In a season that was all about trying to made adjustments and maximize scoring potential, the Braves did just that with a stellar Saturday in Casper as they compiled 195.0 team points to hold off Lander who had 190.0 and take home a third place trophy.
The Powell Panthers led wire to wire in Casper and finished with 243.5 points while Douglas was second with 215.0. After placing third in the 3A West Regional a week ago, the Braves clawed in front of both Lander and Worland to bring home some hardware that may not have been the highest finish in Star Valley’s storied history, but was very well earned.
Individually, Mitchell Heap and T.J. Guild controlled their respective matches to claim state championships, the first for each senior. Heap defeated his second consecutive Buffalo wrestler with a 7-0 decision over Jonathon Land. It was the second consecutive final for Heap who joins brother Hayden with a state title.
Carbon Kennington had one of the toughest tasks of the tournament as he went up against two-time champion Jay Stine of Worland. The two battled to a virtual tie for most of the match, the lone takedown by Stine and an escape from Kennington resulted in the final of 2-1. Kennington, a junior, will be looking to duplicate Heap’s feat from the past calendar year.
Finally, T.J. Guild scored a major decision with a 9-0 victory over Austin Nicholson of Rawlins. Guild, just the ninth Star Valley wrestler in history to place at the state tournament in all four years, capped a Star Valley run that resulted in the third place finish. Guild overcame a foot injury which cost him seven weeks of the season leading up the 3A West Regionals.
Eleven Braves placed at the state tournament out of 22 who made the trip. 17 of the 22 are expected to return next season.
Read the February 9, 2012 edition of the Star Valley Independent for a full recap of the tournament.
106: Jake Thompson 4th
106: Gabe Waldron 5th
120: Mitch Heap 1st
120: Mike Robinson 5th
126: Carbon Kennington 2nd
132: T.J. Guild 1st
138: Bryce Nichols 4th
145: Devin Semadeni
160: Jake Taylor 6th
171: Marshall Watkins 3rd
195: Jordan Semadeni 3rd