Coeur d’Alene junior Drew Roberts has taken the Tri-State wrestler label quite literally.
Roberts has won the prestigious North Idaho College tournament twice, but that’s not where this distinction was born.
After winning an Oregon state title as a freshman at Crescent Valley and placing third in Washington as a sophomore at University, Roberts is now aiming for a 138-pound crown in Idaho.
Three schools. Three states. Three potential state medals.
Roberts made the short move to Coeur d’Alene last summer, where he competes for his uncle and longtime Vikings coach Jeff Moffat.
Coeur d’Alene, which placed second at state behind league rival and Idaho power Post Falls, got an immediate boost by adding one of the best lightweights in the Northwest.
“It’s been awesome,” Roberts said of the move. “Ever since I was a little kid I thought about what it would be like to wrestle for (Moffat).”
Roberts was born in Coeur d’Alene when his father Kevin Roberts – a former University High and Oregon star – was an assistant coach at junior college power North Idaho College.
Roberts also had coaching stints at Minnesota and Oregon State and moved back to the Spokane area in 2018.
After one season wrestling for Washington Wrestling Hall of Fame coach Don Owen, who retired last spring, the younger Roberts was ready for a change.
“He wanted to be around his uncles and his cousins,” Moffat said. “He’s probably the hardest worker we’ve ever had. From his diet, to weights and running, he does all that on his own, doesn’t need to be told.
“He’s the prototype of a great high school wrestler. He wants to wrestle at the D-I level and has seen what it takes to get there.”
Roberts can’t point to a major difference between the high-level competition in Oregon, Washington and Idaho.
He has won major tournaments in each state, including Idaho’s biggest annual tournament, the Rollie Lane Invitational, last month in Nampa.
“It’s been a lot different, some things better than others and there’s always adjusting,” Roberts said of attending three high schools. “But competing is competing and I love to compete.”
Roberts is ranked No. 1 in Idaho for his weight class, according to Idaho Wrestling News.
Defending state champion Gunner Giulio (160) is also ranked No. 1 for talent-heavy Coeur d’Alene, which is vying for its first state title since 2011.
Post Falls returned three state champions and other medalists.
“We want to win it,” Roberts said. “We have a pretty good chance, I think.”
Locals medal in Montana
Mead placed third at the Rocky Mountain Classic in Missoula last weekend, one of the toughest tournaments in the region.
The Panthers (180 points), who won the team title a year ago, were led by Chase Randall (126) and Trace Franks (285), who both finished second. Great Falls (213 points) won the tournament.
Coeur d’Alene, which placed sixth, was led by champs Roberts (138) and Giulio (160). East Valley’s Avery Sundheim (132) also placed second.
CV wins at Clearwater
Central Valley won five weight classes at the Clearwater Classic at Lewiston High School on Saturday, cruising to a team title.
Defending State 4A champion Braxton Mikesell (285) paced the Bears, who scored 201 points in the 14-team tournament. Gonzaga Prep (95 points) placed 12th.