The Kuna Middle School wrestling team won its 32nd consecutive district championship earlier this month.
The team started with 136 seventh and eighth grade boys vying for 38 spots on the district team, and few had spent much time on the mat prior. In order to continue the longest winning streak in the country, Kuna (athletes and coaches) had a lot of work to do.
Kuna finished the dual season with a perfect 12-0 record after trailing East Valley by nine points with only three matches to go in the last duel of the season. Winning the first two matches meant the outcome came down to the last match of the night and heavyweight Quenten Weeks sealed the deal for the Kavemen.
Just like the dual, every wrestler, every point and every match was going to factor into the final result of the district championship and Kuna came into the second day of the 13-team, two-day tournament trailing East Valley by four points.
With 35 of the 37 wrestlers winning at least one match the second day, 26 of 37 Kuna wrestlers earned a spot on the medal podium, and the overall team effort propelled Kuna to a 101.5-point win over East Valley and extended the longest winning streak in the nation to 32 years.
Top teams included Kuna, with 565.5; East Valley (Columbia HS), with 464;and Jefferson (Caldwell HS), with 402.
I could not be any happier with this team coaching staff. We faced an uphill battle, but everyone worked hard and worked together for the championship.
It is incredible to have 136 young men come out join a wrestling program, but the logistics of teaching so many to wrestle competitively is overwhelming.
Coaches Adam Winkler, Jeremy Furhiman, Rance Peterson and Jim Ghormley deserve much credit for the dedication and effort put into teaching these young men.
And, while 37 wrestlers competed in the district tournament, many others contributed to this championship but did not compete in the tournament.
I am proud of every member of this team, from the young man who showed up every day and never won a match to the district champions. Wrestling will challenge you both mentally and physically; it has and will continue to change young mens’ lives for the better. I am proud to be a part of such a great program and sport.
I would also like to thank statisticians JoAnn Arnold, Kena Cook and Hailey Montgomery.
-Submitted by Coach Wade Palmer