Kanab wrestlers competed with the best in the state last weekend at the 2A state tournament held at Utah Valley University. Eight Kanab wrestlers qualified to compete at this level last week at the 2A divisional tournament, including three freshmen, Quincy Robinson, Devin Poteet and Nate Bowman; one sophomore, James Anderson; two juniors, Dan Bowman and Josh Urianza; and two seniors, Brandon Crosby and Kason Poteet.

After putting forth their best effort, three of Kanab wrestlers fought through two grueling days of intense wrestling to find their way to the podium and receive state medals.

James Anderson, a returning state qualifier from last year, worked hard to improve and show he can wrestle with the best at 152 pounds this year. After a hard fought match against a senior wrestler from Parowan, Anderson came up short and found himself faced with elimination if he was to lose another match. Anderson fought back to pick up three more wins and clinch fifth place against North Summit junior Jeremy Skagerberg. It was an exciting comeback win, with Anderson pinning Skagerberg in the third period.

Brandon Crosby, 112 pounds and Josh Urianza, 160 pounds, both had an exceptional tournament, making it all the way to the state finals. For Crosby and Urianza, this was a monumental task that had not been done by a Kanab wrestler in over 10 years.

With thousands of fans looking on from a packed event center, Crosby took to the mat in the second match of the night for the 112-pound title against Brendon Turner from Millard. Crosby battled hard for six exhausting minutes in a highly anticipated rematch from last week’s divisional finals, which Crosby won in a 5-1 decision. Crosby knew it would be an evenly contested match and Turner would be looking to settle the score. When all was said and done, Crosby fell short as he missed a last second head throw to lose a 7-2 decision.

Despite the disappointing loss, Coaches Stubbs, Wheeler and Stapley, along with Crosby’s parents, teammates and fans, were excited for the great success he has had. Coach Stubbs feels Crosby has shown the younger Kanab wrestlers what it takes to wrestle at the highest level in the state. Crosby has been a great example of how much time, effort and dedication must be put into this sport to be successful. Crosby will be greatly missed next year, but not forgotten.

Josh Urianza would be the last chance of the evening for Kanab wrestling to bring home a state champ. Urianza had a demanding victory over South Summit’s Ty Clegg in the first round. He would advance into the quarterfinals with three exceptional wrestlers who stood in the way of his dream he’s had since he started wrestling as a young boy.

Garret Starley, the number one seed out of Millard, and Boden Truman, out of Enterprise, had both beaten Urianza previously in the year. Urianza and his coaches felt with a few minor changes in the game plan, both these opponents could be beaten.

Urianza went toe-to-toe with Truman in the quarterfinals and gave everything he had. With both contestants physically drained at the end of the third period, the score was tied at 3-3, and they would head into overtime, where the first wrestler to score wins.

Digging deep, Urianza took a double-leg shot, lifting Truman in the air and returning him to the mat on his back for five points. Urianza would advance to the semifinals, facing Garret Starley of Millard.

Another hard-fought match with Urianza bringing a little more to the mat than Starley could handle, gave him a 6-5 decision. He advanced to the finals against the number 2 seed, Connor Crandall, out of South Summit, who Urianza had never wrestled. Urianza showed great skill on his feet and was able to take Conner down twice to win the 160-pound state title with a 4-1 decision. As they walked off the floor, Urianza told Coach Stubbs he felt like it was a dream. The feeling was unbelievable and he was worried he was going to wake up.

Urianza is one of three wrestlers who were able to bring home a 2A state title for Kanab. Coaches Stubbs, Wheeler and Stapley are excited to have Urianza back next year. They feel he will be a great leader and example for his teammates, and will help bring continued success to Kanab wrestling. Great season boys!