until the 3:57 mark.
“I’m getting more confident with my moves and knowing how to get out of certain moves,” Clyncke said.
Saturday, Dec. 14
Team scores: 1, Hayden 159. 2, West Grand 86. 3, Rangely 78. 4, Soroco 57.5. 5, North Park 50.5. 6, Saratoga (Wyo.) 42.
106: Kodi INgols, H, fall Ben Biekert, WG, 2:50. Biekert, WG, fall Owen Miller, H, 2:54. Ingols, H, fall Miller, H, 0:37.
113: Sabyn Hager, H, fall Colton Stevens, R, 1:24. Hager H, fall Dane Biekert, WG, 3:44.
120: Kyler Campbell, H, dec. Jerry Everett, Sa, 6-5. Campbell, H, fall David Santos, WG, 2:51.
126: Dylan Zimmerman, H, fall Slayd Daley, Sa, 2:31. Zimmerman, H, fall Justin Shotwell, Sa, 0:59.
138: Wyatt Murphy, H, fall Gavyn Salberg, S, 1:26. Zack Clyncke, So, tech. fall Salberg, So, 4:46, 15-0. Murphy, H, fall Clyncke, S, 3:57.
145: Gene Bracegirdle, S, fall Sage Rhea, R, 1:31. Zane Varner, R, dec. Bracegirdle, S, 5-2.
152: Darrel Ebaugh, S, fall Jack Nelms, H, 1:47. Payton Planansky, H, fall Ebaugh, S, 1:55. Planansky, H, Nelms, H, 3:39.
160: Kody Logan, S, fall Jake Lindley, H, 1:39. Hawn, H, maj. dec. Lindley, H, 11-0. Logan, S, fall Hawn, H, 145.
170: Garrett Salazar, H, Kellen Reeder, Sa, 0:26. Salazar, H, fall Reeder, 1:49.
195: Hunter Planansky, H, fall Ben Wagy, Sa, 2:41. Planansky, H, fall Del Garner, R, 1:30.
HWT: Byron Mackay, R, fall Tristan Singer, S, 1:56. Mackay, R, fall Singer, S, 1:15.
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