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3A State Wrestling Preview
The team race is wide open, which makes for an intriguing competition
Published: 2/24/2022 8:22:13 AM
Al Fontes
Contributing Writer

ORDER GAME PHOTOS

For the past two years, our nation and the world has lived through challenging, yet concerning times due to the COVID pandemic. Despite the myriad of challenges the pandemic has brought upon our daily lives, the sport of wrestling has continued to press forward in the midst of this reality. At last year’s Idaho State Championships, the fan attendance was at an ultimate low, which was based solely on COVID protocol requirements (greatly changed the atmosphere in the Ford Arena). With facility capacity restrictions being lifted this year, I expect the atmosphere to be energetic and exciting, which will impact overall performance in the arena.

Based on the competition I have observed this year, I expect the 2022 Idaho State Championships being held this Friday and Saturday at the Holt Arena in Pocatello to be a barnburner event with several wrestlers defending or going for their third and fourth individual title. A large percentage of the traditional team powers in all four divisions return strong teams and are expected to be in the mix for the team title and a top five finish.

For the past few years, girls wrestling has been designated the fastest growing high school sport in the United States and based on my observation, the numbers in Idaho are beginning to increase on an upward trajectory. For the past several years, the girls division has conducted an open state tournament, but in 2022 the Idaho High School Activities Association (IHSAA) has officially sponsored the sport. Below is a summary of the top individuals and teams in the 3A division, as well as the pre-tournament seeds (top 8 boys/top 2 girls), listing their respective state placings and All-American honors. 

3A DIVISION

The 3A Division returns 8 State Champions and the highest number of returning state placers with 60. The deepest weight groups with returning state placers include 113s (8), 132s (5), 138s (6), 160s (5), 195s (5), and 220s (6). Similar to the other state divisions, the 98 pound weight group consists primarily of freshmen and sophomores and is wide open. The top seed is Boden Banta of South Fremont followed by returning state placer Treyton Klingler of Teton. The top seed at 106s and the overwhelming favorite is returning State Champion and Fargo National Champion (3x All-American) Kolter Burton of American Falls. After observing his performance at the tough Rollie Lane Invitational, he will be difficult to beat. Keep an eye on freshman Koy Orr of Buhl, the seed number 2. The top pick at 113s is returning state placer Max Atchley of Teton, followed by returning state placer Wyatt Hei (Kellogg, 12) and 2x All-American Jaxton Packer of South Fremont. Overall, this weight group returns eight state placers and will be highly contested. The 120 pound weight group is well balanced with South Fremont’s David Green receiving (2x state placer) the top seed. Challenging Green for the title is returning State Champion Bowen Brunson of Buhl.

Returning State Champion and 3x placer at 126s is Marsh Valley’s Brock Young. Close behind is returning state placers Ryker Simmons (South Fremont, 11), Tyler Feeley (Payette, 10), and Julian Ruiz of Buhl. Keep an eye on number 2 seed Kaden MacKenzie of Fruitland. Among the deeper weight groups, 138s returns six state placers overall. The top billing goes to 2x state placer Emilio Caldera of Snake River. Also challenging is state placers Tuffy Briggs (South Fremont, 11), Mathew Daniels (McCall-Donnelly, 10), Ethan Guy (Kellogg, 12), Brady Dahlke (Marsh Valley, 12), and Jace Buescher of Weiser.

Returning 2x state placer Jace Bower of Buhl leads the 145 pound weight group followed by South Fremont’s Dillon Gneiting, a 2x state placer and finalists in 2020. The odds on favorite at 152s is returning State Champion and All-American Kayd Craig of Gooding. The 160 pound weight group is solid and returns five state placers with Gooding’s Tayten Gillette receiving the top seed. A returning State Champion and 3x finalist, Gillette will be challenged by Kolby Clark (South Fremont, 11), Lance Hunter (Snake River, 10), Ryker Perman (American Falls, 12), and Maddox Stevens (Weiser, 11), each top four placers at last year’s state tournament.

The next two weight groups each have returning State Champions and four returning placers. At 170s, 2x State Champion Hunter Hobbs of South Fremont is the leader with Brad Bensen (Marsh Valley, 12), Rhyalee Nix (Homedale, 12), and Lane Carter (Snake River, 12) having state credentials. Keep an eye on Filer’s Jaimen Swainston, Davis Rudkin (Parma, 12), and Adam Rushton of McCall-Donnelly. Returning state placer (4th) Malachi Hoobrey of Weiser is the number one seed at 182s. He will be challenged by returning State Champion Eli Richards of Bonners Ferry. Other returning state placers include Colby Perman (American Falls, 11) and Hunter Forbes (Fruitland, 11). The 195 pound weight group returns five state placers with Easton Branson (Marsh Valley, 12) and James Billingsley of Timberlake receiving the top two seeds. Other returning state placers challenging for a high medal include Kash Purser (South Fremont, 12), Willy Haun (Homedale, 12), and Gabriel Ramos of Payette.

