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2024 Idaho High School State Wrestling Tournament Preview (Class 5A)
Al Fontes breaks down the athletes to watch, title contenders, and dark horses in Class 5A
Published: 2/21/2024 9:47:28 PM
Al Fontes
Contributing Writer
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS





The 2024 Idaho State Wrestling Championships in the 5A division is expected to be a highly contested event with a multitude of wrestlers maintaining exceptional state and national accolades, which includes 11 returning State Champions, 52 returning state placers, and 16 with All-American honors to their credit in addition to 6 wrestlers already committed to compete at the collegiate level. The team race is expected to be a barnburner from the start to finish and will definitely come down to overall team depth, performance, and peaking at the right time. Once again, the top contenders include perennial powers Meridian (5x Champions), Post Falls, Nampa, and several other teams vying for a top 5 spot. I expect the road to the team title to be no different than last year, which will require an “all-hands on deck” effort where bonus points and big scoring from the number two wrestlers is essential.

The leaders among the 11 returning State Champions are 3x State Champions Jason Mara of Meridian and Nampa’s Carson Exferd (138s). Earning multiple All-American at the Folkstyle Nationals and Fargo, Mara enters this year’s state tournament seeded #1 in the 152 pound weight group and is favored to win a rare fourth state title. Ranked nationally, Mara is an exceptional honor student and committed to compete for Stanford University. Also vying for title number four, Exferd is a prep level All-American committed to compete for the University of Wisconsin and to date has had an exceptional season battling top tier talent at Rollie, Reno TOC, and other tournaments, which includes his great rivalry with 4A State Champion Kolter Burton of Century. In fact, this great rivalry was the talk to the season.

Three other wrestlers are in position to earn a possible third title and will be tough to beat. They include All-Americans Rider Sequine (120 – Post Falls), Talen Eck (126 – Thunder Ridge), and North Idaho College commit Hoyt Hvass of Lewiston at 132s. The remaining six returning State Champions include Ryan Hirchert (98 – Nampa), Sawyer Anderson (106 – Highland), Tyson Barnhart (145 – Post Falls), and Meridian All-Americans Jeremiah Gonzalez (113s), Carson Gooley (195s), and Oregon State commit Hudson Rogers at 182s.

Among the 52 returning state placers are 7 wrestlers vying for a fourth state medal, 18 in position to earn a third, and 27 more in position to earn a second (see list below). The leaders among this talented group include 3x finalist Cole Currin of Kuna (132s), Western Colorado University commit Jacob Blandford of Middleton (160s), and Mountain View’s 11x All-American Shilo Jones, who is a returning finalist at 285s and will be attending North Dakota State University. Other talented wrestlers to watch with finals experience include Cash Weeks (220 – Middleton) and Nampa contingent IIan Shank (106s), Vincent Contreras (113s), Jonathan Seamons (170s), and the Macias brothers, Alijah and Aulani each at 120s.

Without a doubt, the team race is expected to be a carbon copy of what we witnessed last season with Meridian, Post Falls, and Nampa battling it out for the top spot. The favorite entering these championships is Meridian. They bring to Pocatello one of the largest contingents in the entire tournament (all divisions) with 24. This includes 3 returning State Champions, 6 returning medalists overall, 6 returning state qualifiers, and 12 more (7 freshman) battling for their first medal. Close behind is northern Idaho power Post Falls. They also bring a solid group with 7 returning state medalists and 19 qualifiers overall. Leading this talented group is 2x State Champion Rider Sequine (120s) and Tyson Barnhart (145s), a returning State Champion vying for his fourth medal overall. Other returning medalists include Logan Loaiza (113s), Tanner Piper (138s), Trey Smith (160s), Seth Martin (170s), and Kendall Sage (195s). We cannot count out Nampa, who has been battle tested all season. Although the Bulldogs only bring 14 to state, each of their 7 returning placers have state finals experience, which a majority has great potential to repeat. Among the remaining 7 qualifiers, there are four with state experience and will challenge for a spot on the medal stand. It doesn’t end here! Keep an eye on both Middleton (19 qualifiers) and Madison (21 qualifiers). Each team has solid line-ups and great potential to battle for a top 5 spot as well.

This season, there has been a solid group of freshmen that have made a name for themselves in the 5A and are ranked among the top tier in their respective weight groups. They include Madison’s Brand’n Edstrom (98s), Matthew Hamilton (106 – Post Falls), Jordan Schield (132 – Coeur d’ Alene), Ivan Ivanov (152 – Eagle), and Mountain View’s Ian Avalos, who beat returning 2x state placers Matthew Papa (Meridian) and Jabyn Kemble (Middleton) during the course of earning his first District III title.

