BEAR RIVER HIGH - By Cari Doutre, Headliner Publisher, December 6, 2022
The world of competitive high school girls’ wrestling in Utah continues to grow in its third year as a Utah High School Activities Association sanctioned sport – and Bear River High is no exception.
Kicking off the 2022-23 season, the Bear River High girls’ wrestling team brings leadership, talent and experience to the mat and returns three defending 4A state champions; senior Sadie Hardy, junior Bella Gunderson and sophomore Rhees Hatch. This year’s team will see stacked talent in the lower weight classes but will be a dominating force all-around as they set their sights on taking home a state championship title.
This year's senior class brings several years of wrestling experience and leadership to the Bear River High girls' wrestling team and includes Hardy, Bretlee Potter, Crislyn Potter, Tassie Hatch, Tabitha Hanson and Abigail Trayhorn, a Sky View High transfer who took second place in the 4A state tournament last year for the Bobcats.
Back for the 2022-23 wrestling season are 15 state placers from last year's 4A state tournament ready to return to the wrestling mat for Bear River High and include:
Sadie Hardy, Sr.
Tassie Hatch, Sr.
Bretlee Potter, Sr.
Crislyn Potter, Sr.
Abigail Trayhorn, Sr.
Bella Gunderson, Jr.
Rachel Epling, Jr.
Avery Cazzell, Jr.
Emma Peterson, Jr.
Makynlie Nelson, Jr.
Samara Ward, Jr.
Kate Bunce, So.
Rhees Hatch, So.
Rachel Nelson, So.
Sydnee Nielson, So.
The Bears started the season strong, outwrestling 27 schools at the L.I.T. Tournament held December 2-3, at Layton High School where they took first overall and ousted region rivals Mountain Crest High in the process. Bear River’s team score of 287.5 was enough to beat the Mustangs who finished in second place with 255 points followed by 6A's Corner Canyon High in third place with 224 points.
Four individual wrestlers came home from the tournament with a first-place medal while Bear River had nine wrestlers medal in the top six overall.
Sadie Hardy – 1st place (110)
Abigail Trayhorn – 1st place (145)
Sydnee “Sydvicious” Nielson – 1st place (190)
Bretlee Potter – 1st place (235)
Bella Gunderson – 2nd place (115)
Rachel Epling – 5th place (110)
Addison Call – 5th place (120)
Samara Ward – 5th place (125)
Emma Peterson – 6th place (145)
Wrestlers new to the sport this year (or new to high school wrestling this year) were also given the option to compete in a beginner's bracket at the tournament. Bear River took advantage of this opportunity allowing several younger wrestlers and new wrestlers a chance to shine on the mat - and that they did.
Rylee Yeates - 1st place (120)
Livia Meeds - 3rd place (115)
Boston Harding - 4th place (125)
Tabitha Hanson - 5th place (125)
As tradition goes, the Bear River High girls' wrestling team held their annual Red and White match determining varsity and junior varsity spots on November 29.
Rewatch the Red and White match courtesy of Bear River Live on the links below.
Up next for the Bear River High girls’ wrestling team is a week of competition on their home mat starting with Northridge High on Wednesday, December 7. Junior varsity begins at 5:30 p.m. and varsity at 7 p.m. The Bears will also host a one-day tournament on Saturday, December 10, starting at 9 a.m.
Photos by John Fronk and Tymer Yeates