NAMPA Quite frankly, Columbia High wrestler Austin Schaffer was sick of getting second place.
His disdain for the runner-up spot proved to be the ideal fuel for his fire, propelling the senior to his first victory in four tries at the Rollie Lane Invitational on Saturday night at the Idaho Center in Nampa.
I was so used to taking second in a ton of tournaments, Schaffer said. I despise second place. Whenever I get a chance to win it, I do whatever it takes.
Schaffer claimed the title at 182 pounds with an 11-0 major decision over Meridians Harley DiLulo. Schaffer took an early 8-0 lead in the first round, and then cruised to the victory.
He didnt want to leave his wrestling career with unfinished business, Columbia coach Todd Cady said. He was very disappointed in himself not winning the Reno Tournament of Champions a few weeks ago. That left a sour taste in his mouth. Hes a winner and he doesnt like coming up short.
Schaffers victory at Rollie ranks him among the Valleys elite, but wrestling wont be the sport he pursues in college.
The 6-foot senior has offers to play quarterback at Southeast Missouri State, Montana Tech and Southern Illinois.
He plans to make visits to those schools over the next month before making a decision.
To be honest, wrestling helps me with football more than anything else I could do, Schaffer said. It helps me with my mental toughness and my physical toughness.
Schaffer was one of five Treasure Valley athletes to win an individual title at Rollie Lane, which featured about 560 wrestlers from 50 schools and seven states.
KUNA JUNIOR LANDS THREE-PEAT
Michael Cook has moved up at least one weight class in each of the past three seasons. No matter the weight, he doesnt seem to have much trouble taming his opponents.
Cook won his third consecutive Rollie Lane title, this time at 126 pounds with a 2-0 decision over Justin Thomas of Santiago, Calif. Cook won at 103 as a freshman and at 120 last year.
THREE LOCAL SENIORS FINISH STRONG
Centennials Kris McFarlane, Melbas Troy Richardson and Boises Canyon Purcell each added to their senior seasons with their first Rollie championship.
McFarlane beat Wood Rivers Tommy Bailey 7-1 at 152 pounds to improve to 25-2 this season.
Richardson made an impressive run to the 170-pound title representing 2A Melba, one of the smallest schools at the tournament. Richardson had no trouble in his title match, pinning defending champion Michael Billingsley of Lowry, Nev., at the 3:07 mark.
Purcell reeled in his third tournament win of the season with a pin of Middletons Jacob Harvey in the 220-pound championship. Purcell is 22-1 this season.
HERMISTON TAKES TEAM TITLE
The Oregon school finished with 99 points, 19 ahead of second-place Pomona, Colo.
Kuna was the highest finisher among Treasure Valley schools, tying for third with Santiago, Calif., at 63 points. Centennial and Columbia tied for sixth.