The college wrestling season is drawing to a close.
Three former Payson Longhorn grapplers had a great year and qualified for their respective colleges at the national championships in Division I and Division II.
Zach Lee and Larry Wilbanks wrestle at Western State College in Gunnison, Colo. and will be making the trip to the University of Nebraska at Kearney this weekend to earn All-American honors.
Both are returning All-Americans having placed seventh in 2006 and have worked hard all year to be wrestling on Saturday night in the featured bouts.
At the regionals, which took place this past week, Wilbanks won the 174 lbs. weight class. This was the second title in as many seasons for the sophomore. Last year, the coaches in the conference voted him the outstanding freshman along with many other postseason honors.
Lee holds down the 165 lbs. spot and has been a mainstay for Western State the past three years. He placed third last week at regionals, earned his third trip to the Division II Nationals and will be a real force in his weight class.
Earlier in the year, he placed at the prestigious Las Vegas Invitational, which is open to all levels of collegiate wrestling and defeated many top level opponents.
His younger brother, Nate, is a redshirt freshman at Boise State University where he wrestles at 174 lbs. He recently placed third in the PAC-10, which qualified him for a spot in the NCAA Division I Championship to be held in Detroit, Mich. March 15, 16 and 17.
Nate Lee is the only four-time state champion from Payson High School and was highly recruited by Boise State University where another former Longhorn Collin Robertson earned All-American status five years ago.
Larry Wilbanks, Zach Lee and Nate Lee are three former Payson grapplers who have added to the Longhorn tradition of success beyond high school. We wish all three the best at their championship tournaments this coming week.