Caldwell’s second state wrestling championship in program history came without much fanfare.
Head coach Jeff Kloetzer barely cracked a smile.
With a 57.5-point lead after the first day of competition and 11 wrestlers in the semifinals, there wasn’t much in the way of drama for the Cougars on Saturday at Holt Arena.
Caldwell finished with 289 points — more than 100 ahead of second-place Lakeland (184.5) — and sent one wrestler to the top of the podium.
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“Not getting more champs just hurts a little bit,” Kloetzer said. “I wanted to see that happen. These guys worked hard, and we didn’t have a great day wrestling and still scored that many points.
“It would have been better to have had a little better day.”
Consider it motivation for next season.
Of the 15 Caldwell wrestlers that placed among the top six at state, 10 will be back next season, including 120-pound champion Ismael Cerros. Twenty of the 25 Cougars who qualified for state will return.
“Having an individual title is fun, but having one with the team is even more fun,” said Cerros, who earned a 6-5 decision over Lakeland’s Brian Edelblute. “We can all share it and celebrate together.”
Second-place finishes from Brandon Gonzalez (132), Cyrus Salcedo (138), Irving Capuchino (160) and Drew Sowards (285) helped pad Caldwell’s lead.
Four other Cougars took third: Oscar Gonzalez (98), Dante Carreno (113), Adrian Adame (145) and Triden Mitchell (220).
KUNA’S PERRY COMPLETES FOUR-PEAT
Senior Levi Perry became the 23rd wrestler in tournament history to win four career state championships with his 10-4 decision over Twin Falls senior Dallin Hatch in the 195-pound title match.
Perry is the second Kuna wrestler to accomplish the feat, joining current Boise State wrestler Michael Cook, who completed his four-peat in 2014.
With his semifinal win wrapped up around 10 a.m., it was a near 10-hour wait before Perry was able to wrestle in the championship.
“I’ve been anxious all day to wrestle, been ready,” Perry said. “I was just trying to conserve my energy.”
After his victory, Perry received a round of hugs from his coaches, teammates and family.
“The best part about it was seeing him grow as an individual,” Kuna coach Pat Owens said. “To go from a boy to a young man and develop not just his wrestling, but in life in general.”
Of the 11 Treasure Valley wrestlers who appeared in 4A title matches, six earned victories. Here are the other four winners:
▪ After a fifth-place finish at 98 pounds as a freshman, Skyview sophomore Joshua Gallup broke through at the same weight this season for a 1-0 win over Lakeland freshman Sam Edelblute. Gallup finishes with a record of 45-8.
▪ Kuna sophomore Kreede Peterson improved on his fourth-place medal last season with a 10-4 win against Lakeland sophomore William Edelblute in the 106 final.
▪ Kuna senior Dusty Jones pinned Middleton’s Tyler Lucarelli in 1 minute, 12 seconds for the title at 152. Jones was one of three individual champions for Kuna, which finished ninth with 108 points.
▪ Mountain Home senior Taylor Ogaard scored an escape in the final seconds of the 220-pound final for a 3-1 decision over Burley senior Austin Hobbs. The Tigers finished seventh with 116.5 points.
- Team titles: Caldwell (4A)
- Individual winners: 19 (six 5A, six 4A, five 3A, two 2A)
- Finalists: 32