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Idaho Enterprise

Wrestling at State

The MHS Dragon wrestling team hit the mats in their final tournament  of the 2021-2022 season as they wrestled in the State Wrestling Tournament at the Holt Arena in Pocatello, February 25 and 26. Of the eleven Malad athletes wrestling, six medaled in their various weights, earning the team the 4th Place finish in the tournament, finishing just one point behind third place.

 With such a relatively young team, having only six upperclassmen, it was unclear what kind of season the team would have.  But as the season progressed, the wrestlers proved that they were willing to put in the effort and commitment to fight for every win and demonstrated that their efforts would take them places.

At the State Tournament, senior Austin Nalder faced off against the three-time state champion from New Plymouth in an insanely brutal match in the final round for the 152 pound weight bracket.  The match went into triple overtime, the “ride or die'' round where the wrestler beginning on top must stay on top to win the round. Relying on his strength, skill and stamina, Austin ultimately pulled out the win with a score of 2-1, defeating the reigning champion.  Austin had faced this opponent  throughout the season, giving him valuable experience for this last matchup where he pulled off the upset of the tournament. Austin has taken second place in his previous two state appearances. 

 Billy Maddox, also a MHS senior, brought home the first place win for the 195 weight bracket after a dominting show at the state tournament. Billy wrestled a combined total of 5 minutes and 30 seconds throughout his matches, pinning his opponent so quickly in each match. In fact, he nearly beat the state record with his 9 second pin in the first round of the tournament. Billy won his last face off with a final pin against Firth. Billy has wrestled for Malad for 2 years and was an Idaho State runner up last year. 

 Also earning medals for the Dragons were Zach Mills in the 113 pound weight bracket and Ruxton Tubbs in the 145 pound weight class for third place, Kole Willie in the 138 pound weight division for fifth place and Trevor Mills in the 106 pound weight division for sixth place. When asked about this final tournament, coaches said,  “All of the kids wrestled hard. The state tournament is what we work for all year. We are so proud of this team” 

 In addition to their achievements on the mat, the Malad wrestling team was recognized for their scholastic achievements as they became the Idaho 2A Academic State Championship team with a cumulative GPA of 3.530. Coach Devin Morrison shared, “These kids work hard both on and off the mat. Keeping their grades up while participating in sports, working part time jobs and keeping up with their busy lives isn’t always easy but they put in that effort and do an amazing job. As coaches we know that school and grades is their number one priority and we are so proud of them for this accomplishment.”

 “We are so proud of this team. They have worked hard this entire season and done extremely well. Every tournament they have improved and become stronger. We are grateful for the amazing wrestling family that showed up to support us this year, it means so much to these kids. Malad wrestling is as strong as ever and looking forward to an exciting future.”