Red Devils battle back to claim fifth place at EI

Two unidentified Red Devil junior varsity wrestlers squared off against one another during the championship round of the EI. The Herald hopes to include JV results when they are available. Evanston had a female wrestler who also placed in the top-five in the JV brackets. (HERALD PHOTO/Mark Madia)

EVANSTON — Another Evanston Invitational is in the books from this weekend past, marking another chapter in the illustrious 50-year plus history as one of the premier wrestling tournaments in the west. A near-capacity crowd was on hand to take in all the grappling action, as 13 teams in varsity and junior varsity divisions competed for championships.

Evanston was in eighth place after Friday’s matches were complete but battled back on Saturday to claim fifth place. Varsity team scores were as follows:

Spring Creek, Nevada —     215

Green River —                     202.5

Bear River, Utah —              171

Rock Springs —                   138.5

Evanston —                          127

Kemmerer —                        108

Weber (Ogden, Utah) —       101.5

Pinedale —                             98

Rawlins —                              80

Big Piney —                           58

Lyman —                                53

Grantsville, Utah —               37

Mountain View —                  36

The Red Devils had no individual champions for the tournament they hosted but had three wrestlers reach the title match in Jaxin Moore at 113 pounds, Logan Elsen at 120 and Rigden Wagstaff at 160 pounds.

Placing third were Kendall Cummings at 132 and Pablo Escalante at 195. 

Isaac Saavedra and Eric Orozco came in fourth at 126 and 285 pounds, respectively, with Brandon VanGieson and Clay Lester earning fifth-place finishes at 113 and 195 pounds.

Teams had the option to enter more than one wrestler in each weight class and occasionally, teammates wrestled against each other, seemingly more often on the junior varsity level, but there were varsity matchups between two wrestlers from the same team.

Wagstaff led the Red Devils, scoring 20 team points, followed by Escalante and Elsen with 19 apiece, Moore and Cummings, each with 16 points, Orozco with 15, Saavedra notching 12, VanGieson and Lester both with seven, Jordan Schneider with four and three points each for Mayson Erickson and Angel Rodriguez.

The Lyman Eagles’ top placer was Sefton Douglass in third place at 106 pounds, while teammates Brendan Martin earned fourth-place honors at 160 and Hagen Lamoreaux took fifth at 145 pounds.

Mountain View had two wrestlers place fifth in Bridger Harris at 182 and Tyson Condos at 220 pounds.

One other local connection was 182-pound champion Kaden Lloyd of Green River — his father is former Evanston resident and EHS graduate Roy Lloyd.

The Red Devils actually got the season started on Dec. 6, in a home dual versus the EI champion Spring Creek, Nevada team and fared quite well. The Spartans defeated the Red Devils 42-27. Escalante and Elsen pinned their opponents in the season-opener and Cummings and Erickson each picked up decisions.

It will be a short week of practice this week as the Red Devils travel to Syracuse, Utah, for a dual against the Titans, a Class 6A school in Utah, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13. On Dec. 14-15, Red Devil wrestling will again venture to Utah, this time to Bountiful, to take part in the Viewmont Invitational, as they have for many years. Red Devil wrestling will not wrestle in the friendly confines of Red Devil Gym until a Jan. 30 conference dual against Green River, but will be in action in nearby venues, as head coach Larry Wagstaff pointed out.

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