UPDATE: The Boise State wrestling team's dual with Oregon State on Friday night has been canceled because the Beavers' flight was canceled. An attempt will be made to reschedule.
One year around Christmas, Boise State coach Greg Randall found a picture message on his phone.
There was Oregon State associate head coach Troy Steiner posing in the woods like he was going to chop down his Christmas tree with the Border War Axe the traveling trophy that the Broncos and Beavers compete for in home-and-home duals each year.
Randall and Oregon State head coach Jim Zalesky were teammates at Iowa.
Thats how friendly it is, Randall said, but at the same time, when the heats on, were not friends.
The Broncos and Beavers meet at 7 p.m. Friday in Bronco Gym.
The Axe became part of the rivalry one of the best in Boise State athletics in February 2009. Boise State is 7-3-1 against Oregon State since then, including a road victory in November.
The trophy was built out of wood by former Boise State wrestler Sam Zylstra and named through a poll on a wrestling website.
This is a big dual because whoever wins this one gets to keep it the whole year, Randall said.
The Broncos and Beavers clash often. They compete in the same tournaments in Reno and Las Vegas, maintain the home-and-home duals and usually battle for the Pac-12 championship.
Its always fun to go against Oregon State, said senior Jake Swartz, who wrestles at 184 pounds. We hate Oregon State. Weve never liked each other.
The Broncos won 19-18 in November because sophomore Chris Castillo upset Scott Sakaguchi. It will take a similar upset for the Broncos to prevail this week, Randall said. His lineup should include Swartz, who has been battling a knee injury, and Brian Owen (141), who missed much of the season.
The Broncos are 3-7 in duals; the Beavers are 9-5.
Im going to have my Pac-12 tournament team, Randall said. It seems like when we do have our team in there, we win. This is the team I want on the mat.