Pahranagat Valley Coach Brad Loveday begins his 20th year with the wrestling team.
Five wrestlers return from last year’s squad and Loveday says he feels, “This team will be very good at the lower weights and the heavier weights, with a hole in the middle of the lineup. But we also have some good incoming freshmen, and sophomore Jesse Jones will be over his football shoulder injury by late December.”
Loveday says the top wrestlers on the team this year will be sophomore Reece Thornton, senior Salvador Heredia, Jones, senior Garrett Bowen, junior Jon Stewart, and senior Chris Thornton.
Reece Thornton, expected to step up to 195 pounds this season, was state runner-up at 170 pounds to Mason Chopp of Battle Mountain in last year’s 2A state meet. Heredia (113) placed fourth at state and was the state runner-up in 2015. Jones was fifth in the state meet and Bowen (182) took second place in the Southern Region meet.
The season begins for the wrestlers on Dec. 7 in a four-way meet at Moapa Valley High between Pahranagat Valley, Moapa Valley, Virgin Valley, and Lincoln County
The next day, Dec. 8, the Panthers participate in the Paul Williamson Memorial Tournament in Parowan, Utah. Lincoln County will also be involved, as well as a large number of Utah teams.
The only two home meets for the team will be the Pahranagat Valley Invitational on Jan. 5 and the Panther Invitational on Jan. 12.
The Southern League Duals will be held Jan. 26 at Indian Springs. The Southern Regionals will be Feb. 2-3 at a site to be determined. The 2A state meet will be in the south on Feb. 9-10, also at a site to be determined.