Last Saturday, 10 teams braved the weather to spend the day wrestling in the Wilson Dome.
This was one of two multi-meets hosted by the Payson Longhorns to provide wrestling matches for the freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who may not have earned a starting position as yet in the grappling season. Nothing can replace actual mat time in competition in preparation for that varsity spot.
It is sometimes difficult for a coach to find junior varsity or freshmen matches so the Payson Multi-Meet was created.
Each wrestler who attended was given the opportunity to wrestle three to five matches. This is a big draw for other teams statewide who face the same dilemma, which is the lack of wrestling competition.
Nonstop grappling took place on four mats and by the end of the day there was an abundance of mat burns, a few bloody noses, but a wealth of wrestling experience for each athlete that made the trip to Payson. For the hours of sweat and practice in the room this is a reward to do battle with another young grappler who happens to be in the same weight class.
The Longhorns put 18 wrestlers on the mat --
Frosh: J.B. Thornhill, Ben Lee, Jacob Cluff, David Linkey, Hilton Macnab, Gunner Bauer, Clint Godac, Zach Spear, Wrigler Harper, Joey Garcia
Sophomores: Alex Graham, Matt Bullard, Derek Williams, Nicholas Walker, Joey Spear, Ryan Abrah
Juniors: Gage Conway and Marco Mendez
After Saturday's experience they are better prepared when their day will come under the spotlight representing the proud tradition of the Payson Longhorn wrestling program.
A multi-meet can only happen if there is an abundance of volunteer help that responds to a myriad of duties from scoring, timing, writing bout cards and other logistical needs. Don Heizer, the tournament director, said a big thanks goes out to the wrestlerettes, varsity wrestlers, parents and the two pairing masters, Kathy River and Lorraine Keel for making the day a success.