The general consensus was that the Braves were heavy favorites to win their fourth straight Wyoming 3A team title and Star Valley’s Day 1 performance showed why.
The Braves put forth a monster championship quarterfinals where they won 14 of 17 matches which included ten pins, a tech fall and a 14-0 major decision.
In the semifinal round Star Valley qualified nine for Saturday’s finals including some intriguing story lines.
• At 120 pounds, Star Valley will wrestle for the title against themselves as Haze Child won via a pin and Brayden Andrews won in sudden victory to set up an all Braves Final.
• The Hicks family watched twins Tristian (126) and Grayson (132) wrestle at the same time, both winning by decision and advancing to the finals in their senior campaign.
• Ren King battled to a 6-5 victory in the final moments to advance to the finals at 145 pounds.
• Koa DeLong won 5-0 at 170 pounds to make the finals after suffering a serious injury back in Zero Week of the football season.
• At 182 pounds, Trent Clark saw a 4-1 lead evaporate in an odd scramble but calmly recovered to win via pin and advance to the finals.
• Brennen Harris put together a big-time throw to pick up a pin at 220 pounds after going 0-2 as a junior last season in the state tournament.
• Finally at 285, Parker Merritt also advanced with a pin after going 0-2 at the state tournament a year ago.
In the team standings, the Braves are leading second-place Douglas by a whopping 94.5 points with a total of 232.0.
Braves still alive include:
106: Jacob Guild in the Consolation Semifinals.
113: Both Waylon Nelson & Winston Green in the Consolation Semifinals
126: Spencer Larson in the Consolation Semifinals
138: Harrison Hoopes in the 3rd Round Wrestle-backs
145: Kale Johnson in the 3rd Round Wrestle-backs
152: Tyson Hoopes in the Consolation Semifinals
160: Kyle Kunz in the Consolation Semifinals & Greyson Hunsaker in the 3rd Round Wrestle-backs
195: Connor O’Brien in the 3rd Round Wrestle-backs
220: Gabe Nield in the 3rd Round Wrestle-backs