As Pocatello High School’s Cole Davis was trying to get Preston’s Rylee Hobbs’ shoulders to the mat to earn a pin, his teammates and coaches began to scream and jump with excitement.
When the referee’s hand hit mat to give Davis the win in his 126-pound championship match the coaches and players erupted.
This was the first of many wins for the Pocatello High School wrestling team during the 4A Fifth District wrestling tournament at Century High School Wednesday afternoon.
Pocatello won the district championship by finishing the day with 370 points. The Indians also had 14 wrestlers clinch a berth in next week’s state championships at Holt Arena.
“It is good for the kids,” Pocatello wrestling coach Todd Praska said. “It was a good day for us. I knew we were going to finish strong today, but I did not think we were going to be that good.”
Pocatello got rolling early in the championship matches. The Indians got wins from Anthony Baca at 106 pounds, Andre Aguinaga at 113, defending state champion Taylor Higbee at 120 and Braxton Jensen at 132.
The Robbins brothers, Carson and Cordell, each won their weight classes for Pocatello. Senior Carson defeated Shade Smith of Century 6-0. While little brother Cordell, a sophomore, used a late two-point escape to defeat Daniel Larsen from Preston 2-0.
AJ Elrod and Alex Iszler capped off the number winners for the Indians.
Century wrestling coach Russ Wood will have his team well-represented next week as well after six wrestlers qualified for state with their finishes on Wednesday.
Ignatius Bisharat and Sterling Ritcheson each won their championship matches at 182 and 195 pounds receptively.
“I love these kids,” Wood said of his team. “They put their heart and soul into this wrestling season and it is not an easy sport. It is not a very glamorous one either, but they are here working hard because they love the sport.”
Smith and Arthur Hammer also qualify for state with their runner-up finishes.
Preston’s second place team performance put 10 wrestlers in the state championships.
At 160 pounds, Preston’s Tyson Hall had to overcome numerous stoppages in the first period due to the bloody nose of Pocatello’s Rowdy Allen.
Being covered in blood a couple of times did not deter Hall as he used a take down late in the third period to earn a 7-5 win.
Bubba Fitzgerald earned Preston’s final victory of the day when he defeated Pocatello’s Emilio Archuleta with a pin in the second period.
After the victory, Fitzgerald got up a let out yell of excitement.
Preston finished second in the team scores with 244 and Century was third with 170.
The winners and runners-up from each of the championship matches earned the automatic berth into the state tournament.
The 2012 Idaho State Wrestling Tournament begins Friday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m. inside Holt Arena.