The Tuesday before Thanksgiving is traditionally the first day schools can compete in wrestling and Provo High will again bring many of these programs together for the 10th Annual Wrestling Against Cancer Duals.
This event was inspired by Ric and Angie Thompson. Ric Thompson, who led Payson to the school’s first ever state championship in wrestling in 1998, passed away of brain cancer in 2010, just a few days before the inaugural event.
In Thompson’s memory, Provo High has hosted this event that both kickoffs the wrestling season and raises money for a family battling cancer.
This year the charitable efforts will focus on Abel Hervias, a seven-old youth wrestler that recently had his right leg amputated due to a rare bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. The Hervias family still faces expenses related both to his cancer treatments and his prosthetic leg. Abel and his family will be honored at 7 p.m. just before the third set of duals.
Eleven teams will take part in the 2019 Wrestling Against Cancer Duals making it the largest amount of teams and duals in the event’s history. There will also be an all-girls dual with wrestlers from Westlake taking on a team put together from the rest of the participating schools. This will take place in the final round of wrestling at 8:15 p.m.
One of the feature duals will feature Layton, second place in 6A last season and led by returning 3-times state champion Tyson Humpherys taking on Skyridge, which placed fourth in 5A last year but moving up to 6A this season. The Skyhawks have Hadley Cowan, who has placed has placed second in the big tourney the past two seasons. The two schools will battle in the second round of duals which take place at 5:45 p.m.
There will also be a battle between father and son coaches when Skyridge takes on Salem Hills. Lyle Mangum is in his fourth year at Skyridge after leading Lone Peak for nearly 20 seasons. During his time at Lone Peak, Mangum’s son Blake was a two-time state placer. Now the younger Mangum will take over the Salem Hills program. The two schools will grapple at 7:00 p.m.
Host Provo will renew its renew its rivalry with Timpview as the schools meet for the third straight time in the Wrestling Against Cancer Duals. The two teams will square off at 8:15 p.m. in the final batch of duals. Provo will also go up against Riverton at 5:45 p.m. Provo will be led by returning state champion Jimmy Tomasi.
Layton has won the most duals in the history of the event eight but Westlake is just behind the Lancers with seven wins. Westlake will actually compete in both duals as the Thunder take on Salem Hills at 4:30 p.m. and Maple Mountain at 7:00 p.m. Both schools placed fifth in the 6A and 5A meets respectively. Westlake’s top returning wrestler is Jacob Finlinson, a junior that has won two state titles while the Golden Eagles have Declan Morris, a state-runner last season. Other top wrestlers to watch in what could be a competitive meet are Maple Mountain’s Andrew Jensen and Westlake’s Trent Taylor, both returning state placers that could match up tonight.
American Leadership Academy (ALA), which placed fourth in 3A last year, has returning state champion Lukus Carrillo as well as Sage Mortimer, the top female wrestler in the state who became the first and only girl wrestler ever to become an All-American at the USA Nationals competing against other boys. ALA will battle Mountain at 5:45 p.m. and Salem Hills at 8:15 p.m.
West will travel down again to the duals and take on Skyridge at 4:30 p.m. The Panthers boast Drew Lang, a returning state champion who actually battled Falcon wrestler Joshua Milward in the 5A championship match last year. Both wrestlers are just sophomores.
Cost for spectators will be $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors 65 and older. Children four and under will be free of charge.