Overall, I expect the 5A division to be a great competition featuring many of the state’s most talented wrestlers. The rubber will definitely meet the road very early in several of the weight groups. Below is a comprehensive list of top teams, returning champions, state placers, All-Americans, college commits, freshman to watch, and wrestlers rank nationally. Enjoy!!





 

TOP TEAMS TO WATCH


MERIDIAN (24)

 

Returning State Medalists (6)

113 – Jeremiah Gonzalez (Jr.), 2nd, State Champion

126 – Matthew Papa (Sr.), 3rd, 4th State

145 – Logan Shaver (Soph.), 4th State

152 – Jason Mara (Sr.), 3x State Champion

182 – Hudson Rogers (Sr.), State Champion (3A), 2nd State

195 – Carson Gooley (Sr.), 2nd, State Champion

 

Returning State Qualifiers (6)

120 – Justus Briggs (Soph.), 4th Dist. (2x)

132 – Ryan Amoureux (Soph.), 5th Dist. (2x)

138 – Andrae Ramirez (Jr.), 4th Dist. (2x)

160 – Camden Crespi (Jr.), 3rd Dist. (2x)

170 – Fabrizio Argana (Sr.), 4th Dist. (3x)

182 – Bradley Bones (Soph.), 7th Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (12)

98 – Drake Jayne (Fr.), 2nd Dist.

98 – Brigg Morrill (Fr.), 3rd Dist.

106 – Adam Ostoja (Fr.), 3rd Dist.

106 – Tobias Guillen (Fr.), 4th Dist.

113 – Jackson Beck (Fr.), 5th Dist.

120 – Vincent Torrez (Fr.), 6th Dist.

126 – Draken Miller (Fr.), 6th Dist.

138 – Gabe Bourner (Soph.), 8th Dist.,

152 – Fahad Hillesland (Sr.), 7th Dist.

160 – Hezekiah Suter (Soph.), 8th Dist.

195 – Tagen Lowe (Soph.), 9th Dist.

220 – Abdullah Abdulhameed (Jr.), 5th Dist.

 

POST FALLS (19)

 

Returning State Medalists (7)

113 – Logan Loaiza (Soph.), 4th State

120 – Rider Sequine (Jr.) 2x State Champion

138 – Tanner Piper (Jr.), 5th State

145 – Tyson Barnhart (Sr.), State Champion, 4th, 2nd State

160 – Trey Smith (Jr.), 5th, 3rd State

170 – Seth Martin (Jr.), 4th, 3rd State

195 – Kendall Sage (Jr.), 6th State

 

Returning State Qualifiers (2)

152 – Damion Hamilton (Soph.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

285 – Xander Scholes (Soph.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (10)

98 – Gage Loftin (Soph.), 2nd. Dist.

98 – Saul Benzinger (Fr.), 3rd. Dist.

106 – Jesse Villegas (Post Falls), 3rd. Dist.

106 – Matthew Hamilton (Fr.), 1st. Dist.

113 – Isaiah Cramer (Soph.), 4th. Dist.

152 – Taycen Genatone (Sr.), 2nd. Dist.

170 – Zane Smith (Soph.), 4th Dist.

182 – Landon Moore (Soph.), 3rd. Dist.

220 – Kyden Martin (Jr.), 3rd. Dist.

220 – Christopher Click (Jr.), 4th. Dist.

 

NAMPA (14)

 

Returning State Medalists (7)

98 – Ryan Hirchert (Soph.), State Champion

106 – IIan Shank (Soph.), 2nd State

113 – Vincent Contreras (Soph.), 2nd State

120 – Aulani Macias (Sr.), 2nd State

120 – Alijah Macias (Jr.), 2nd State

138 – Carson Exferd (Sr.), 3x State Champion

170 – Jonathan Seamons (Sr.), 3rd, 2nd State

 

Returning State Qualifiers (4)

98 – Teagan Navarro (Soph.), 6TH Dist. (2x)

132 – Jayden Dodge (Soph.), 3rd Dist. (2x)

145 – Akio Sanders (Sr.), 3rd Dist. (3x)

285 – Joey Duke (Sr.), 7th Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (3)

126 – Moses Kelley (Fr.), 4th Dist.

126 – Korbyn Sena (Fr.), 9th Dist.

195 – Jose Tamez (Soph.), 5th Dist.

