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2024 Idaho High School State Wrestling Tournament Preview (Class 3A)
Al Fontes breaks down the athletes to watch, title contenders, and dark horses in Class 3A
Published: 2/21/2024 11:03:32 PM
Al Fontes
Contributing Writer
 

ORDER GAME PHOTOS





The 3A division is once again loaded with a lot of talent throughout the fifteen weight groups and returns a total of 9 individual State Champions, 44 returning state placers, and 8 wrestlers with All-American honors to their credit. The favorite in the overall team race is Fruitland, but they will receive a strong challenge for the top spot from Buhl, South Fremont, Marsh Valley, and American Falls to name a few.

The leaders among the returning State Champions are South Fremont’s Boden Banta and Bowen Brunson of Buhl. Only a junior, Banta is a 2x State Champion and ranked among the top lightweights in Idaho in addition to having several All-American honors to his credit. Likewise, Brunson is also a 2x State Champion with All-American honors and is in position to earn a fourth state medal, but his road to the championship finals for another shot a title will be a tough battle throughout. The remaining State Champions include All-Americans Nathan Gugleman II (132 – American Falls), Kaden MacKenzie (152 – Fruitland), Western Wyoming commit Ryker Gibson (160 – Marsh Valley), Ryker Fullmer (170 – Teton) in addition to 2x finalist Max Clark of South Fremont (220s), Riley Brunson (145s), and Teton’s Max Atchley at 132s.

In addition to Bowen Brunson and Ryker Fullmer, two other wrestlers are in position to earn a possible fourth state medal. They include All-American Sioux Falls University commit Jaxton Packer of South Fremont (126s) and Tyler Freeley of Payette (160s). The number of 2x state medalists in pursuit of a third comprises of 23. Five within this group have state finals experience, which includes All-American Koy Orr (132 – Filer), Collin Morris (126 – Marsh Valley), Mason Aiken (138 – American Falls), Matthew Daniels (160 – McCall-Donnley), and Kaleb Grove of Weiser at 220s. Other returning finalists to watch are Seth Lish (120 – Marsh Valley) and Fruitland’s Marcus Aleman (120s) and Quinn Hood (220s).

Similar to the other divisions, the team race is expected to be a barnburner of an event between Fruitland and Buhl. The pre-tournament favorite is Fruitland as they bring to Pocatello one of the largest contingents in all divisions at 26. Among this talented group is seven returning state placers, six returning qualifiers, and thirteen more qualifying for the first time. The top wrestler anchoring the Grizzlies is returning State Champion and 2x finalist Kaden MacKenzie at 152s. He is joined by returning medalists Braden Griffith (98s), Marcus Aleman (120s), Max Westcott (132s), Coye Coffman (138s), Quinn Hood (220s), and Oregon transfer Tygren Lopez at 126s, who prior to moving to Idaho won an Oregon 5A title in 2022 in addition to placing 5th last year. Keep an eye on freshman standout Kysen Mackenzie at 113s. Ranked in the state this year, Kyson won his district championships and will challenge for a spot on the podium.

Now let’s take a closer look at Buhl High School. They also bring a large contingent comprised of 22 wrestlers, which consists of 6 returning state placers and 13 additional qualifiers. To sum things up, they have the numbers and talent to battle Fruitland for the top spot. Leading this talented group is the Brunson brothers, Riley (145s) and Bowen (132s), each returning State Champions vying for another shot at a title. They are joined by state placers Collin Robinson (138s), Oakley Tennant (170s), Ryder Sheen (182s) and Gabe Finley (195s). Keep an eye on freshman standouts Kannon Gambrel (106s) and Raidyn Pugsley (126s). Each have been ranked in the state this season and recently won their districts. Other teams battling for a top 5 spot include defending champions South Fremont, Marsh Valley, American Falls, Snake River, Timberlake, and Weiser.

