NAMPA, Idaho — As a coaching staff, this is something Jake Huffman and his assistants want to remember and enjoy.
Of the 25 Crook County wrestlers who traveled to western Idaho to compete in the Rollie Lane Invitational, 12 earned top-six finishes. Eleven of those top-six placers represented Crook County A, which topped the 53-team field with 106 points.
Crook County split into two teams — A and B — for the two-day tournament, which featured programs from Alaska, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming.
“We’re definitely at a high point,” said Huffman, the Cowboys’ coach. “It’s exciting and something we really want to enjoy. These kids want to keep improving. That’s what makes these teams so good. They want to keep improving and get better.”
Tyler Berger highlighted the Cowboys’ tournament performance, winning the 152-pound bracket for Crook County A, which bested runner-up Kuna (Idaho) by 12 points in the team standings.
Also for Crook County A, Trayton Libolt was second at 113 pounds, while Grayson Munn (132 pounds), Ryder Shinkle (138) and Trevor Rasmussen (220) all took third in their respective weight classes.
Placing fourth for the Cowboys’ A squad were Kurt Mode at 120 pounds, Brent Bannon at 126, Collbran Meeker at 145 and Clark Woodward at 170. Brendan Harkey (160) was fifth, as was Jason Williams at 285.
Hayden Bates took fourth at 138 pounds to account for all 13 points for Crook County B, which placed 27th as a team.
“We’re trying to put them through a schedule to help them believe they can be state champs,” said Huffman, whose team took the Oregon Class 4A state title last season. “That’s obviously the goal. We want them going into the state tournament confident and ready to go.”