Three Treasure Valley wrestlers have one final mission

Michael Cook, Tristian Jarboe and Hayden Tuma could be crowned four-time state champs this weekend.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comFebruary 28, 2014 

  • BOYS HOOPS TONIGHT

    5A title: Capital vs. Rocky Mtn., 7 p.m., Meridian High

    The undefeated Eagles (22-0) meet the third-seeded Grizzlies (17-5) for the third time this season. Both teams have already secured spots at next week’s state tournament, but this district game determines seeding. Rocky Mountain is trying to win its first district title in history and Capital last won in 2006.

    4A title: Bishop Kelly vs. Skyview, 8 p.m., Skyview High

    Both teams pulled off upset victories in Tuesday’s semifinals to earn state tournament berths. No. 4 Skyview (17-5) defeated No. 1 Nampa 40-34, while No. 3 Bishop Kelly (16-6) topped No. 2 Middleton 53-46. The Hawks swept their regular-season series by a combined five points.

  • 5A

    Mont Lish, Marsh Valley, 1964-67

    Chris Owens, Idaho Falls, 1985-88

    Brett Lawrence, Sandpoint, 1993-96

    Jared Lawrence, Sandpoint, 1995-98

    Vance Beeson, Eagle, 2002-05

    3A

    Mark Bittick, Middleton, 1968-71

    Cordell Anderson, Preston, 1977-80

    Jeff McKinlay, Sugar-Salem, 1990-93

    Tony Price, Sugar-Salem, 1994-97

    Clint Wolfley, Snake River, 1997-00

    Jeremy Ensley, Homedale, 2003-06

    Shawn Jones, Snake River, 2003-06

    VJ Giulio, American Falls, 2008-11

    2A

    Lex Case, North Fremont, 1997-00

    Jordon Johns, Aberdeen, 2000-03

    Raymond Evans, New Plymouth, 2009-12

    Jared Johnshoy, Melba, 2010-13

It isn’t often that an Idaho high school senior walks away from the wrestling mat as a four-time state champion.

The feat has only occurred 17 times since 1958, the first year the Idaho High School Activities Association began keeping records.

Only twice in tournament history have two athletes wrapped up their careers with four straight titles in the same year — 2000 and 2006.

This season, three wrestlers have a chance to make history.

Centennial’s Hayden Tuma will go for the four-peat in the 145-pound weight class in the 5A classification, while Kuna’s Michael Cook (132) and Columbia’s Tristian Jarboe (145) aim to become the first wrestlers in the 4A classification to win four in a row.

Their quest for elite status begins at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, where nearly 950 wrestlers will compete. Championship matches start at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Tuma, Cook and Jarboe each need to win four straight matches in their 16-man bracket to make it to the top of the podium. It’s enough pressure to be a defending state champion, but how about a three-time defending state champion?

“Nobody really, other than the 17 other people in Idaho history, can realize what kind of pressure those kids are going through. There hasn’t been a day that’s gone by this year for any of those kids where it hasn’t been talked about,” Columbia coach Todd Cady said.

“The pressure that’s on them is unreal. There’s 15 other guys in each of their brackets that are talking about being the guy that knocks them off. It’s tough, those kids are going to get everyone’s best effort every time someone steps on the mat with them.”

Kuna coach Pat Owens — whose older brother, Chris, won four titles for Idaho Falls from 1985-88 and later a national title at Oklahoma State — said reaching elite status is a full-time effort.

“It obviously takes tremendous talent, a great work ethic and a commitment to really wrestling,” Pat said. “I would venture to guess that of those 17, the majority were wrestling-only type guys.”

Tuma and Cook — both No. 1 seeds at state — compete nationally in the offseason, but the second-seeded Jarboe is in a category all his own. The Columbia senior has a natural ability, but has mostly stayed involved in the sport because his friends compete.

“He doesn’t have the desire and the drive that most kids that have had his success have,” said Chris Jarboe, Tristian’s dad and an assistant coach at Columbia.

“He goes out and he does it, and he works hard while he’s there. He has a lot of natural talent that a lot of kids don’t, but he has a desire not to lose, and I think that’s what has kept him around and made him so successful.”

Said Cady: “Those of us that are fans of (Tristian’s) that have worked with him for so long just wonder what he could accomplish if ever he fell in love with the sport, kind of like Hayden and Michael.”

Tuma and Cook have signed to compete in college. Tuma is headed to Nebraska, while Cook is following the path of his uncle, Brad Cook, by choosing Boise State.

No matter the road each has chosen for the future, all three could end up sharing a special moment Saturday night.

“It’s just a normal tournament. I’m going to go out there and have fun and wrestle like I’m wrestling in the practice room and I’ll be fine,” Cook said. “I think we all just kind of know in the back of our heads that we’re all going for the same thing. We’ve all kind of grown up with each other and pushed each other through the years.”

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

Idaho Statesman is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service