NAMPA, Idaho – It’s going to be a weekend to remember in the Edelblute household.
One year after going winless in the championship round, the family had three big reasons to celebrate Saturday as brothers Alex, Sam and William all won state titles at the Ford Idaho Center. The brothers’ victories were part of a perfect 5-for-5 championship round for Lakeland, which finished third in the 4A team race.
“It’s going to be a lot more competitive in the house now,” said freshman Alex Edelblute, who started things off with a first-round pin of Twin Falls’ Kase Mauger in the 98-pound final. “I wrestled that kid earlier this year, and he beat me by 10 points. I was just trying to keep it close, but I saw an opportunity and I went for it.”
Sam Edelblute, a 106-pound sophomore, was next up in a state championship rematch with Skyview’s Joshua Gallup. After a tactical, back-and-forth match, Edelblute prevailed with an 8-6 decision.
“I worked a lot harder this year,” Sam Edelblute said. “I got my revenge, and it feels good.”
The 113-pound final was one of the most exciting matches of the day, with junior William Edelblute looking to upset two-time champion and four-time finalist Pierce Mederios of Mountain Home. The match was scoreless until Edelblute scored a one-point escape with 1:01 remaining to win it.
“It went exactly like I planned,” Edelblute said. “It was pretty nerve-racking at the end, but I tried to stay aggressive and not coast on (the 1-0 lead).”
The three titles won by Edelblutes were matched by 138-pound Lakeland junior Larry Johnson, who earned a 6-3 decision over Caldwell’s Christian Hudson to capture his third gold medal in as many years.
Johnson becomes the seventh three-time champion in 4A history, and is quest to go 4 for 4 remains intact.
“I think the biggest attribute to my success is not looking ahead,” Johnson said. “I just try to dominate one match at a time and not think about anything else.”
Top-seeded senior Jared Walker also earned a repeat title for the Hawks, winning his second championship with a 6-4 decision over Blackfoot’s Nathan Sargent in the 195-pound final.
Minico (247 points) edged two-time defending 4A champion Caldwell (236.5) for the team championship. Lakeland was third with 185 points.
Sugar Salem (216 points) topped Shelley and Snake River for the championship.
Kellogg senior Tanner Figueroa delivered as the top seed at 145, winning a 3-2 decision over Shelley’s Braxton Balmforth in the final.
Ririe ran away with its third consecutive team title, scoring 188.5 points.
Undefeated St. Maries senior Dylan Edwards was one of the stars of the tournament, racking up four first-round pins on his way to the 152-pound championship. He capped it with a 34-second pin of Malad’s Hazen Smith.
“I always come out aggressive and try to get the first-round pin,” Edwards said. “I stuck with my plan and stuck with my training, and it worked out for me here at state.”