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5A Preview

By USAUT, 11/01/19, 12:00AM MDT



Welcome!  Welcome! Welcome! Step right up to the biggest and the baddest classification in Utah High School wrestling!  Last years 5A had a claim to that title, this year, it's not even close.  with the new alignment, 5A fields 29 teams, more than any other in the state, they also add the best 4A school as well as a couple of others who will definitely add fathoms to an already deep division. 

Wasatch leads the way with 9 returning placers and will look to win their 22nd State Title.  Coach Discher has 10 Titles under his belt and knows how to win.  Last year they definitely showed up in February and left no doubt winning by almost 75 points.  This year, Payson the 4A champs and an even more formidable Box Elder team that placed 2nd last year.  Both teams could challenge the Wasps, but it will require help from the field to overtake Wasatch.   Luckily for them, the field is full of competitors who could pick off a Wasp here or there.  Obviously, they'll have to do their part, but there is a chance.  

5A Teams

Wasatch Wasps

Coach: Wade Discher

Location: Heber, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 234.5

Returning Placers: 9

Box Elder Bees

Coach: Jed Craner

Location: Brigham City, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 175

Returning Placers: 7

Payson Lions

Coach: Jeb Clark

Location: Payson, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 152

Returning Placers: 5

Farmington Phoenix

Coach: Gentry Gasser

Location: Farmington, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 122.5

Returning Placers: 3

Viewmont Vikings

Coach: Brandon Riplinger

Location: Bountifull, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 100

Returning Placers: 3

Maple Mountain Golden Eagles

Coach: Max Sultan

Location: Spanish Fork, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 97.5

Returning Placers: 4

Murray Spartans

Coach: Theros Johnson

Location: Murray, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 73

Returning Placers: 1

Woods Cross Wildcats

Coach: Kemp Barney

Location: Woods Cross, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 63.5

Returning Placers: 2

Timpanogos Timberwolves

Coach: Alex Nicholes

Location: Lindon, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 63

Returning Placers: 2

Olympus Titans

Coach: Devin Ashcroft

Location: Holladay, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 61

Returning Placers: 1

Mountain Ridge Sentinels

Coach: Mitch Stevens

Location: Herriman, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 59.5

Returning Placers: 2

Provo Bulldogs

Coach: Mike Olsen

Location: Provo, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 51

Returning Placers: 1

Spanish Fork Dons

Coach: Kip Spencer

Location: Spanish Fork, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 48

Returning Placers: 1

Mountain View Bruins

Coach: Ross Taylor

Location: Orem, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 47.5 

Returning Placers: 2

Highland Rams

Coach: Ted Sierer

Location: Highland, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 47

Returning Placers: 2

Salem Hills Skyhawks

Coach: Blake Mangum

Location: Salem, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 46

Returning Placers: 1

EAST Leopards

Coach: Nicholas Hamilton


Division: A

Returning Points: 45

Returning Placers: 2

Brighton Bengals

Coach: Jed Jones

Location: Cottonwood Heights, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 44

Returning Placers: 2

Skyline Eagles

Coach: Kaycee Anderson

Location: Millcreek, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 35.5

Returning Placers: 1

Timpview T-Birds

Coach: Dave Nielsen

Location: Provo, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 35

Returning Placers: 1

Springville Red Devils

Coach: Dave Valeti

Location: Springville, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 27

Returning Placers: 1

Alta Hawks

Coach: Barry Harrington

Location: Sandy, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 14

Returning Placers: 0

Hillcrest Huskies

Coach: Nick Pappas

Location: Midvale, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 9

Returning Placers: 0

Bonneville Lakers


Location: Washington Terrace, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 7

Returning Placers: 0

Bountiful Braves

Coach: Mike Weaver

Location: Bountiful, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 6

Returning Placers: 0

Lehi Pioneers

Coach: Dan Rice

Location: Lehi, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 6

Returning Placers: 0

Orem Tigers

Coach: Jake Julian

Location: Orem, UT

Division: B

Returning Points: 3

Returning Placers: 0

Park City Miners

Coach: Tony Pelegrin

Location: Park City, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 3

Returning Placers: 0

Cottonwood Colts

Coach: Bowman

Location: Cottonwood Heights, UT

Division: A

Returning Points: 0

Returning Placers: 0



  1. Kyison Garcia (Fr.) Mt. Ridge
  2. Cam Ford (Fr) Payson
  3. Jared Miller (So) Park City
  4. Jake Waddoups (So) Farmington
  5. Min HTET (Jr) East
  6. Ethan Lund (So) Murray


  1. Brock Morris (Jr.) Maple Mountain
  2. Colin Sierer (Sr.) Highland
  3. Ethan Boulton (Fr) Payson
  4. Tristan Ocana (So.) Wasatch
  5. Colton Ward (Sr.) Box Elder
  6. Kaiden Heim (So) Viewmont


  1. Cole Jensen (Sr.) Payson
  2. Bridger Ricks (So.) Box Elder
  3. Austin Kelly (Fr) Wasatch
  4. Wyatt Romriell (Jr.) Box Elder
  5. James Monson (Sr) Skyline
  6. Austin Bush (Jr) Bonneville


