The fight was on, but Sawyer Hobbs was out.
Nursing a kidney stone, Hobbs sat sweating in pain as his South Fremont teammates stepped one-by-one into the circle against American Falls.
Thanks to the stone, Hobbs was a scheduled forfeit.
South Fremont coach Jed Clark knew this scratch meant taking a 12-point hit, as Hobbs pins opponents at a rate in excess of 95 percent.
But there Hobbs sat, all dressed for the dance but forced by circumstance to play the wallflower.
As he sat there watching his teammates fight the good fight, Hobbs had a notion. A revelation.
“He walked over to me and basically said, ‘Coach, it’s going to hurt whether I wrestle or if I don’t. So I might as well wrestle,’”
And wrestle he did. And it hurt. And 23 seconds later, Hobbs had a pin.
And if Hobbs winced when the referee raised his hand in victory, that was OK.
It was going to hurt anyway.
That’s basically all you really need to know about Sawyer Hobbs. That and the 182-pounder is the 2018-19 Post Register All Area Wrestler of the Year.
Hobbs won his third consecutive state championship for the Cougars this past season, racking up a 52-0 record along the way.
All but two of Hobbs’ contested wins this past season were by pin, with the other two coming by major decision. Hobbs did not face the 5A or 2A champions, but he beat 4A champ Alamar Alexander (Columbia) to win the Weiser Invitational — with a pin.
In addition to state and the Weiser event, Hobbs took gold at the Buhl Invitational, Tiger-Grizz, Sugar-Salem Digger Classic, and 3A District 6 championships — all with title match pins.
Not only did Hobbs win 44 of his 46 contested matches by pin (95.7 percent), those pins came in an average of 91 seconds — meaning it was a victory of sorts just to survive the first round against Hobbs.
But you won’t hear Sawyer talking himself up.
Reserved, mellow, and typically wearing a little grin, Hobbs is a study in quiet confidence.
“Sawyer enjoys winning. He enjoys a good fight, just like anybody because of all the work that goes into it,” Clark said. “But his personality is pretty quiet. Humble.”
Hobbs is now 150-6 through three seasons as a prep wrestler, with five of those losses coming during his freshman season.
Despite his success, Hobbs keeps trying to work on the weaknesses, wherever he may find them.
Remaining calmly deliberate in the circle, well, that comes naturally.
“I know I have to stay calm and try to perfect what I do, and I just know I want to stay the aggressor and pin everybody.” Hobbs said.
And he did exactly that at an unheard of rate, all while enduring a pair of kidney surgeries that cost him several weeks of the season.
“He’s a tough, tough kid,” Clark said. “To have a kid like that in the wrestling room, with his personality is huge for the future of this program. Young kids in this town look up to him, and he is able to pull a lot of those kids in.”
And that doesn’t hurt a bit.