The 220 pound weight group is among the deepest at state with 3x state placer Rylee Willet of Weiser receiving the top seed. Other state placers returning include Elijah Williams (Gooding, 12), Hunter McQivey (Marsh Valley, 10), Trevor Cady (Timberlake, 12), Jackson Richter (Bonners Ferry, 12), and Andrew Alvarez of McCall-Donnelly.  Seeded at number two, South Fremont’s Conrad Miller will challenge for his first state medal. The leader of the heavyweight division is 2x state placer Joshua Curzon of Snake River, followed by 2x state placer Jesse Lockett (Weiser, 12), and Brody Holaday of Fruitland.

Traditional power South Fremont returns 9 seeded wrestlers with 5 being returning state placers and are expected to challenge for the top spot. Close behind are Weiser and Snake River, each entering the state tournament with 10 seed wrestlers. Weiser returns 7 state placers while Snake River returns 5. Other teams challenging for a top 5 team finish include American River, Buhl, Fruitland, and Teton.

 

TOP 3A TEAMS

South Fremont (9 seeds/Returns 5 state placers)
Weiser (10 seeds/Returns 7 state placers)
Snake River (10 seeds/Returns 5 state placers)
American Falls (10 seeds/Returns 4 state placers)
Buhl (6 seeds/Returns 4 state placers /1 top ranked freshman)

Other teams to watch:
Fruitland (8 seeds/Returns 4 state placers)
Teton (7 seeds/Returns 4 state placers)


3A DIVISION SEEDS (TOP 8)

98

  1. Boden Banta (So. Fremont, 9)
  2. Treyton Klingler (Teton, 11), 5th State
  3. Collin Morris (Marsh Valley, 9)
  4. Braden Griffith (Fruitland, 9)
  5. Brandon Williams (Bonners Ferry, 10)
  6. Blake Koyle (Gooding, 9)
  7. Francisco Burrola (American Falls, 9)
  8. Seth Lish (Marsh Valley, 9)

106

  1. Kolter Burton (American Falls, 10), State Champion, 3x All-American
  2. Koy Orr (Buhl, 9)
  3. William Zufelt (Payette, 12)
  4. Jaden Lerwill (Sugar-Salem, 10)
  5. Colm McLaimtaig (Priest River, 9)
  6. Ricky Haralson (Kellogg, 9)
  7. Brian Bensen (Snake River, 9)
  8. Beau Baler (South Fremont, 9)

113

  1. Max Atchley (Teton, 10), 6th State
  2. Wyatt Hei (Kellogg, 12), 6th ID
  3. Jaxton Packer (South Fremont, 10), 2nd State, 2x All-American
  4. Mason Aiken (American Falls, 9)
  5. Jace Leavitt (Snake River, 9)
  6. Dallin Walters (Kimberly, 11), 5th State (106)
  7. Carson Swainston (Filer, 9)
  8. Hayden Sorbel (Priest River, 11)

 Others to watch:
Max Wescott (Fruitland, 10), 4th State (106)
Jesse Stephens (Parma, 11), 4th State (98)
Billy Navarez (Weiser, 11), 6th State (98)
Rafael Delgadillo (Weiser, 12), 6th State (113)

120

  1. David Green (South Fremont, 11), 6th, 3rd State (106)
  2. Bowen Brunson (Buhl, 10), State Champion (113)
  3. Nathaniel Martinez (Fruitland, 9)
  4. Stryker Huston (Timberlake, 11)
  5. Fabian Avalos (American Falls, 9)
  6. Remy Baler (Teton, 11), 3rd, 2nd State (106)
  7. Kolter Wood (Kellogg, 10)
  8. Oscar Egbert (Teton, 11)

126

  1. Brock Young (Marsh Valley, 12), 3rd, State Champion, 2nd State
  2. Kaden MacKenzie (Fruitland, 9)
  3. Ryker Simmons (So. Fremont, 11), 2nd, 5th State (113)
  4. Tyler Feeley (Payette, 10), 2nd State (120)
  5. Julian Ruiz (Buhl, 11), 2nd State ’20 (113)
  6. Keith Poirier (Priest River, 12)
  7. Jaeger Hall (Kellogg, 10)
  8. Jimmy Vasquez (American Falls, 11)

132

  1. Easton Gardner (Snake River, 11), 5th, 3rd State (126)
  2. Tristen Brown (Sugar-Salem, 12), 3rd, 3rd, 5th State (126)
  3. Kash Cobb (Weiser, 9)
  4. Grayson Williams (American Falls, 11), 4th, State Champion (106)
  5. Ryder Sheen (Buhl, 9)
  6. Tanner Williams (Kellogg, 9)
  7. Fernando Camacho (Parma, 12), 6th State ‘20
  8. Sione Tavarez (South Fremont, 11)

