Patriot Act: Centennial wrestling wins another 5A state title

Six individuals win titles, help squad set team points record.

rroberts@idahostatesman.comMarch 2, 2014 

— Logan Blackwood didn’t know how much was riding on his victory.

Had he been told the scenario ahead of time, it might have been too much to handle.

Unaware of the gravity of his match, the Centennial High senior wrestler gutted out a 5-4 decision in double overtime to win his 220-pound championship final in the 5A state tournament and simultaneously secure the Patriots a state team points record Saturday night at the Ford Idaho Center.

Blackwood’s victory gave the Patriots 320.5 points — enough to surpass the standard of 318.5 they set at last year’s tournament — and a substantial lead over second-place Borah with 200. Post Falls took third with 194.5, Meridian was fourth with 153.5 and Coeur d’Alene fifth (150).

“I had no clue (about the situation), but it makes it even more awesome,” Blackwood said.

A team-record six Centennial wrestlers won individual state championships, and eight competed in title matches. Their victories were so varied and unique, coach Collin Robertson wasn’t sure where to begin.

• Freshman Jaron Chavez got things started for the Patriots with his 4-3 upset of No. 1 Drake Foster — a two-time state champion — at 126 pounds.

• Sophomore Matthew Park held off two-time state champion Riley Connolly of Mountain View 5-2 at 132.

• Junior Dakota Wall knocked off top-ranked Tyler Wolf of Post Falls for a 4-2 victory at 138.

• Senior Hayden Tuma became the first Centennial wrestler, and the 20th in Idaho history, to win four consecutive state titles with his 4-3 decision over Lewiston’s Bryce Parson at 145.

• Senior Jon Jay Chavez completed an unbeaten season in which he did not allow a single opponent to score an offensive point after a 3-1 victory against Seth McLeod of Post Falls at 170.

“We feel a great sense of accomplishment, and we’re excited about the wonderful moment that it culminated in,” Robertson said. “We couldn’t have scripted it better.”

Of the 28 Centennial wrestlers who qualified for state, 14 placed among the top six.

Sophomores Trent Johnson (106) and Jake Garrison (113) each finished second for the Patriots, while sophomore Anthony Phero (98), senior Luke Algate (126), senior Kenny Raymes (152) and senior Ryan Despain (182) helped boost Centennial’s team score with fourth-place medals.

“We had a lot of guys that were banged up and working through injuries, just like any team,” Robertson said. “But they showed a lot of heart and toughness.”

Rachel Roberts: 377-6422, Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX

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