  1. Deklan Kelly (Sr.) Wasatch
  2. Jaxon Bearden (So) Mt. Ridge
  3. Layne Shepherd (Jr.) Payson
  4. Cooper Cox (Jr.) Maple Mountain
  5. Heath Clyde (So.) Wasatch
  6. Dawson Wood (So) Salem Hills


  1. Wyatt Hone (Sr.) Payson
  2. Declan Morris (Sr.) Maple Mountain
  3. Treyson Davis (Sr) Wasatch
  4. Noah Roylance (Jr.) Wasatch
  5. Jacob Richards (Jr) BE
  6. Sam May (So) Farmington


  1. Sammy Heywood (Sr.) Wasatch
  2. Parker Frasure (Sr.) Farmington
  3. Deegan Palmer (Jr.) Payson
  4. Anthonee Ouk (Sr) Brighton
  5. Isaac Richards (Sr.) Box Elder
  6. Karson Rees (Jr.) Viewmont


  1. River Wardle (Jr.) Wasatch
  2. Austin Gillette (Sr.) Farmington
  3. Conway Christensen (Jr.) Murray
  4. Trey Hiatt (Sr) Payson
  5. Moses Espinoza-Owens (Fr) Viewmont
  6. Trevor Herrick (Sr) Timpanogos


  1. Stockton Obrien (Sr.) Wasatch
  2. Heston Wood (Sr.) Salem Hills
  3. Jace Whitney (Sr) Springville
  4. Rylan Stevens (Jr.) Mt. Ridge
  5. Marcus Espinoza-Owens (Fr) Viewmont
  6. Brock Davis (Sr) SF


  1. Jeremy Evans (Sr.) Viewmont
  2. Jaden Stange (Jr.) Mt. Ridge
  3. Saco Alofipo (So) WX
  4. Stone Coombs (So) Park City
  5. Josh Weeks (Sr) Provo
  6. Andrew Weakley (So) Springville


  1. Tucker Naccarato (Sr.) Payson
  2. Mark Rausch (Jr) Mt. Ridge
  3. Andrew Jensen (So.) Maple Mountain
  4. Christian Smoot (Jr.) Woods Cross
  5. Stan Butera (Jr) Olympus
  6. Charlie Fassold (So) Wasatch


  1. Lucas Cochran (Jr.) Box Elder
  2. Paul Clark (Sr.) Highland
  3. Braxton Monroe (Jr) Payson
  4. Gabe Bazzara (Jr) Alta
  5. Radi Stafford (Jr) Mt. View
  6. Quinlin Jackson (Jr) Maple Mountain


  1. Brock Lloyd (Sr.) Wasatch
  2. Elijah Kratzer (Sr.) Timpanogos
  3. Jake Anderson (Sr.) Farmington
  4. Louis Williams (Sr) Payson
  5. Jacob Walker (Sr) Skyline
  6. Elijah Stafford (Jr) Mt. View


  1. Emerson Conlon (Sr.) Olympus
  2. Cael Richardson (Jr.) Timpview
  3. Sau Tafisi (Jr.) East
  4. Breyden Jorgensen (Jr) Timpanogos
  5. Jon Bargeron (Sr) Viewmont
  6. Brody Esquivel (Sr) Maple Mountain


  1. James Tomasi (Sr.) Provo
  2. Daniel Tuiono (Sr.) East
  3. Ryley Horrocks (Sr) Mountain View
  4. Kellen Collier (Sr) Box Elder
  5. Griffen Hess (Jr) Woods Cross
  6. Skyler Hall (Sr) Farmington


To me, the team race comes down to Payson and Wasatch, with Box Elder having an outside chance at taking home a trophy.  Box Elder lost a solid point scorer in Brandyn Gaytan who moved and will have to rely on kids stepping up.  Lucas Cochran will score a ton of points and Bridger Ricks will do his part, but that is 2 guys and the only guys who begin the preseason with a top 2 ranking.  So, unless Jed Craner and company can get a lot from the rest of their room, Box Elder will be on the outside looking in. 

In the Payson vs Wasatch team race, both teams could easily put 5 in the finals. Wasatch has a slight edge in #1 ranked wrestlers, but Payson has more ranked wrestlers. 

Does Payson have enough Star Power to match Wasatch? 

Does Wasatch have enough depth to match Payson? 




Does Wasatch have enough Star power to counter Payson’s depth?

Does Payson have enough depth to outscore Wasatch’s stars?


This seems to be the question we ask every year with Wasatch.  Last year, they did enough.  The year before, they didn’t.  This year ????


More perspective:

Wasatch beat Payson by two points at the LIT, placing 3rd and 4th respectively. 

Payson won the Wasatch intermountain Duals, Payson went undefeated, but did not wrestle Wasatch who dropped a couple of duals.

At the Rumble, the Wasps outpaced the Lions by about 40pts. 

In late January Wasatch beat the Lions in Payson in. dual that had 3 double forfeits.


Take what you will from that information.