Other top seeded wrestlers to watch include returning state placers Kole Dahlke (Marsh Valley), Kash Cobb (Weiser), and freshman district champions Gabe Reynolds (98 – Snake River), Wylie Baler (106 – Teton), Trevor Paynter (106 – Homedale), Jacob Rade (113 – Timberlake), Blaise Turner (182 – American Falls), and. McGregor Miller (195 – South Fremont).

In summary, the 3A division is loaded with a lot of individual talent and the team race is expected to be a barnburner of an event with Fruitland and Buhl battling for the top spot. Below is a comprehensive list of top teams, returning champions, state placers, All-Americans, and much more. Enjoy!





 

TOP TEAMS TO WATCH

 

FRUITLAND (26)

 

Returning State Placers (7)

98 – Braden Griffith (Jr.), 6th., 4th State

120 – Marcus Aleman (Soph.), 2nd. State

126 – Tygren Lopez (Sr.), 1st. Dist., 1st/5th (5A-OR)

132 – Max Westcott (Sr.), 4th., 5th. State

138 – Coye Coffman (Jr.), 6th., 4th. State

152 – Kaden MacKenzie (Jr.), 2nd., State Champion

220 – Quinn Hood (Jr.), 2nd. State

 

Returning State Qualifiers (6)

126 – Ty Webster (Sr.), 3rd. Dist. (4x)

132 – Dawson Clevenger (Soph.), 3rd. Dist. (2x)

138 – Nathaniel Martinez (Jr.), 2nd. Dist. (3x)

145 – Jake Swann (Jr.), 2nd. Dist. (3x)

170 – Abraham Marquez (Sr.), 1st. Dist. (4x)

285 – Joel Zamora (Sr.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (13)

106 – Wyatt Griffith (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

106 – Mason Butler (Soph.), 5th. Dist.

113 – Kysen Mackenzie (Fr.), 1st. Dist.

113 – Colbey Quinn (Soph.), 2nd. Dist.

120 – Kobie Baxter (Fr.), 3rd. Dist.

145 – Ricky Cisneros (Jr.), 3rd. Dist.

160 – Ryan Dickinson (Jr.), 4th. Dist.

170 – George Rodriguez (Jr.), 5th Dist.

182 – Sam Mahler (Jr.), 4th. Dist.

195 – Will Phillips (Jr.), 1st. Dist.

195 – Raymond Florez (Jr.), 2nd. Dist.

220 – Alex Arredondo (Fr.), 5th. Dist.

285 – Levi Morales (Fr.), 5th. Dist.

 

BUHL (22)

 

Returning State Placers (6)

132 – Bowen Brunson (Sr.), 2x State Champ, 2nd State

138 – Collin Robinson (Sr.), 5th State

145 – Riley Brunson (Sr.), State Champ, 5th. State

170 – Oakley Tennant (Sr.), 6th. State

182 – Ryder Sheen (Jr.), 4th. State

195 – Gabe Finley (Jr.), 4th. State

 

Returning State Qualifiers (3)

120 – Dryssen Loos (Soph.), 1st. Dist. (2x)

138 – Walter Olsen (Soph.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

220 – Garret Theurer (Sr.), 1st. Dist. (3x)

 

State Qualifiers (13)

98 – Chase Craner (Jr.), 1st. Dist.

106 – Kannon Gambrel (Fr.), 1st. Dist.

106 – Caleb Woll (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

113 – Gavin Davenport (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

126 – Raidyn Pugsley (Fr.), 1st. Dist.

126 – Teancum Jacobsen (Jr.), 3rd. Dist.

132 – Mikey Ziniti (Sr.), 3rd. Dist.

145 – Fabi Pierce (Soph.), 2nd. Dist.

152 – Dacian Winmill (Soph.), 1st. Dist.

160 – Titus Finley (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

170 – Keaton Thomas (Soph.), 2nd. Dist.

195 – Porter Higley (Soph.), 2nd. Dist.

285 – Isaac Finley (Sr.), 1st. Dist.

