Gomez takes second in state wrestling; Francis places fourth
by Jeff Richards
Contributing Writer
Feb 20, 2014 | 2170 views | 0 0 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
State Wrestling Tournament
Edgar Gomez of Grand takes on Brenz Staples of North Summit in the 2A state championship heavyweight wrestling match on Feb. 15. Photos by Merrill Hugentobler
Edgar Gomez of Grand takes on Brenz Staples of North Summit in the 2A state championship heavyweight wrestling match on Feb. 15. Photos by Merrill Hugentobler
GCHS senior Jacob Francis grapples with an opponent during the state wrestling tournament in West Valley City.
GCHS senior Jacob Francis grapples with an opponent during the state wrestling tournament in West Valley City.
Top-seeded and top-ranked Edgar Gomez of Grand County High School advanced to the championship match in the state wrestling finals last Saturday night with an undefeated 46-0 record in the 285-pound (heavyweight) class.

There, he faced Brenz Staples of North Summit, an opponent whom Gomez had already beaten twice earlier in the season, including the divisional championship finals at Richfield the previous week. But for Gomez, winning the state 2A title proved to be just out of his grasp.

The Gomez vs. Staples showdown came at the end of two full days of intense wrestling action at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, which hosted the state tournament on Feb. 14 and 15.

The first two two-minute rounds went by with Gomez scoring the match’s only point, taking a slim 1-0 lead heading into the third and final round.

“I went all out the first two rounds,” Gomez said afterward. “It was very hard for me to do anything because he kept going out of bounds. I almost took him down five times but he fell out of the circle every time. It didn’t seem like he was trying to do anything.”

Midway through the final round, however, Staples pulled off a stunning upset by pinning Gomez with 58 seconds remaining.

“I guess he had the better strategy, to tire me out,” Gomez said.

“Edgar totally out-wrestled him the first two rounds,” said GCHS head coach Dennis Wells. “But he got tired in the third period and [Staples] managed to get him on his back … Edgar would probably beat him nine out of 10 times, but it just happened to be that kid’s day.”

Despite the loss, Gomez said he is proud of his 46-1 season and second-place finish at state.

“I’m thankful for everyone’s support,” he said.

Earlier in the tournament, which started on Friday, Feb. 14, Gomez had defeated Cole Robinson of Beaver by a first-round pin, and Bo Owen of North Sevier by a slim 7-6 decision. In the semifinal match, Gomez outlasted Manti’s Brandon Davis in a 4-2 decision.

Fellow GCHS senior Jacob Francis was the only other Grand wrestler to advance to the second day of the state tournament. Competing at 138 pounds, Francis won his first two matches on Friday, defeating Kason Whitesides of Kanab by a third-round pin, and Devin Bishoff of South Sevier by a 2-1 decision. In the semifinals, Francis was pinned late in the third round by Victor Almanza of Delta, who went on to win the state championship.

In the consolation bracket, Francis defeated Clayland Curtis of North Sevier in a 7-2 decision, thereby advancing to the third-place match against Justin Sorensen of Millard. Sorensen beat Francis by a 3-2 decision.

Francis finished his senior year with a final record of 49 wins and seven losses.

The following Red Devil wrestlers also competed at the state tournament (listed along with their weights and records at the state tournament): Gage Moore, 106 pounds, 0-2; Justin Moore, 120 pounds, 0-2; Andrew Hugentobler, 126 pounds, 0-2; Gage Lindquist, 126 pounds, 2-2; Robert Allred, 132 pounds, 2-2; and Seth Holyoak, 138 pounds, 1-2.

Other than Gomez, Grand had no wrestlers in any of the upper weights, but the Red Devils still managed to finish with 47 team points, earning a 12th-place finish out of the 17 2A schools represented at the state tournament.

Delta ended up winning the 2A tournament with 260 team points, followed by runner-up Millard, which had 218, and North Sevier, which took third place with 187 points.

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