Wednesday night the Payson Longhorn wrestling team had an early season clash with 3-A East powers Blue Ridge, Show Low and Snowflake and the hometown crowd enjoyed excellent high school wrestling.
These four teams have earned many state wrestling titles over the last 30 years and showed again they will be forces at the state tournament in February.
Payson came out on top with a three-win and no-loss record in the 3-A East duals, then added a fourth victory against Estrella Foothills.
These matches are confidence-builders for the young wrestlers as well as measuring sticks for the veterans with quality opponents.
Five Longhorns went undefeated for the evening with 4-0 records. They were Ben Sandoval at 119, Isaac Cluff at 140, Porter Wilbanks at 145, Matt McCarty at 152 and Oscar Chavez at HWT, who is new to the lineup for the Longhorns. Team effort is essential for the dual meet season and the Longhorns are starting to develop this, as shown by the wrestling of: Nick Randall at 103, two wins; Taylor Byers at 112, three wins; Ryan Cox at 125, two wins; Nathan O'Donnell at 130, one win; Kevin Bryant at 160, two wins; Zach Rodgers at 171, three wins; Oshay Chovanec at 189, three wins; and Bryan Burke at 215, three wins.
This is an exciting wrestling team with veteran leadership in the middleweights and younger wrestlers who are hungry to learn throughout the lineup.
The next home wrestling is the Rim Country Duals on Dec. 15 and 16 in the Wilson Dome. This is high school wrestling at its best, come watch the Longhorn wrestlers in action.
These student-athletes are deserving of your support.
Payson 46 Blue Ridge 27
Payson 58 Snowflake 15
Payson 52 Show Low 24
Payson 77 Estrella Foothills 6