Borah High wrestlers Shea Randall and Taylor Owens were born into their friendship and their sport.
They are the sons of Boise State wrestling coach Greg Randall, who is in his 21st year with the Broncos, and assistant coach Chris Owens, who is in his 17th year.
Shea, a freshman, has spent time around Taylor, a sophomore, since he was born their favorite activity as children was playing Cowboys and Indians and the duo has become closer than ever in the past few years.
Theyll compete together Friday and Saturday at the 5A wrestling state tournament in Pocatello. Shea is the No. 1 seed at 98 pounds, and Taylor is No. 4 at 145.
Hes fun to be around, Taylor said. It gives the room a good atmosphere. He works hard, I work hard. I work hard, he works hard. Its easy to drive each other to get better.
That hard work, Borah coach Bill West said, has been more important than their status as coaches sons in making Shea and Taylor accomplished wrestlers.
People, they say sometimes, Hes a coachs son. No wonder hes good, West said. Thats not what it is. Those two come in with pretty lofty expectations. To have that, you need to put in the time.
Taylor has been wrestling longer than Shea. He started at 7 or 8 and became serious at 10. His dad coaches him part of the year, and he dreams of competing internationally.
Taylor played football for one year, but hes a year-round wrestler. He finished third at the District Three meet.
Were real proud of him, in the progress that hes made, Owens said. He beat a couple guys in the district tournament that he had dropped matches to earlier in the year. Theres a lot to be said for that. Hes wrestling better. Hes wrestling an exciting style. He gains more confidence every time he goes out there. Success didnt come quick to him. Hes really learning to stay after it.
Growing up around the sport, Owens said, helped his son develop an appreciation for the lifestyle of a wrestler.
Its really fun to go down (to Boise State) and watch college guys wrestle, Taylor said. You learn a lot from it.
Shea, who attends the NCAA meet with his dad every year, took a detour on his way to the sport.
He wrestled when he was little but it didnt stick. He tried soccer, football and baseball before returning to wrestling in seventh grade.
We had to make up our minds and either say youre going to wrestle or youre not, because if youre not going to, lets go do something else, Randall said. If you are, lets go.
Sheas interest in wrestling was rekindled when he got in trouble with his mother, who made him work out with the junior high wrestling team for two months as punishment.
That led to him joining the school team in seventh grade. Two-plus years later, hes a District Three champion and state favorite.
I didnt really know that special feeling that there was in wrestling, Shea said. I started back in wrestling and found my addiction. I love it.
His dad doesnt coach him much and rarely gets to watch him. The district tournament was the first time that Randall was in the stands this season.
A scheduling quirk will allow him to attend the entire state tournament this week something he hasnt done before because it usually conflicts with the Pac-12 Tournament.
I tell him to go out and give it 110 (percent) and thats about it, Randall said, and he does everything else on his own.
Sheas long-term goal: I want to wrestle at a Big Ten school. I want to wrestle against my dad some day it would be pretty neat.
Thats a good description of this weekend for Randall and Owens, friends who will see wrestling from a nail-biting new angle at Holt Arena.
Weve been through quite a bit together, Owens said, six (Pac-10/Pac-12) championships, All-Americans, a couple national champions. Its kind of a whole new experience. Its easier being on the floor coaching than to be in the stands watching our boys wrestle, but I wouldnt trade it for anything.
Chadd Cripe: 377-6398, Twitter: @IDS_BroncoBeat