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Star Valley wrestlers looking to capitalize on State opportunity

Kal Burk at the 4A West Regionals. (PHOTO BY RACHELLE PATTERSON)

The Star Valley boys and girls wrestling teams are headed to the Oil City for a three-day Wyoming State tournament at the Ford Wyoming Center. This is on the heels of a pair of regional championships that appear to have the squads poised to compete for team titles at the end of the weekend.

The Lady Braves racked up 189.5 team points at the 24-team Girls Western Regionals held in Riverton. This was 77.5 points more than second-place Pinedale’s 112.0 The team is looking to repeat as Wyoming state champs after claiming the inaugural team title last year. Remington Aullman was the lone regional champion at 135 pounds but the team had 18 qualifiers and Kenna Merritt, Paisley Smith and Shaely Kunz all made the finals.

Meanwhile, the Braves wrestled a one-day 4A West Regional at Kelly Walsh High School and rolled up 244.5 team points which was 64.5 points in front of second-place Rock Springs.

Kimball Parry (106), Tel Parry (132), Porter Merritt (150) and Kooper Burk (157) all claimed regional titles with Malachi Patterson (126), Kolbe Merritt (138), Damien Burgess (175) and Grant Thomson (190) placing second.

Eddie Clark, long-time Braves coach, is overseeing the Lady Braves program as well as they head into the final weekend of the season.

“I’m super excited,” he said. “Both teams winning regionals. Both teams if you look at the scores from other schools we are right in the chase. We’ll have to wrestle well and make our own breaks. But when you score 240 points at a regionals you still have a chance.” 

“The girls are the obvious favorite and that’s super-exciting for them. You consider all that the team has been; though it speaks really well of them.”

There are always changes and surprised in the final weeks of the wrestling season and the Braves had a couple of pleasant ones at regionals. 

“Things played out just about as I expected,” Clark said. “I think the big thing is that Malachi making the finals with a torn ACL and Caleb Morrison wrestling with a broken hand; these are significant injuries. We’ve got some kids really gutting it out and doing some good things. As usual there’s always some crazy drama statewide but it all shakes out. Now its time to show up and wrestle.”

One other different this year is what is turning out to be an unpopular move to a three-day format with matches starting at noon on Thursday.Count Coach Clark among those who are not pleased with the move.

“I think we could get it done in a a day and we’re doing it in three,” he said. “All it does is add expenditures of families and staff. The vast majority of the coaches are against it. At the end of the day they WHSAA gets to make that decision. But, we are excited for the opportunity. We’re grateful and we’ll  give it all we got. The kids have done the work now it’s time to capitalize.”


106: Kimball Parry 1st
106: Hudson England 8th
113: Kayden Crookston 4th
120: Maxwell Jirak 4th
120: Peyton McMurdo 6th
126: Caleb Morrison 4th
126: Malachi Patterson 2nd
132: Tel Parry 1st
132: Jason McGrath 4th
138: Darrell Hunting 8th
138: Kolbe Merritt 2nd
144: Ty Thompson 3rd
144: Charlie Sessions 5th
150: Hazen Hess 8th
150: Porter Merritt 1st
157: Tristan Jensen 8th
157: Kooper Burk 1st
165: Jayden Kunz 7th
165: Kal Burk 3rd
175: Carson Clapp 6th
175: Damien Burgess 2nd
190: Thomas Beck 7th
190: Grant Thomson 2nd
215: Ryan Talbot 4th
285: Easton Smith 8th

100: Sage Smith 3rd
100: Makayla Bird 6th
105: Kenna Merritt 2nd
105: Carlee Angell 8th
110: Hallie Robertson 4th
110: Brianna Benstine 6th
115: Paisley Smith 2nd
120: Keston Johnson 4th
125: Malia Allred 8th
130: Lynsey Lawson 3rd
135: Remington Aullman 1st
140: Settelly Roberts 6th
145: Cara Andrews (4th)
155: Brooke Schwab 3rd
155: Kodee Johnson 6th
170: Shaely Kunz 2nd
170: Payzli Nield 5th
235: Cashlee Hepworth 8th

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