POCATELLO – To say the Post Falls wrestling team had a good weekend in Pocatello would be quite the understatement.
In a record-setting performance, the Trojans captured seven individual state championships and amassed 338.5 points to capture the 5A State team title. Runner-up Bonneville scored 172.5.
The score set the all-time team scoring record for any classification, topping the previous record of 320.5 set by Centennial.
The Trojans sent 10 competitors to the finals in their respective weight divisions, including two matchups that pitted Post Falls teammates against each other.
Most notable of all Trojans state champions was Ridge Lovett (45-0), a 126-pounder who took seventh in the 2017 World Championships and regularly competes at the national and international level. Ridge captured his third consecutive state championship, capping his season with a 10-4 victory over Hillcrest’s Derek Ramos (45-6.)
“This was a great one,” Lovett said of his team’s performance. “We’re just so happy that God gave it to us, and we just came together at the right time. It was amazing.”
Lovett coasted through the tournament to the finals, earning first-round pins in his first two matches and a second-round pin in his semifinal match on the way to his showdown with Ramos.
Although he took an early lead, Lovett gave up a reversal at the end of the first round, leading to a close call that elicited a collective gasp from the onlookers.
“I tried to force something that wasn’t there and gave up a stupid reversal,” Lovett said of the rare mistake.
Lovett overcame the early gaffe and held on for the 10-4 victory.
Roddy Romero (35-4) scored a 9-2 decision over fellow Trojan Braxton Mason to capture the 98-pound individual crown, the first of seven individual titles for Post Falls. The 152-pound final also saw Trojans teammates square off, with Tyler Morris (32-7) edging Wyatt Shelly (39-9) 2-0.
Issac Jessen (32-6) came out on top in a thrilling conclusion to the 113-pound final, topping Meridian’s Cade Hernandez (37-8).
After a back-and-forth match that was tied at the end of regulation, Jessen scored on a takedown in sudden victory to pick up the 5-3 win.
In the 120-pound finals, Post Falls’ Jordan Grimm (43-7) earned another close victory, outlasting Kuna’s Preston Owens (29-9) 7-5. AJ Delarosa (37-10) capped off Post Falls’ dominance of the lower weights by knocking off Columbia’s Angel Rios (48-9) 2-1.
The only Trojan who made it to the finals and lost to a competitor from another school was Justin Burchell (31-8) at 145. Burchell lost 8-1 in the finals to defending state champion Kekana Fouret (48-5) of Columbia, who defeated Burchell’s Trojans teammate Mathias Delarosa in the semifinal round.
Coeur d’Alene placed 12th with 56 points.