Wrestling Schedule

Wrestling fans use cellphones to light 4A divisional finals after power goes out

By Sean Walker, KSL.com | Posted Feb 4th, 2018 @ 10:40pm
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10PM: Wrestling fans use cellphones to light 4A divisional finals after power goes outSean Moody, KSL TV
ST. GEORGE — Wrestlers at the Class 4A divisional tournament at Dixie High School got a surprise Saturday night.

The power went out.

Like most shows, though, the meet must go on.

Just before the end of the 170-pound match, the gym at Dixie High School went pitch black. After some confusion and a few screams from students and parents eager to hit the road for Logan, Garland and all cities in between, the tournament's officials huddled on the center mat to determine what to do.

One by one, parents and spectators took tiny their cell phones out of their pockets and turned on their tiny flashlights, said Dixie High teacher and tournament official Craig Milligan. The room grew brighter and brighter as cell phones ran the length of the center mat, illuminating the gym with shadows reminiscient of a WWE match.

"What happened next was perhaps the most interesting and amazing wrestling matches that I have ever been a witness to," Milligan told KSL in an email. "The best part was Dixie's own announcer barking out the title matches like someone calling a street fight."

Hurricane's Shane Farnsworth was about to take the mat for his divisional final. The senior 220-pounder was warming up when the lights began to flicker.

"I was like, 'oh man, how are we going to finish this?'" he recalled.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the meet continued with a few ingenuities.

The match officials determined there could be enough light to finish the tournament. But they needed the crowd's help, so they invited a large group of spectators to hang out, match-side, with lights in tow to illuminate the area.

"These days, everybody has a light on their cellphone, so you start seeing lights come on as people try to figure out what's going on," Dixie wrestling coach Jarad Carson said. "We brought everybody matside. It was very intimate, completely surrounded by kids and fans and people that were in our building."

The meet proceeded as normal, and Farnsworth went on to a win over Payson's Chase Munzi in the 220 finals. And it is a story he will remember as he heads into next Wednesday's state tournament in Orem.

"Talking with my uncle as I was getting ready, he was like, 'can you even imagine what would have happened in 1995 if the lights go out?'" Farnsworth said.

Mountain Crest topped the divisional's team standings with 425.5 points, followed by Payson (412), Bear River (359) and Spanish Fork (217.5). Hurricane was fifth at 186.5.