POCATELLO – Some people refuse to acknowledge wrestling as a team sport.
Saturday at Holt Arena, the Coeur d’Alene Vikings did their best to prove those doubters wrong. Coach Jeff Moffat’s squad did not have an individual state champion, but the Vikings finished with 13 top-six finishers and captured the first state championship in school history.
“It’s all on these kids,” said Moffat, who was named 5A coach of the year. “They came down here with a goal and they believed in it and they set their minds to it and they did it.
“We not only won it, we dominated it.”
Coeur d’Alene finished with 223 points, easily outdistancing second-place Highland (187) and third-place Borah (149½). The Vikings did it by sending five wrestlers to the championship round and having all 17 state qualifiers score points.
“We went 0 for 5 in the finals, but that doesn’t overshadow the fact that we’ve got the best team in Idaho,” Moffat said. “You’re not going to win state with two or three studs. You’re going to win with 14, 15, 16 solid kids, and that’s what we’ve got.”
Seniors Braden Mowry (135 pounds) and Kevin Moore (171) joined juniors Kenny Staub (130), Colin Comack (152) and Johnny Peregrina (160) as state runners-up.
AJ Konda (fourth at 103), Sam Howard (third at 125), Christian Putnam (fifth at 145), Garrett Demers (sixth at 152), Jake Norris (fifth at 160), Caleb Davis (fourth at 189), Matt Howard (sixth at 189) and Alex Kastens (sixth at 215) also earned top-six finishes for the Vikings.In other action, Post Falls only put one wrestler into the championship round and slipped out of trophy position. But sophomore James Ost made the most of his spot in the finals, toppling Centennial’s Kris McFarlane to capture his first state title.
•In 4A, Lakeland had two state champions but did not contend for a team trophy. Senior Nate Wright capped his career with a victory over Blackfoot’s Juan Navarro in the 103-pound final, while 152-pound senior Brandon Richardson captured his second state championship with a victory over Columbia’s Tre Jarboe.
Sandpoint junior Garret Belgrade fell one win short of defending his state title. He was upset by Nampa’s David Tovar in the 112-pound final.
•In 3A, Bonners Ferry had two state champs and finished fifth in the team race. Freshman Blaine Ivernon claimed the 103-pound title by pinning Kimberly’s Jacob Herman, while 140-pound junior Trevor Hampton upset top-seeded Chase Richins of Shelley.
Senior Dylan White of Timberlake (Spirit Lake) captured the 285-pound title. American Falls easily won its third consecutive 3A team title.
Click here to comment on this story »