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Boys wrestling: Depth helps Layton take control of Region 1 title race

By Patrick Carr - | Jan 19, 2022
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Layton's Kael Bennie (right) takes down Fremont's Anthony Trujillo (left) during a prep wrestling match at Fremont High School Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022.
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Layton's Noah Mandleco (left) and Fremont's Jacob Keblis (right) grapple during a prep wrestling match Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022 at Fremont High School.
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Layton's Andrew Crowther, left, grapples with Fremont's Corbin Platt, right, during a prep wrestling match Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022, at Fremont High School.

PLAIN CITY — Layton High’s boys wrestling team had a couple key wrestlers absent for Wednesday’s dual match at Fremont, a similar situation many teams in all sports across the state have found themselves in amid the latest COVID-19 wave.

It didn’t seem to impede the Lancers as they ran out to a 43-19 dual match win, continuing their Region 1 title march that appears headed for yet another trophy in the cabinet.

Layton wrestlers won nine individual matches, four of them by fall, against a Silverwolves team that was also down a couple starters but had aspirations of challenging for the Region 1 crown after coming in with a 3-0 record in region duals, including a 34-33 win over Layton’s perennial challenger, Syracuse.

Two more region duals stand between the Lancers and a fifth region title in six years. The first dual is Thursday against Farmington, the second is next week against Syracuse.

A couple more tournaments remain on the schedule between those dual matches and next month’s state tournament, where Layton hopes to be in contention for a team trophy. That usually requires a fair amount of depth.

“Actually, I think we have better depth this year than we’ve had in a long time,” LHS coach Adam Fager said. “We’re still building and we’re not very senior-heavy this year.”

Fremont’s Logan Hancey won the first match of the night with a major decision against Layton’s Baden Hearne.

Then, Layton wrestlers reeled off five straight wins starting with a tight decision win by Andrew Crowther at 150 pounds, pins by Kaden Bennie, Kael Bennie and Noah Mandleco, and another close decision win by Ethan Hearne.

Crowther, Mandleco and Hearne each had close matches that were neck-and-neck at times and could’ve gone either way. Fager said the team is doing well at taking advantage of scoring opportunities in matches.

“One thing is, we’re picking up the pace on our feet. According to the UHSAA, the takedown record for takedowns in a single dual was 47, and it was set like in 2005, but against Viewmont this year we got 50 takedowns and then again against Weber we got 51 takedowns,” Fager said.

Fremont’s Ryan Sazama broke the Lancers’ streak with a 9-7 win at 215 pounds where he trailed 7-4 in the final period until literally the final seconds when he scored a takedown and near-fall points on Drew Hansen to win at the buzzer.

Noah Linford got Layton back on track with a first-period pin at 285 and Cole Fenwick followed with a win by technical fall in the 106-pound match. Fager pointed out Linford as a wrestler who’s really “stepped up” this year after some good showings at big tournaments recently.

In a battle of highly touted freshmen wrestlers, Fremont’s Jason Worthley defeated Layton’s Geronimo Rivera Jr. with a 6-0 decision.

Layton’s Kyler Pace, wrestling at 120 pounds in place of Jace Lemons, beat Fremont’s Kamren Wolff with a 7-2 decision.

“At 120, Jace was out, but Kyler Pace took fifth at state for us last year, so he’s a solid kid to follow up,” Fager said.

The Silverwolves’ Cal Christiansen pinned Layton’s Logan Crowther at 126, Ryker Brann came back with a pin for the Lancers at 132 and Fremont’s Treyson Hunt finished the night with a 6-4 win over Layton’s Wyatt Kinne.

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