 

MIDDLETON (19)

 

Returning State Medalists (4)

126 – Jabyn Kemble (Jr.) 4th, 3rd State

160 – Jacob Blanford (Sr.), 6th, 2nd, 2nd State

170 – Treven Hokland (Sr.), 4th State

220 – Cash Weeks (Sr.), 3rd, 2nd State

 

Returning State Qualifiers (6)

113 – Christian Segali (Jr.), 3rd Dist. (2x)

120 – Ahsten Beverlin (Sr.), 5th Dist. (2x)

132 – Walker Gunnell (Sr.), 6th Dist. (2x)

132 – Porter Hoopes (Jr.), 9th Dist. (2x)

152 – Ryan Lewis (Soph.), 3rd Dist. (2x)

285 – Dallyn Grimes (Jr.), 5th Dist. (3x)

 

State Qualifiers (9)

98 – Gaige Bill (Jr.), 9th Dist.

106 – Caleb Lombardo (Fr.), 7th Dist.

106 – Landon Conger (Fr.), 8th Dist.

138 – Luke Eager (Soph.), 6th Dist.

138 – Hunter Woolsey (Sr.), 7th Dist.

145 – Jaxson Rosti (Fr.), 8th Dist.

145 – Evan Sumsion (Jr.), 9th Dist.

152 – Hunter Maher (Jr.), 6th Dist.

182 – Russell Moulton (Jr.), 8th Dist.

 

MADISON (21)

 

Returning State Placers (4)

113 – Teague Jensen (Jr.), 5th. State

120 – Greyson Peterson (Soph.), 6th. State

160 – Cole Nelson (Sr.), 4th. State

285 – Rex Salas (Jr.), 6th. State

 

Returning State Qualifiers (8)

126 – Tanner Severn (Sr.), 3rd. Dist. (3x)

138 – Ace Ingram (Soph.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

145 – Spencer Wilcox (Sr.), 1st. Dist. (4x)

152 – Braxton Hanna (Jr.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

170 – Payson Abrams (Sr.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

182 – Todd Heward (Sr.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

195 – Cache Summers (Soph.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

220 – Porter Cottle (Jr.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

220 – Tayten Warnke (Sr.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (9)

98 – Brand’n Edstrom (Fr.). 1st. Dist.

98 – Rocky Jensen (Fr.), 4th. Dist.

106 – Rigdon Green (Fr.), 4th. Dist.

145 – Grant Gugelman (Fr.), 3rd. Dist.

160 – Colton Munns (Soph.), 3rd. Dist.

170 – Jacob Burke (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

182 – Rowdy Weekes (Jr.), 3rd. Dist.

285 – Elijah Withers (Sr.), 3rd. Dist.

 

OTHERS TEAMS TO WATCH: Eagle (13), Coeur d’ Alene (13), Highland (9), Mountain View (9), Rocky Mountain (10).

 

3X STATE CHAMPIONS (2)

Carson Exferd (Nampa, 12)

Jason Mara (Meridian, 12)

 

2X STATE CHAMPIONS (3)

Rider Sequine (Post Falls, 11)

Talen Eck (Thunder Ridge, 12)

Hoyt Hvass (Lewiston, 12)

 

RETURNING STATE CHAMPIONS (6)

Sawyer Anderson (Highland, 10)

Ryan Hirchert (Nampa, 10)

Jeremiah Gonzalez (Meridian, 11)

Tyson Barnhart (Post Falls, 12)

Hudson Rogers (Meridian, 12)

Carson Gooley (Meridian, 12)

 

3X STATE PLACERS (7)

Carson Exferd (Nampa, 12), 1st, 1st, 1st

Jason Mara (Meridian, 12), 1st, 1st, 1st

Talen Eck (Thunder Ridge, 12), 1st, 1st, 2nd

Tyson Barnhart (Post Falls, 12), 1st, 4th, 2nd

Cole Currin (Kuna, 12), 2nd, 2nd, 2nd

Jacob Blandford (Middleton, 12), 6th, 2nd, 2nd

Shilo Jones (Mountain View, 12), 6th, 5th, 2nd

 

2X STATE PLACERS (18)

Rider Sequine (Post Falls, 11), 1st, 1st

Hoyt Hvass (Lewiston, 12), 1st, 1st

Jeremiah Gonzalez (Meridian, 11), 2nd, 1st

Carson Gooley (Meridian, 12), 2nd, 1st

Hudson Rogers (Meridian, 12), 1st, 2nd

Jonathan Seamons (Nampa, 12), 3rd, 2nd

Cash Weeks (Middleton, 12), 3rd, 2nd

Jabyn Kemble (Middleton, 11), 4th, 3rd

Seth Martin (Post Falls, 11), 4th, 3rd

Matthew Papa (Meridian, 12), 3rd, 4th

Seth Brock (Eagle, 12), 4th, 4th

Trey Smith (Post Falls, 11), 5th, 3rd

Aulani Macias (Nampa, 12), 6th, 2nd

Wylie Stone (Eagle, 12), 6th, 4th

Colton George (Highland, 12), 4th, 6th

Hunter Lowe (Kuna, 12), 5th, 5th

Chase Jensen (Rocky Mountain, 12), 6th, 5th

Parker Reeves (Thunder Ridge, 12), 5th, 6th

 