 

SOUTH FREMONT (20)

 

Returning State Placers (4)

120 – Boden Banta (Jr.), 2x State Champion

126 – Jaxton Packer (Sr.), 2nd, 3rd, 2nd. State

182 – Traven Bauer (Sr.), 6th. State

220 – Max Clark (Sr.), 2nd. State Champion

 

Returning State Qualifiers (9)

106 – Nicholas Hansen (Soph.), 3rd. Dist. (2x)

113 – Bryson Robles (Soph.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

120 – Simon Eddins (Soph.), 3rd. Dist. (2x)

152 – Jace Batton (Sr.), 1st. Dist., (2x)

160 – Jerome Crichton (Jr.), 2nd., Dist. (2x)

170 – Angel Pena (Sr.), 4th. Dist., (2x)

195 – Taycen Gee (Sr.), 4th. Dist., (2x)

285 – Neilsen Glascock (Sr.), 2nd. Dist. (3x)

285 – Talan Schuldies (Sr.), 3rd. Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (6)

106 – Seth Owens (Fr.), 4th. Dist.

145 – Micaiah Nelson (Jr.), 2nd. Dist.

152 – Kaden Elliott (Jr.), 3rd. Dist.

170 – Kelton Ricks (Soph.), 3rd. Dist.

182 – Kannon Purser (Fr.), 3rd. Dist.

195 – McGregor Miller (Fr.), 1st. Dist.

 

MARSH VALLEY (12)

 

Returning State Placers (5)

120 – Seth Lish (Jr.), 2nd. State

126 – Collin Morris (Jr.), 3rd., 2nd. State

138 – Rocky Morris (Sr.), 3rd., 6th. State

152 – Kole Dahlke (Sr.), 3rd., 6th. State

160 – Ryker Gibson (Sr.), 3rd., State Champion

 

Returning State Qualifiers (3)

145 – Gunner Johnson (Jr.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

182 – Kyle Foster (Sr.), 3rd. Dist. (2x)

220 – Artzeiz Christiansen (Jr.), 2nd. Dist. (2x)

 

State Qualifiers (4)

98 – Hunter Solomon (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

106 – Luke Schroeder (Fr.), 2nd. Dist.

113 – Jed Townsend (Soph.), 2nd. Dist.

132 – Clancy Harris (Jr.), 3rd. Dist.

 

OTHERS TO WATCH: American Falls (21), Snake River (18), Timberlake (15), and Weiser (16).

 

2X RETURNING STATE CHAMPIONS (2)

Bowen Brunson (Buhl, 12)

Boden Banta (South Fremont, 11)

 

1X RETURNING STATE CHAMPION (7)

Nathan Gugelman II (American Falls, 10)

Kaden MacKenzie (Fruitland, 11)

Riley Brunson (Buhl, 12)

Ryker Gibson (Marsh Valley, 12)

Ryker Fullmer (Teton, 12)

Max Clark (South Fremont, 12)

Max Atchley (Teton, 12), ‘22

 

3X RETURNING STATE PLACERS (4)

Bowen Brunson (Buhl, 12), 1st, 1st, 2nd

Ryker Fullmer (Teton, 12), 6th, 2nd, 1st

Jaxton Packer (South Fremont, 12), 2nd, 3rd, 2nd

Tyler Freeley (Payette, 12), 2nd, 3rd, 5th

 

2X RETURNING STATE PLACERS (23)

Boden Banta (South Fremont, 11), 1st, 1st

Kaden MacKenzie (Fruitland, 11), 2nd, 1st

Max Clark (South Fremont, 12), 2nd, 1st

Riley Brunson (Buhl, 12), 1st, 2nd  

Ryker Gibson (Marsh Valley, 12), 3rd, 1st

Tygren Lopez (Fruitland), 1st., 4th. (5A – Oregon)

