POCATELLO – Post Falls senior Austin Wilson, finishing off his second opponent of the day, pinning this one in 43 seconds, struggled to contain his excitement, the 160-pounder even allowing a subtle bit of bravado to slip out.
“I am going to win the next (match), too,” he said. “That’s for sure.”
The confidence, the drive, the focus should come as no surprise to those who know Wilson. He’s made it clear all season that his goal, no, his destiny, is to bring home a state title.
“My freshman year, I finished third, and during my sophomore and junior tournaments I finished in second,” Wilson said. “Now, this is my year. That’s my goal. For some kid to take it away this year, he’s going to have to dig deep.”
He’s not the only Trojan with a shot at a state title.
Of the 14 wrestlers Post Falls brought to the Idaho High School State Wrestling Championships, nine won their quarterfinal matches Friday afternoon and are still in the hunt for a state title. Three others are still alive in the consolation bracket.
Post Falls finished the first day with 111 points, well behind Centennial’s 157.5. But the Trojans are also well ahead of third-place Lewiston, which finished Friday with 89 points. Coeur d’Alene was in eighth with 62.5 points. Lake City, which brought just three wrestlers, had eight points after day one.
Coeur d’Alene has three in today’s semifinals.
Lakeland clawed and scratched its way to seventh place after the first day, racking up 64 points, and remaining within striking distance of Nampa, Blackfoot and Pocatello, which hold the fourth, fifth and sixth positions, respectively.
Just four point separate Lakeland and Nampa.
Lakeland coach Rob Edelblute couldn’t help but look down after the quarterfinals. His team, starting strong by knocking off a few top seeds during the first round Friday morning, failed to maintain that momentum during the quarterfinals.
“We had a couple of heartbreaks,” he said. “We have just two still alive in the top side.”
Sandpoint brought just six wrestlers to state and by day’s end, all six had found their way to the consolation bracket. Four of the six won and will be wrestling today.
Sandpoint is in 20th place overall with 16 points.
Bonners Ferry started strong on Friday morning, but lost a lot of ground during the quarterfinals, a number of its wrestlers ending up in the consolation bracket.
“We are wrestling against ourselves twice,” said Bonners Ferry coach Conrad Garner. “We’ll just have to work hard through the back door if we want a state title, but we could have made it much easier on ourselves.”
Bonners Ferry finished Friday in fifth place with 64.5 points, 1.5 points behind fourth-place Sugar-Salem, but only half a point ahead of sixth-place Teton.
Among those Badgers still vying for a state title are Aaron Smith, who wrestles in the 98-pound class; Blaine Invernon, 138; and Carman Krichbaum, 195.
Kellogg has two vying for state titles, Blake Ivie, 120, and Kenneth Berry, 182, and three in the consolation bracket. Kellogg scored 44 first-day points for 14th place.
Of the nine wrestlers St. Maries brought to Pocatello, six are still alive today, including two in the hunt for a state title, Josh Richmond at 126 and Joseph Bloomsburg at 152.