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AMERICAN FALLS â€” The defending 3A state champions took to the mats on Thursday morning, looking to add a Southeastern Idaho Conference title to their already impressive resume.
At the end of a hard day of wrestling, Snake River did just that as they qualified 14 wrestlers into next weekends state tournament. Crowned seven individual champions en route to their first district title in a few years.
"It was nice," Snake River head coach Jeff Gardner said. "It's been a while since we've been the district champs. Hopefully we will stay focused on our goals and each of our kids will wrestle to their best next weekend."
Jake Frost won a title at 106 while defending state champ Skylerr Valentine picked up a conference title at 113. Cache Carter joined the ranks of gold medal winners at 120 while Diego Moraz continued his strong season with a conference title at 132.
Braden Beard, Kutler Howel and Colter Carter each stood atop the medal podium with titles at 145, 152 and 182.
"We got a clutch performance from Kutler at 152," Coach Gardner said. "Our varsity kid was hurt and to have Kutler step in from the J.V. and pick up a district title was huge for us."
Panthers picking up second place finishes were Treyton Nillson, River Stephenson, Mark Williams and Cash Cardona.
Kaden Bench, Jett Bingham and Morgan Smith each punched their tickets to state with third place finishes.
"I think that we have the potential to win the whole thing again," Coach Gardner said. "One thing is for sure. We are capable of being in the running. Hopefully we will be able to stay focused and bring our best wrestling to the mats next week."
The state tournament returns to Holt Arena and will be held next Friday and Saturday.