Others to watch:
Kolton Farrow (Fruitland, 11), 3rd State ‘20

138

  1. Emilio Caldera (Snake River, 12), 3rd, 2nd State (132)
  2. Tuffy Briggs (South Fremont, 11), 5th, 5th State
  3. Mathew Daniels (McCall-Donnelly, 10)
  4. Ethan Guy (Kellogg, 12), 6th, 2nd State (120)
  5. Brady Dahlke (Marsh Valley, 12), 2nd, 6th, 4th State (126)
  6. Dax Wood (Sugar-Salem, 10)
  7. Tucker Hills (Teton, 11)
  8. Wrendon Osborne (American Falls, 11)

 Others to watch:
Jace Buescher (Weiser, 12), 6th State ’19 (126)

145

  1. Jayce Bower (Buhl, 11), 4th, 2nd State (138)
  2. Dillon Gneiting (South Fremont, 11), 2nd, 5th State
  3. Marcus Regehr (Bonners Ferry, 11)
  4. Gary Hunter (Snake River, 11)
  5. Kole Dahlke (Marsh Valley, 10)
  6. Trace Nielsen (Buhl, 11), 4th State
  7. Raymond Heely (Kellogg, 12)
  8. Quinn Hood (Fruitland, 9)

152

  1. Kayd Craig (Gooding, 11), 2nd, State Champion, All-American
  2. Ryker Fullmer (Teton, 10), 6th State
  3. Ryker Gibson (Marsh Valley, 10)
  4. Kyler Singeton (Sugar-Salem 12)
  5. Brady Vergobbi (Kellogg, 9)
  6. Levi Belnap (Snake River, 11)
  7. Tanner Hartley (American Falls,12)
  8. Luke Schell (Timberlake, 10)

160

  1. Tayten Gillette (Gooding, 12), 2nd, 2nd, State Champion
  2. Kolby Clark (So. Fremont, 11), 3rd State (145)
  3. Lance Hunter (Snake River, 10), 3rd State (170)
  4. Ryker Permann (American Falls, 12), 5th, 4th, 4th State (152)
  5. Ethan Coy (Kimberly, 12)
  6. Maddox Stevens (Weiser, 11), 3rd State
  7. Woody Pyle (McCall-Donnelly, 12)
  8. Bradley Bennett (Priest River, 12)

170

  1. Hunter Hobbs (South Fremont, 11), 2x State Champion (152)
  2. Jaimen Swainston (Filer, 12)
  3. Brad Bensen (Marsh Valley, 12), 6th State (160)
  4. Davis Rudkin (Parma, 12)
  5. Adam Rushton (McCall-Donnelly, 10)
  6. Rhyalee Nix (Homedale, 12), 4th State
  7. Lane Carter (Snake River, 12), 6th State ‘20
  8. Paul Shaner (Timberlake, 11)

182

  1. Malachi Hoobery (Weiser, 12), 4th State ’20
  2. Eli Richards (Bonners Ferry, 12), 6th, 2nd, State Champion (170)
  3. Drake Wood (Sugar-Salem, 11)
  4. Max Clark (South Fremont, 10)
  5. Colby Perman (American Falls, 11), 6th State
  6. Seth Rushton (McCall-Donnelly, 12)
  7. Hunter Forbes (Fruitland, 11), 3rd State
  8. Austin Miller (Kellogg, 12)

195

  1. Easton Branson (Marsh Valley, 12), 5th State (182)
  2. James Billingsley (Timberlake, 12), 3rd State ’20 (170)
  3. Matyus McLain (Priest River, 11)
  4. Kash Purser (So. Fremont, 12), 2nd State (182)
  5. Kaleb Grove (Weiser, 10)
  6. Willy Haun (Homedale, 12), 4th State
  7. Riley Klimes (Kimberly, 11)
  8. Gabriel Ramos (Payette, 11), 3rd State

220

  1. Rylee Willet (Weiser, 12), 5th, 2nd, 5th State
  2. Conrad Miller (South Fremont, 11)
  3. Elijah Williams (Gooding, 12), 6th State ‘20
  4. Hunter McQuivey (Marsh Valley, 10), 3rd State (220)
  5. Trevor Cady (Timberlake, 12), 6th, 4th State
  6. Jackson Richter (Bonners Ferry, 12), 5th State
  7. Andrew Alvarez (McCall-Donnelly, 11), 6th State
  8. Dylan Anderton (Snake River, 11)

285

  1. Joshua Curzon (Snake River, 11), 4th, 3rd State
  2. Jesse Lockett (Weiser, 12), 3rd, 2nd State
  3. Caden Dalling (Sugar-Salem, 10)
  4. Brody Holaday (Fruitland, 11), 5th State
  5. Jake Carr (McCall-Donnelly, 11)
  6. Tristan McMahill (Weiser, 11)
  7. Donald Riess (Bonners Ferry, 11)
  8. Zach Moss (Teton, 9)
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