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Meridian's Hudson Rogers Wins National Title
Team Idaho Wrestling also produced eight All-Americans
Published: 11/1/2023 1:53:57 PM
Al Fontes
Contributing Writer


The other day, I was asked by a friend of mine, “when does wrestling start back-up again.” My response, “it never really ends.” This is especially the case for those wrestlers that are committed to reaching the highest level possible in their respective age groups and beyond. For instance, after the prep season is complete around late February, there are plenty of state, regional, and national level competitions in the three styles (Folkstyle, Freestyle, and Greco) to compete in for the remainder of the year until next season. They include NHSCA Nationals, USAW Folkstyle Nationals, Western Regionals, Freakshow, UWW World Trials, and Fargo Nationals in the summer to name a few. It actually doesn’t stop there. Thus, earlier in the month of October, there was the Elite Super 32 Challenge in Greensboro, North Carolina and this past weekend, a dedicated contingent of Idaho wrestlers traveled to Des Moines, Iowa to compete at the 2023 Brian Keck Memorial Preseason Nationals & Boys National Recruiting Showcase sponsored by USA Wrestling. Led by Meridian’s Hudson Rogers winning his first prep level national title in the Showcase Division at 175s, Team Idaho produced a total of eight All-Americans

Entering his senior year at Meridian High School, Hudson Rogers is rated among the top returning wrestlers in the state of Idaho and to date has built quite an impressive wrestling resume. For starters, Rogers is an early commit to Oregon State University and entering his senior season has one state title to his credit (’21) and has made two trips to the state finals. On top of that, he has earned multiple All-American honors from Fargo and the USAW Folkstyle Nationals in addition to his first prep level title this year.

Rated among the top lightweights in the country, Blackfoot’s Mack Mauger placed a solid third in the highly competitive 120-pound weight division. Committed to the University of Missouri, Mauger enters his senior year focused on earning a rare fourth title in the 4A division. Historically, Mauger is among the most decorated wrestlers to ever come out of the Gem State. For instance, this past summer in Fargo, he earned a state record fifth national title and has multiple All-American honors in Freestyle and Greco and Folkstyle titles to his credit. In fact, he has earned a couple prestigious USAW Triple Crown awards for winning titles in each of the three styles in the same year.

Also joining Rogers and Mauger on the All-American podium consists of a solid group of Gem State wrestlers with multiple state and All-American accolades already to their credit. They include 2x State Champion Talen Eck (Thunder Ridge), South Fremont’s Jaxton Packer, a multiple state placer and Fargo All-American, 3x state medalist Jacob Blandford of Middleton, and Carlos Valdez (Bishop Kelly), a 2x state placer, Folkstyle All-American, and Fargo All-American this past summer.

Earning his first prep level All-American honor is Canyon Ridge’s Sean Hall, who placed a solid third in the frosh/soph division. Placing fourth in the state as a freshman, Hall returns this season among the top underclassman in Idaho. Joining Hall with a first All-American honor as well is Kaden MacKenzie of Fruitland. Only a junior, MacKenzie is a 2x state finalist and among the favorites to challenge for the state title this year.

Overall, it was a great showing by Team Idaho at another national level competition. More importantly, this is another example of the commitment by many wrestlers, coach, and volunteers to elevate and showcase the Gem State’s talent among the nation’s elite. I want to congratulate all participants and coaches that participated and represented our great state. We’re One Idaho!

The 2023-’24 prep season is quickly approaching us and from what I see returning this year will not disappoint. More to follow in the coming months!!



126 – Sean Hall (Canyon Ridge, 10), 3rd Place



175 – Hudson Rogers (Meridian, 12), NATIONAL CHAMPION

120 – Talen Eck (Thunder Ridge, 12), 2nd Place

157 – Kaden MacKenzie (Fruitland, 11), 2nd Place

120 – Mack Mauger (Blackfoot, 12), 3rd Place

126 – Jaxton Packer (South Fremont, 12), 5th Place

150 – Carlos Valdez (Bishop Kelly, 11), 6th Place

165 – Jacob Blandford (Middleton, 12), 8th Place

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