POCATELLO – There’s nothing quite like a gold state trophy to take the sting out of a 550-mile road trip.
At least, that’s how Post Falls wrestling coach Pete Reardon sees it.
“It’s gonna feel good, having that trophy there,” Reardon said, minutes after his team was named the State 5A champion Saturday.
With a dominant Day 2 showing at Idaho State’s Holt Arena, Reardon’s Trojans bounced that yellow Blue Bird bus all the way home, carrying evidence of the first state wrestling title in school history.
Post Falls scored a 5A-best 256 points to pull away from runner-up Bonneville (190), claiming five individual titles over seven championship matches.
“These boys never really doubted they would come through for each other,” Reardon said. “They don’t get the championship jitters and know how to compete when the lights are on.”
Freshmen Matt Mcleod (106) and Braydon Huber (113) lost their title matches, but teammates Drake Foster (126), Tyler Wolf (132), Alius De La Rosa (138), Seth Mcleod (182) and Justin Farnsworth (285) all claimed individual gold.
For De La Rosa, it was his third title in as many trips, a fact he downplayed after accepting his championship medal.
“I am happy to get my third title, but from Day 1, this year was all about the team,” De La Rosa said.
Lakeland took top honors among the region’s 4A schools, scoring 190 points to place fourth. Caldwell ran away with the 4A crown with 298.5 points, 81 better than runner-up Kuna.
Lakeland senior Killian Estes did much of the heavy lifting for the Hawks, defending his state title with a win at 195.
“This was my last match in my last year, and I decided I was going to go my hardest, and it worked,” Estes said. “It’s a good way to finish.”
Lakeland freshman Larry Johnson (113) and senior Conor Shepherd (220) also won individual titles.
Sandpoint’s Casey Randles (170) scored a pin early in the second period of his championship match, giving the Bulldogs their only individual title. Sandpoint finished sixth in the team competition with 124 points.
Kellogg senior Blake Ivie (138) closed out his career as a three-time champion, though the third of the three titles proved to be the most difficult. Ivie outlasted fellow defending state champion Takoda Bingham (Shelley) 5-3.
“It was my most competitive championship match of the three, by far,” Ivie said. “I found out early I was going to have to get on my feet and tighten up, and it seemed to work.”
Kellogg led the region’s 3A squads with 102 points, good for eighth.
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