This weekend’s state wrestling tournament will feature seven wrestlers from Rigby High School after the team finished in 4th place during the district tournament Feb. 13.
Head Coach Jacob Eck said the team took 11 wrestlers to districts. He pointed out that the next smallest team took 23 wrestlers.
“It’s hard to compete when you have half as many wrestlers,” he said.
Of the 11 wrestlers, six competed in the semifinals and four would go onto to compete in the finals. Eck said the finals featured senior and three-time runner-up Ethan Waldron, Jaxon Shipper and two freshmen, Rhope Rasmussen and Payton Brooks. The other wrestlers to compete at state include, Karson Johnson, Robby Boone and David Fife.
Waldron made it to the finals each of his four years wrestling where he took 2nd place each time. This year he said he put in a lot of extra work to improve his skills and focused on the little details to push him to the next level.
“It was pretty awesome,” he said. “It was a great experience and I hope to go on and win the state title.”
Last season the team took five wrestlers to state where two placed. Eck said this year the team was very shorthanded, but they worked hard all year. He said the biggest difference this year was the whole team buying into the fact that they could start a winning trend at the school by working and competing hard.
As the team enters state, Eck said he expects at least two of them to make it to the finals.
“I think we can go in there and do really well,” he said. “All of our kids have the potential to place, which would be really big for Rigby.”
The state tournament will take place Feb. 22 and 23.
“The team just worked really hard all year,” Eck said. “And I think we can win a lot of matches at state.”