After winning the 5A District Three team title by 182.5 points Saturday, the Centennial High wrestling team feels this might be the year its district success translates into a state title.
The Patriots have won four straight district championships, but have come up short at the state level with two third-place finishes in a row.
Those around the program are eager to bring home Centennial's first state championship since 2007.
That goes for individual wrestlers as well.
"My goal is the state title," said Centennial senior CJ Olsen, who won the district title at 113 pounds. Olsen finished fourth at state in 2012.
"It's the last year I can make it happen."
Four Centennial wrestlers, including Olsen, won district titles and there is at least one Patriot in each weight class at state.
The Patriots qualified 23 wrestlers for state, including No. 1 seeds Hayden Tuma (138 pounds) and Jon Jay Chavez (145).
Idahowrestlingnews.com ranks Centennial as the No. 1 team in the state. Post Falls is No. 2 and defending state champion Lewiston is No. 3.
The state tournament for all four classifications begins at 9:30 a.m. Friday at Holt Arena in Pocatello. The final day of action starts at 9 a.m. Saturday.
Columbia's victory over Kuna in the District Three tournament was decided by eight points, and both head coaches expect the battle for the state championship to be decided by a similar margin.
Kuna enters as the defending state champion, beating Columbia by 59.5 points last year. The Wildcats won the three previous state championships from 2009 to 2011.
Columbia qualified 18 wrestlers for state, including three defending champions, each of whom have moved up at least one weight class: Kam Reddish (132), Tristian Jarboe (145) and Tim McDonald (195).
"These kids are hungry and enjoying wrestling a little bit more this season without that target on their back. They kind of prefer the underdog role and they've kind of been relieved to not walk into the gym and have everyone look at them like they are the favorites," Columbia coach Todd Cady said. "They are approaching this weekend the exact same way, but they know if all 18 show up and contribute and we have individuals achieve their individual goals that we very well could be team state champs again."
Kuna, meanwhile, qualified 20 for state and has defending champs in Casey Cobb (113) and Michael Cook (126).
"Losing the district tournament definitely wasn't something we had in mind, but it also I think can serve as a motivator for these guys," Kuna coach Pat Owens said.
Coach Drew Dickerson says his Weiser wrestlers have their work cut out for them if they want to defend their title.
Eighteen wrestlers - led by defending champion Lionel Perez at 126 pounds - aim to bring home the Wolverines' fifth state title in program history.
Despite last year's victory, Snake River is the top-seeded team in the classification according to rankings by idahowrestlingnews.com.
Snake River, which won state in 2011, and Weiser each have two wrestlers seeded No. 1.
"A lot of the kids we have on our team this year are returners from last year," Dickerson said. "We lost five kids off of last year's team, so we have eight or 10 of the 18 that are going back to state again. That always helps, just having the experience and being there and seeing it before."
Two-time defending state champion Declo is favored to win its third consecutive title, but District Three teams Melba and New Plymouth hope to stand in the Hornets' way.
The Mustangs qualified nine wrestlers for state and have five wrestlers seeded No. 1 in their respective weight classes.
"I can tell you that the cream rises to the top, so to speak," Melba coach Ron Johnshoy said. "We have some quality guys that if they're focused, they are going to do well."
New Plymouth, which edged Melba by 12 points for the district title, qualified 13 wrestlers, but is without a No. 1 seed.
A District Three team has not won the 2A state title since Parma won four straight from 1987-90.
Brian Murphy contributed to this report.