Mead wrestling coach Phil McLean will give his team an early Christmas present.
The Panthers will take about five days off during the holidays. All except the Rogers brothers.
For a third weekend in a row, Mead captured a championship, romping to the Tri-State tournament title at North Idaho College in the 40th edition of the tourney. The Panthers had four individual champions and finished with 204 points.
Lewiston took second with 171, a half point ahead of Post Falls.
Jeremy Goulding (145 pounds), Chandler Rogers (160), Sam Voigtlander (170) and Jordan Rogers (182) all collected titles for Mead.
Goulding held off James Ost of Post Falls 3-1, using a takedown with 1 minute remaining in the third period for the margin of victory.
Chandler Rogers met Dylan Miller of Deer Park in the finals for a third straight weekend and came away with another victory. But this was a much tighter match. A takedown in the final period gave Rogers a 6-4 win.
Voigtlander gutted out a win, edging Diego Alvarado of Chandler, Ariz., 3-2. Voigtlander had to ride Alvarado the final 2 minutes to secure the win.
“Sam’s a different style of kid,” McLean said. “He grinds people down. The tougher the match the better it is for Sam.”
The title was sweet for Voigtlander.
“It was just a mental attitude that I had to keep doing what my coaches have told me to do and just grind out that last bit,” Voigtlander said. “I love a full six minutes. This means a lot. My hard work for four years is paying off now. This is a big moment for me.”
Jordan Rogers praised Voigtlander.
“His nickname is the ‘Voigt grinder,’ “ Rogers said. “He’s got quite the gas tank. He sticks to his game plan and wrestles real solid.”
Jordan Rogers wanted to be patient and work on technique in the final. But when an opening presented itself, Rogers used what McLean calls a “Superman move” and pinned Ryan Olliges of Lake Stevens in 58 seconds.
“I was planning on trying takedowns and stuff, but I ended up with an arm bar,” Rogers said. “Normally, I’ll try to turn him and get some near-fall points but I felt him start to stand up and that’s the big set-up for the move that I hit.”
Rogers said he and his brother won’t take as much time off as the rest of the team.
“I’m not just looking forward to the end of the high school season but I’m also looking to go into college as well,” said the Oklahoma State University-bound Rogers. “I’ll get in the room with my brother and do some training and hopefully close that gap from high school to college a little bit. If you want to reach your goals you have to be preparing ahead for them. I want to be an NCAA champ and an Olympic champ.”
Lewiston earned its first Tri-State trophy, and the Bengals did so with seven placers and no individual champions.
“We were just hoping to be in the top four,” Lewiston coach Dan Maurer said. “This is big for us. To do it with no champs and really in a race the whole way … it was by the skin of our teeth.”
For the second weekend in a row, Hermiston senior Joey Delgado was named the Outstanding Wrestler. Delgado, who is headed to Oregon State, scored an 11-4 win over Shannon Maris of Orting at 138 pounds.
In arguably the most exciting final, Tyler Berger of Hermiston edged Joey Palmer of Tahoma 7-6 in triple overtime at 132.
Berger trailed 5-1 to start the third period but got two takedowns, including the final one with 3 seconds left, to force overtime.
In other finals involving area athletes, Garrett DeMers of Coeur d’Alene held off Matt Hopkins of Tahoma 7-6 at 195; Dan Schoultz of Central Valley topped Kyle Cosby of University 6-3 at heavyweight; Derrick Bender of Riverside nipped Ryan Rigney of Lewiston 6-5 at 220; Nico Moreno of Moses Lake pinned Mitchell Bocook of North Central in 4:18 at 152; Josh Newberg of Kelso scored a 12-2 major decision over Jake Konzal of Deer Park at 113; and Tristan Moran of Chandler downed Drake Foster of Post Falls 6-4 at 106.