1X STATE PLACERS (27)

Sawyer Anderson (Highland, 10), State Champion

Ryan Hirchert (Nampa, 10), State Champion (4A)

IIan Shank (Nampa, 10), 2nd Place

Dylan Frothinger (Eagle, 10), 4th Place

Greyson Peterson (Madison, 10), 5th Place

Rocco White (Coeur d’ Alene, 10), 6th Place

Vincent Contreras (Nampa, 10), 2nd Place

Logan Loaiza (Post Falls, 10), 4th Place

Teague Jensen (Madison, 11), 6th Place

Hunter Anderson (Rigby, 11), 5th Place ‘22

Alijah Macias (Nampa, 11), 2nd Place ‘22

Logan Shaver (Meridian, 10), 4th Place

Will Rossi (Coeur d’ Alene, 12), 6th Place ‘22

Nate Galloway (Rocky Mountain, 12), 5th Place

Trever Clemens (Capital, 12), 5th Place

Gabriel Brown (Capital, 12), 3rd Place

Tanner Piper (Post Falls, 11), 5th Place

Patrick Lakey (Centennial, 12), 5th Place

Jean-Luc Guerra (Mountain View, 11), 4th Place

Cole Nelson (Madison, 12), 4th Place

Treven Hokland (Middleton, 12), 4th Place

Garrett Leonard (Lake City, 10), 5th Place

Kody Biggs (Kuna, 12), 3rd Place

Maxim Osmond (Owyhee, 12), 4th Place

Troy Grizzle (Mountain View, 12), 5th Place

Kendell Sage (Post Falls, 11), 6th Place

Rex Salas (Madison, 11), 6th Place

 

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS (FS/GR/FOLKSTYLE)

Jason Mara (Meridian, 12)

Hudson Rogers (Meridian, 12)

 

ALL-AMERICANS (FS/GR/FOLKSTYLE)

Rider Sequine (Post Falls, 11)

Hunter Anderson (Rigby, 11)

Jeremiah Gonzalez (Meridian, 11)

Talen Eck (Thunder Ridge, 12)

Logan Shaver (Meridian, 10)

Hoyt Hvass (Lewiston, 12)

Ivan Ivanov (Eagle, 9)

Damion Hamilton (Post Falls, 10)

Jason Mara (Meridian, 12)

Jacob Blandford (Middleton, 12)

Hudson Rogers (Meridian, 12)

Carson Gooley (Meridian, 12)

Hyrum Heindel (Kuna, 10)

Shilo Jones (Mountain view, 12)

Dallyn Grimes (Middleton, 11)

Aiden McGinnis (Mountain View, 12)

 

FRESHMAN TO WATCH

98 – Brand’n Edstrom (Madison), 1st. Dist.

98 – Gage Loftin (Post Falls), 2nd. Dist.

106 – Matthew Hamilton (Post Falls), 1st. Dist.

106 – Jesse Villegas (Post Falls), 3rd. Dist.

120 – Jacob Vincent (Highland), 1st. Dist.

126 – Ian Avalos (Mountain View), 1st. Dist.

132 – Onyx Kunsaitis (Thunder Ridge), 3rd. Dist.

132 – Jordan Schield (Coeur d’ Alene), 2nd. Dist.

152 – Ivan Ivanov (Eagle), 2nd. Dist.

170 – Jacob Burke (Madison), 2nd. Dist.

 

5A DIVISON WRESTLERS RECOGNIZED IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS

120 – Talen Eck (Thunder Ridge, 12), #24 (SBLive), #29 (WUSA)

138 – Carson Exferd (Nampa, 12), #23 (SBLive)

150 – Jason Mara (Meridian, 12), #12 (FLO), #16 (WUSA), #19 (SBLive)

182 – Hudson Rogers (Meridian, 12), #25 (WUSA)

195 – Carson Gooley (Meridian, 12), Special Mention (WUSA)

285 – Shilo Jones (Mountain View, 12), #17 (WUSA), #19 (FLO), HM (SBLive)

 

COLLEGE COMMITS

Carson Exferd (Nampa), University of Wisconsin (DI)

Hudson Rogers (Meridian), Oregon State University (DI)

Jason Mara (Meridian), Stanford University (DI)

Shilo Jones (Mountain View), North Dakota State (DI)

Jacob Blandford (Middleton), Western Colorado University (DII)

Hoyt Hvass (Lewiston), North Idaho College (NJCAA)





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