What to Watch For:

Matchups to look forward to:

120: Cole Jensen vs Bridger Ricks:  I’ve heard conflicting reports as to which weight Ricks will be.  Everything prior to the Beehive 25 coming out said he would be at 120, since then rumors of 113 started coming in.  This will be interesting, because if he is at 120, two All-Americans will face off.  Last time they wrestled Cole Jensen won, that was at a spring season tournament in Draper so . . .   If Ricks is not at 120, look for a rematch with Brock Morris to go down. That match was great both times it went down last season, with Ricks winning by 2 points both times.

170:  Tucker Naccarato vs Mark Rausch vs Andrew Jensen

If all of these guys are at this weight, watch out!!!  Any of these 3 could win it.  Rausch is the defending 6A Champ, at a new school, and in a new division.  Can he win a second title and get his name on the wall at Mountain Ridge?  Rausch is a hard nosed workhorse and will make an impact of 5A wrestling.

Andrew Jensen will stand in his way, the Maple Mountain Sophomore placed third last year after dropping to 152 for the post season.  That decision to drop was questioned by some at the time as many thought he would have cruised to a second place finish.  Andrew felt he could win a title at 152.  He fell to Holland Knudsen by 3 in the divisional semis and lost again at State.  Jensen then went on to become an All American in Iowa. 

Tucker Naccarato holds wins over both wrestlers in the last year.  The 4A finalist and Senior at Payson High School will look to bring a title home and help his team bring home a trophy.  Naccarato beat Rausch 10-4 in Freestyle, and won a tight match against Jensen, 1-0 at the Rumble.  Regardless of who wins, the winner will have earned it!


Wrestlers You Know:

OGSTOCKBONE:  The Wasatch Superstar also know as Stockton O’Brien will look to leave his mark on the Wasatch program and solidify the recruiting class of Utah Valley. 

River Wardle:  Can the Wasatch Junior make it 3 Titles this year up a few weights.  145 will be different.  River is a savvy competitor look for him to continue to have success.  Can he make an impact on the national stage?  Reno?  Doc B?

Sammy Heywood: Sammy is an unsung member of the he has been one of three wasps in a row in a solid lineup that would almost guarantee 6pts every dual.  For two years it was Heywood, O’Brien, Kohler.  Not much will change this season for Sammy, he’ll still be looking to hit an inside trip and getting his hand raised.  He has a brother on the roster for UVU and one at Penn State.  Where will Sammy end up? 

Lucas Cochran:  The Box Elder Junior will be problems for anyone.  He is tough in every position and an absolute hammer in the top position.  Cochran was leading his quarterfinal match at NHSCA Nationals when he tore his ACL.  His opponent went on to win the tournament, and Cochran has not seen action since.  Look for him to return and not be challenged in 5A.  Last year in his sophomore campaign he lost 1 match to in state competition and amassed 30 something falls on the season.  Watch out for him, a showdown with Mason Christiansen looms early at LIT.  Will we see him against the PG newcomer Richardson? 

A few you might not:

James Tomasi:  The Provo Bulldog senior made his name known at the State Championships last February.  He is a huge heavyweight with explosive power and deceiving athletic ability.  After leading the 2nd seeded Provo football team deep into the playoffs, Tomasi’s biggest challenge this year might be the scale as he tries to get down to 285. 

Emerson Conlan: Conlan shocked Flo’s biggest Utah recruit last year on his way to a State Title.  Emerson pulled off the upset against Kade Carlson last year.  He is another big guy with athletic ability.  He will try to fill the shoes of Riley Noble and Isaac Wilcox and lead the Titans wrestling team this season. 

Wyatt Hone: Hone is a 4A Finalist from last season, one of four returning for the Lions.  Most 5A fans might not know Wyatt, but watch for him to make some noise especially in February.

Brock Lloyd:  According to the talk coming out of Heber Valley, Brock is back, big and healthy.  Most of you don’t know that Brock was out last year, plagued with injuries most of which sustained in an automobile accident.  Brock made it back for February and wrestled his way to the State Finals.  Not bad.  Watch for a healthy Brock to leave a mark.  

Parker Frasure:  Remember Parker Frasure?  He was dominant as a freshman for Viewmont and won a State Title.  Last year as a Phoenix for Farmington, he saw limited action after an injury.  Frasure wrestled at the LIT placing 2nd, Wrestled at the Wasatch Duals, then did not get back on the mat until the post season where he placed 3rd in the State with a broken neck. 

Austin Gillete: Frasure's teammate, Austin went through last season as an unheralded member of a team from a new school.  He lost to Stockton Obrien in the finals of Divisionals and State and this year will look to make a name for himself.  Last year he pinned some very good wrestlers.  Wrestlers like: Sammy Heywood, Dylan Dick, and  Brock Edwards.

Kysion Garcia:  Kysion is a Freshman at Mountain Ridge.  Kysion is also a Fargo All American  Kysion went undefeated at USA Wrestling 16U duals, in both styles.  Kysion is an issue at 106 and has a style that will win a lot of matches at this level.  Watch out for this Sentinel.