Full schedules & scores
North Central High School wrestling coach Luke Leifer, seen here in 2014, has resigned after 10 years as head coach. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

Prep wrestling notebook: Coeur d’Alene’s Casey Randles wins national title

Coeur d’Alene wrestler Casey Randles has three state championships on his resume – two from when he was at Sandpoint.

Nothing, though, tops what he accomplished last month in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Randles, a 182-pounder, captured a national title at the National High School Coaches Association finals.

Randles, who has signed to wrestle at the University of Wyoming, won six matches capped by a 9-2 victory over two-time Virginia state champ Michael Battista.

Most of his wins were decisive, including a 13-2 major decision over Washington state champ Trevor Senn of Mead in the second round.

Senn signed this week to wrestle at Boise State. Randles went 3-0 against Senn this winter, including a win in the Tri-State title match.

Randles said he wrestled well because he got out of the way.

“I looked at the faces of the other guys and they were really nervous,” Randles said. “I just smiled and had fun.”

Randles, whose family moved to Coeur d’Alene before school started last fall, sailed to a 45-0 record this season. He was 40-0 last year.

“I loosened up,” he said of the national tourney. “I wasn’t competing to win. I got worked up in my quarterfinal match. But I settled down after the first period. I took a deep breath and loosened up.”

Randles, who has a 3.8 grade-point average, figures he’ll redshirt next fall at Wyoming. He wants to study English and literature.

“It’d be great to be a teacher or professor,” Randles said.

Leifer steps down as NC coach

Luke Leifer made a deal with his wife before he became a head wrestling coach.

At some point in her career, he would get out of coaching so she could pursue an administrative job in education.

Leifer, 42, didn’t think that time would come this soon. But it’s time for him to keep his part of the deal.

He resigned as head coach at North Central after 10 years so his wife can take an administrative job in the West Valley School District.

It’s Leifer’s turn to chase his kids around – a 2-year-old boy and a 3-month-old girl.

“I definitely support her,” Leifer said. “Coaching wrestling is a full-time gig and a hard job. You have to coach in the spring and go to summer tournaments. I owed it to my wife so she could pursue her thing. It was definitely a hard decision.”

Although NC athletic director Gabe Medrano knew it was a possibility he’d lose Leifer, seeing him step down wasn’t easy.

“It is with a sad heart I announce that my good friend and a great coach will be stepping down at NC,” Medrano said in an email last month.

Leifer had many feats, perhaps chief among them coaching the Indians to their first state championship in 2014. This year, he was on the edge of the mat to watch senior Clai Quintanilla become the first four-time state champ in Greater Spokane League history.

“Luke will be sorely missed,” Medrano said.

What made the decision more difficult for Leifer is he was a 1993 NC graduate. But he’s proud of what he built and believes the success will continue.

“We have a really good team coming back with a returning state champ and five state participants back,” Leifer said. “This was a good class to go out with. But I’m not leaving the cupboard bare.”