Max Atchely (Teton, 12), 6th, 1st ‘22

Koy Orr (Filer, 11), 2nd, 3rd

Collin Morris (Marsh Valley, 11), 3rd, 2nd

Mason Aiken (American Falls, 11), 4th, 2nd

Matthew Daniels (McCall-Donnley, 12), 5th, 2nd

Kaleb Grove (Weiser, 12), 6th, 2nd

Adam Rushton (McCall-Donnley, 12), 5th, 3rd

Brandon Williams (Bonners Ferry, 12), 3rd, 5th

Rocky Morris (Marsh Valley, 12), 3rd, 6th

Jaden Lerwill (Sugar-Salem, 12), 6th, 3rd

Kole Dahlke (Marsh Valley, 12), 3rd, 6th

Blake Koyle (Gooding, 11), 4th, 5th

Max Wescott (Fruitland, 12), 4th, 5th

Braden Griffith (Fruitland, 11), 6th, 4th

Coye Coffman (Fruitland, 11), 6th, 4th

Dax Wood (Sugar-Salem, 12), 6th, 4th

Jace Leavitt (Snake River, 11), 5th, 5th

 

1X RETURNING STATE PLACERS (21)

Seth Lish (Marsh Valley, 11), 2nd Place

Wyatt Carey (Timberlake, 10), 3rd Place

Max Banta (Sugar-Salem, 11), 6th Place

Trell McFarlane (Homedale, 10), 4th Place

McKay Stocking (Sugar-Salem, 12), 6th Place

Marcus Aleman (Fruitland, 10), 2nd Place

Paul Sundstrom (Timberlake, 11), 4th Place

Charlie Nevarez (Weiser, 10), 5th Place

Brian Benson (Snake River, 11), 3rd Place ‘22

Fabian Avalos (American Falls, 11), 3rd Place

Collin Robinson (Buhl, 12), 5th Place

Stockton Young (Weiser, 11), 6th Place

Raiden Whitmore (South Fremont, 12), 4th Place

Kash Cobb (Weiser, 11), 5th Place

Ryder Sheen (Buhl, 11), 4th Place

Oakley Tennant (Buhl, 12), 6th Place

Quinn Hood (Fruitland, 11), 2nd Place

Luke Schell (Timberlake, 12), 4th Place

Traven Bauer (South Fremont, 12), 6th Place

Van Critchfield (McCall-Donnley, 12), 5th Place

Gabe Finley (Buhl, 11), 4th Place

 

FRESHMAN TO WATCH

98 – Gage Reynolds (Snake River), 1st. Dist.

98 – Francisco Damian Palacios (Sugar-Salem), 1st. Dist.

106 – Kannon Gambrel (Buhl), 1st. Dist.

106 – Wylie Baler (Teton), 1st. Dist.

106 – Trevor Paynter (Homedale), 1st. Dist.

113 – Kysen Mackenzie (Fruitland), 1st. Dist.

113 – Jacob Rade (Timberlake), 1st. Dist.

126 – Raidyn Pugsley (Buhl), 1st. Dist.

138 – Chris Schmidt (Timberlake), 1st. Dist.

145 – Tyson Cobb (Weiser), 1st. Dist.

182 – Blaise Turner (American Falls), 1st. Dist.

195 – Isaiah Morehead (Timberlake), 1st. Dist.

195 – McGregor Miller (South Fremont), 1st. Dist.

285 – Taylor Dodd (Bonners Ferry), 1st. Dist.

 

ALL-AMERICANS (FS/GR/FOLKSTYLE)

Boden Banta (South Fremont, 11)

Nathan Gugelman II (American Falls, 10)

Jaxton Packer (South Fremont, 12)

Koy Orr (Filer, 11)

Bowen Brunson (Buhl, 12)

Kaden MacKenzie (Fruitland, 11)

Ryker Gibson (Marsh Valley, 12)

Ryker Fullmer (Teton, 12)

 

3A DIVISON WRESTLERS RECOGNIZED IN THE NATIONAL RANKINGS

120 – Boden Banta (South Fremont, 11), Special Mention (WUSA)

126 – Jaxton Packer (South Fremont, 12), HM (SBLive)

 

COLLEGE COMMITS

Jaxton Packer (South Fremont) Sioux Falls (DII)

Ryker Gibson (Marsh Valley), Western Wyoming (NJCAA)

Tygren Lopez (Fruitland), Eastern Oregon University (NJCAA)





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