POCATELLO — When you dabble in the kinds of state title runs put together by Sugar-Salem and Ririe, folks start throwing around various D-words.
Dynastic. Dominatorial. Discombobulators.
Whatever D-word fits your tongue in describing the 4-time defending state champ Bulldogs and the 2-time defending state champ Diggers, both lived up to the letter on the opening day of the State Wrestling Championships in Pocatello.
Ririe opened up a 21-point lead on second-place Declo after Day 1, scoring 107 entering this morning’s action.
In all, the Bulldogs have eight wrestlers in the semifinals, putting them in prime position to claim a fifth-straight 2A championship.
If they do so, they will become just the second team in Idaho in any classification to win five straight. The Alvin Dalley-led Teton Redskins won six (1968-73).
“We like our position, but we’ve got to come out tomorrow and do it on the mat,” Ririe coach Chris Harris said. “Every kid out here came here wanting to be a state champ or a state placer, and that’s what we’re up against.”
Things are much tighter for the Diggers who have scored a 3A best 110 points, placing them just ahead of Snake River (100.5), South Fremont (97) and Fruitland (95).
“The first round tomorrow is going to be huge for us,” Sugar-Salem coach Keven Glider said. “We had a good first day, but I’m not satisfied. You never are.
“But I am nervously optimistic about Saturday.”
Sugar and Snake have split the last four 3A state titles, and today’s action is setting up to be a scoreboard watchers dream.
The Panthers have 10 semifinalists entering today’s action, giving them a slight advantage on the top half of the bracket.
The championship semifinals featuring eight Diggers and 10 Panthers are scheduled to begin this morning at 8:30.
“We’re praying for a good round in the morning, and it’s going to be a good, tough day,” Snake River coach Jeff Gardner said. “Sugar’s going to be tough, but those suckers are tough every year.”
Blackfoot leads District 6 schools in the 4A team standings, sitting in fourth place with 82 points.
Following a disappointing Day 1, the Bonneville Bees are seventh at 64.
“What you expect at state never happens, but our guys are battling,” Bonneville coach Zairrick Wadsworth said. “We’re hoping for a good morning, and we will see what happens.”
Kuna is way out in front in 4A with a 30.5-point lead at 127.5, and Post Falls (130.5) is leading 5A by 23.5. The lone District 6 team to crack the top 10 in 5A is Madison at 50.5.
Consolation rounds will follow the morning’s championship semifinals, with the Parade of Athletes and championship finals scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.