By Kira Cooley
Ranyger Keckler is a 16-year-old junior at Logan High who started wrestling in middle school and now is a region and state champion.
When he was in the eighth grade, Keckler was a two-time All-American, a three-time west regional champ, and a four-time state champ. He has always had a love for wrestling and the challenge that goes with it.
Last year Keckler lost, 9-7, against Corbin Smith of Wasatch in the second-to-last match of the divisional tournament. Since then, he has put in a lot of hard work, and now he is, “…experiencing a great deal of success this this year…” according to his head coach, Bo Roundy.
Keckler even beat Smith by the same score he lost by a year ago. He also has earned all-state honors and took first place in region in the 132-pound weight class. He is currently ranked first in state and won the 3A state title last week.
Keckler said that the best part of his wrestling career was when he was able to earn a spot on the state team at Mount Logan Middle School. As part of that experience he traveled to Virginia to compete and went undefeated.
Through his years of wrestling he has had many accomplishments, but the one he is most proud of is winning region as a junior this year.
Keckler shows that he is a leader on and off the mats. He puts in a lot of hard work throughout the whole year, not just during the high school wrestling season. He also has an amazing relationship with his team.
He laughs and jokes around with them. When he gets frustrated and in a rut, Keckler likes to throw a couple jokes out to make himself and his teammates feel better. Also, he likes to work hard and get out of that rut.
As any athlete knows, a mental block and fear are harder to overcome than anything physical. But, as noted, Keckler uses laughter and even more, hard work, to get over the fears.
The Logan junior said he has had a lot of support throughout his life, especially from his friends, family, coaches and teammates. The interaction he has with Coach Roundy has been particularly rewarding. The coach is definitely proud of Keckler.
His success is a product of his determination to practice and to improve his skills as a wrestler. Even with all the success, Keckler has stayed humble and is a great individual to be around.
Logan High senior Kira Cooley wrote this story as part of the Preps Utah student journalism program, powered by Bank of American Fork, which will award two of our published student journalists college scholarships at the end of the school year.