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Sugar House Journal

Highland wrestling takes third in region, sends four to state

Feb 24, 2020 15h11 ● By Josh McFadden

Senior Colin Sierer stands on the podium as he receives his third-place medal at the Class 5A state wrestling championships. (Photo courtesy of Ted Sierer)

By Josh McFadden  |  [email protected]

The Highland wrestling team didn’t quite get as far as head coach Ted Sierer had hoped. Still, the Rams produced some nice individual performances as they wrapped up the 2019-20 campaign. 

The Rams finished 18th out of 27 teams at the Class 5A state wrestling championships, held Feb. 12 and 13 at Utah Valley University. Highland produced 27 points during the two-day affair and sent four competitors to the tournament. 

Colin Sierer placed third in the 106-pound bracket. He won his first match by fall in 1:12 but came up short in his second outing, losing to Mountain View’s Cody Burr by fall in 1:16. However, he rebounded to win three matches in a row, including the third-place match, which he won by fall in 2:47.

Ted Sierer was pleased with his pupil and son at the tournament. Colin became just the fourth wrestler in Highland history to place at state three times. He was sixth as a sophomore and third last year as well. 

“Even though [Colin] had his sights set on winning a state championship, he showed a lot of heart coming back and taking third place,” Ted Sierer said. “It would have been easy to give up after losing, but he was able to put himself back together mentally and wrestle really well through the rest of the tournament. He also recorded more pins at the state tournament in the fastest time than any other wrestler in any of the classifications, 1A–6A. That means that no wrestler who wrestled in any of the state tournaments got more pins quicker that Colin. He got five pins in a total of six minutes and 18 seconds. No wrestler in Utah got more pins in a shorter time at state.”

Senior Paul Clark lost his first match in the 195-class but won one in the consolation bracket, prevailing by fall in 1:59. Freshman Connor Straessler qualified for state in the 145-pound class. He went 37-11 on the year and lost two matches in the state tournament. The team’s other state qualifier was freshman Jimmy Berg, who dropped two matches in the 113-pound group. 

“I was hoping we would be able to get three or four more kids through to the state tournament, but it didn't work out,” Ted Sierer said. “As a team, I don't think we wrestled poorly, but we didn't do enough in the tough, close matches in order to win and get on the podium. I needed to get them a little better prepared than I did. As for state, each of the four who qualified had some tough matches early on. The second round of the tournament was really tough on us. By the end of that round, each of the four wrestlers had either lost once and been knocked down into the consolation bracket or had lost twice and were eliminated from the tournament.” 

Highland placed third in region behind Brighton and Murray. The Rams had close matches against those foes but came up short. Still, Ted Sierer found a lot of bright spots in the season.

“As I look back on the year as a whole, I can honestly say that we are a completely different team than we were at the beginning,” he said. “We have become a lot more solid in all phases of the sport. I feel that the team did all that was asked of them and showed the improvements that are a part of such efforts. I am proud of this team and feel that the next few years will bring a lot of success.”

With a solid core of freshman and some good juniors such as Josh Berg and Brody Dusenberry, Ted Sierer is hopeful that the next couple of years could be bright for the program.