RIGBY — So what can be sweeter than thirteen straight conference wrestling titles? How about fourteen straight blue trophies? That is exactly what the Blackfoot Broncos accomplished on Friday as they outdistanced second place Bonneville 409.5 to 351 in the 4A High Country Conference tournament which was held at Rigby High School.
"The team title is something that we have been looking forward to since our loss to Bonneville at the Bonneville duels at the start of the season," senior captain Jon Horak said. "I just love everyone of my brothers. All of them have worked so hard all year and today they showed a ton of heart and showed everyone what B.A.B. means."
All told Blackfoot qualified 14 wrestlers into next weekends state wrestling tournament while capturing four individual district titles.
With seven wrestlers heading into the finals the Blackfoot faithful were in full throat as they brought the men in black down the stretch.
Chace Wasia was the first of the Broncos to take to the mats in the finals and after six grueling minutes on the mat with Hillcrest's Cade Christensen, Wasia stood victorious with a 3-2 decision.
Next up was Jeremy Robbins at 126 and he too fought it out with a tough Hillcrest wrestler. Robbins was ahead by two points late in the third period when he finished off Zack Packer with a third period pin.
Tate Hansen then battled Shelley's Chase Call in the 132 final in what turned out to be one of the finest three period battles that one could hope to see.
Call eventually got the district title with a late takedown which propelled the defending state champion to a 6-5 decision over Hansen.
"Both of those matches, Jeremy and Tate were just wars," Blackfoot head coach Thain Cashmore said. "Tate's match was epic. He came out and took it to Call and you have to tip your hat to Call, he is a fine wrestler but I think that Tate has made incredible improvement through the season and he really held his own out there today."
"Jeremy had a great technical match," Coach Cashmore continued. "He looked like a surgeon out there. He came in with a plan and he executed it to perfection."
Blackfoot got back on top of the medal stand with Ruben Pulido's first period pin at 138 and at 152, Jon Horak turned in a masterful performance with a 5-2 win over Bonneville's Jeremy Hansen.
"I honestly came into the match with some nerves," Horak said. "I just had to tell myself to do what Jon-Jon does best and it all worked out for me."
Austin Mathis and Chance Jensen each had shots at district titles at 182 and 220 but each fell to their opponent. Jensen's loss was to Bingham County foe Vince Landon from Shelley. Landon's win was his 100th as a prep wrestler.
Rounding out the state qualifiers for the Broncos were 6 third place finishers with Jared Evans, Kohl Bingham, Layton Wasia, Ryan Climer, Connor Henderson, Bryant Sargent and Jonathan Littlejohn.
The third place finishes were especially important to the team total as most of those third place matches were head-to-head with Bonneville wrestlers.
"It was in the consolation matches where we won the tournament," Coach Cashmore said. "Everyone of those kids met the challenge and rose to the occasion when we needed them."
Blackfoot will hit the mats at the state tournament beginning next Friday at Idaho State's Holt Arena where they will look to place several wrestlers into Saturday's thrilling finals.
"State is the final match and we are heading into it with high hopes," Coach Cashmore said. "Hopefully we can garner some points, wrestle well and let everything work itself out in the wash."