There were high expectations for the 2013-2014 Kuna High School Wrestling team at the beginning of the season. They not only exceeded those expectations, but gave wrestling fans their money’s worth. The season was full of tournament wins, special awards and this past weekend, was capped by winning the 4A State Championship. Not only did they win, they set a new team record for the 4A State Championship tournament. It was down to the wire and JC English’s pinning of Bonneville’s Stephen Boone in the 285-pound weight category, the last bout of the evening, put them over the top with 318 total team points. That 318 mark was ½ point higher than the previous record set in 2001 by Sandpoint.
During the first tournament rounds on Friday, 10 mats were spread across the floor of the Ford Idaho Center. The entire Kuna entourage was sporting fluorescent orange sweatshirts with “In the Hunt” and a list of all the competing wrestlers. Looking up to the stands, there were a lot of Kuna fans sporting those in attendance. The entire place smelled of sweat and testosterone with wrestlers warming up for their matches or toweling off after having just finished. It was a flurry of activity.
By Saturday morning, the team point totals had Kuna in a commanding lead with 244.5 points over Bonneville,188, and Columbia, 140.5. Anything but a complete utter implosion of the Kuna team would have kept them from winning the state title on Saturday. With 15 weight classes, Kuna was in the run for eight of the championships. In the end, they won six of those.
Casey Cobb (126 lbs) won his third state championship and finished with an undefeated season record of 41-0. Only nine wrestlers state wide, across all schools, entered the state tournament with undefeated records. Michael Cook (132 lbs) was one of the other ones with a 42-0 record. Michael won his fourth state championship after pinning his man. There have only been 20 wrestlers in state history to have won four consecutive titles. Interestingly, Columbia’s Tristan Jarboe (145 lbs) also added his name to the records. Tristan and Michael were the first 4A wrestlers in the elite list.
Kurtis Loftis (138 lbs) won his championship battle with a pin. Levi Perry (160 lbs) beat the defending state champion from 2013 and the wrestler who beat him for the district championship to clench the title. Colton Kesling (195 lbs) won the state championship in sudden death overtime. With tons of pressure on him, JC English (285) needed to win his bout for Kuna to set the new team record. He did.
Other Kuna wrestlers, although they did not win the championship, fared very well. Brady Barroso (106 lbs) placed third. Jacoby Peterson (113 lbs) placed second. Jake Lords (145 lbs) placed third. Tyler Jaramillo (152 lbs) placed second. Brayden Shell (170 lbs) placed fifth. Jordan Nolan (182 lbs) placed third. Andres Rodriquez (220 lbs) placed sixth.