NAMPA—Cade White sat on the floor of the Ford Idaho Center visibly in pain after being slammed to the mat in the second period of the 160-pound Rollie Lane Championship final.
But it was going to take a lot more than a sprained right ankle to slow the Meridian senior down on Saturday.
Instead, White started wrestling from his knees and forced his opponent, Gonzaga Prep’s Noah Holman, into two late costly mistakes to take a 6-5 decision.
“I think it was a combination of adrenaline and starting to wrestle on my knees,” White said, with crutches, when asked after the match how he was able to finish. “I think my knee wrestling helped me get to my shots in that matched. And that caused him to get irritated.”
White was one of three Meridian wrestlers to win individual titles Saturday, highlighting a dominant effort which saw the Warriors win the team title for the second time in three seasons. Meridian beat out second-place Post Falls, one of the teams expected to challenge the Warriors in their quest for a third straight state title, by a margin of 247.5-229.5.
“It’s something we work for, winning everything as a team,” said Jason Mara, who won the 145 title for the Warriors, his second straight Rollie Lane individual title. “Post Falls will be our top competitor at state, so it was good to see where we’re at right now. We definitely still have some things to work at as a team, but all-in-all I think we did really well.”
Mara beat out Gooding’s Kayd Craig by a 3-1 decision in the championship match, while Isaiah Twait pinned Shane Hepner, of Reno’s McQueen High, in the first period to win the 182-pound title. Meridian also got a runner-up finish from Carson Gooley at 195 pounds and had placers in four other weight classes.
“I’m super stoked about their effort, top to bottom,” Meridian coach Brad Muri said. “We brought 27 guys, only 15 could score, but all 27 of them competed really tough. That’s all you can ask for.”
Perhaps no one epitomized tough competition like White, though. When he went down with his injury, Muri admits he didn’t know if White would be able finish the match. Immediately trainers rushed to tend to him. But to the surprise of most watching in the Ford Idaho Center, after a couple minutes he got up to continue the match.
Holman was winning 5-4 with about 20 seconds to go, but was penalized for stalling, tying the match. Trying to get the final takedown, Holman pushed White out of bounds and after the whistle was blown, he started yelling at the referee. White confirmed a curse word was used. Holman was assessed an unsportsmanlike penalty, which gave White the win.
It was the first Rollie Lane title for the two-time state champion.
“I think it’s really cool, it’s a great tournament with a lot of great wrestlers that come through here,” said White, whose ankle will be evaluated on Monday. “Obviously that’s not how I want to win, by him getting an unsportsmanlike penalty. But it is what it is, and I can’t control that.”
WORLD CHAMPION SKELLENGER WINS AT FIRST ROLLIE LANE
Jadon Skellenger has competed on some of the biggest wrestling stages around the world.
You wouldn’t be able to tell it, though, based on the huge smile across the Bishop Kelly junior’s face after receiving his medal for winning the 152 title.
“It’s kind of a different game,” said Skellenger, who has competed at, and won, World Championships. “It’s physical in its own way and you run into challenges you wouldn’t face on a higher level, which can be a lot of fun.”
Among the titles Skellenger has won are the 2019 U15 62-kilogram World Championship, the 2021 World Team Trials Outstanding Wrestler and a seventh-place finish at the 2021 Cadet World Championships.
But he never competed at the high school level until this season. Wanting to get more mat time, he decided to compete with the Knights this season. His 8-5 decision over Jackson Potts of Mountain View in Bend, Oregon, improved his record to 24-0 on the season.
“It’s been a blast,” Skellenger said about wrestling with Bishop Kelly. “The guys on this team are phenomenal, the coaches are phenomenal, I couldn’t ask for anything else.”
He was one of two Bishop Kelly wrestlers to win titles, as sophomore Matthew Martino beat American Falls’s Kolter Burton via a 5-2 decision where he earned the winning points in the final minute.
Other local boys champions were Payette’s Tyler Feeley at 132 pounds, Cadwell’s Hunter Bidelman at 138 pounds and Borah’s Aden Attao at 285 pounds.
EAGLE GIRLS WIN TITLE WITHOUT INDIVIDUAL CHAMPION
Eagle’s girls team won its second Rollie Lane title in three years, but did so without earning an individual title.
The Mustangs finished with 153 points, 47.5 points ahead of second-place Columbia. But all three wrestlers who reached the finals were beat.
“We’re stoked to be there (as Rollie Lane champions), but the kids aren’t content with it,” said Eagle coach Mike Stone. “We had three in the finals, and three lost. It’s bittersweet, we’re glad that we got it. But we’re ready to peak at the right time at the season.”
Sisters Reece Woods and Olivia Woods were pinned in the 185 and 235-pound finals, respectively, while Jordynn LeBeau suffered an 8-5 sudden victory loss to Columbia’s Kyra Richards in the 165-pound championship.
LeBeau had beat Richards twice in tournaments last month, but on Saturday Richards was able to get LeBeau into overtime and then make the right move at the right time to get the win.
“To come back and beat somebody who’s beat me twice, beating her was something that felt nice,” said Richards, a junior who also won a Rollie Lane title as a freshman. “I definitely enjoyed it, the excitement was sweet. Just having my team there and being able to prove everybody wrong was really nice. I’m really excited to see what’s on board the rest of the season.”
As Richards was getting her dramatic victory, teammate Hallie Campbell was in another tense match one mat over. Campbell also got a sudden victory, beating Carson (Nevada) High’s Ellah Olson 4-2.
Emmett’s Dahlia Yerby won the 107-pound title, while Boise’s Clare Waite won the 138-pound title.
1, Meridian, 247.5; 2, Post Falls, 229.5; 3, Minico, 184.0; 4, Wasatch, 152.0; 5, Bishop Kelly, 149.5; 6, Mt. View, 142.5; 7, American Falls, 141.0; 8, Syracuse, 133.0; 9, Caldwell, 130.0; 10, Nampa, 111.5
Do you LOVE local news? Get Local News Headlines in your inbox daily.
98: Rider Seguine (Post Falls) 20-4 won by fall over Dylan Frothinger (Eagle) 13-3 (Fall 3:44)
106: Tyson Flack (La Pine) 20-2 won by decision over Saxton Scott (Bonneville) 24-1 (Dec 12-5)
113: Mason Carlson (Syracuse) 25-2 won by fall over Nathan Gugelman II (American Falls) 32-2 (Fall 0:53)
120: Matthew Martino (Bishop Kelly) 22-3 won by decision over Kolter Burton (American Falls) 19-1 (Dec 5-2)
126: Drew Jones (Mt. View, Ore.) 23-1 won in sudden victory—1 over Jake Castagneto (Bishop Kelly) 21-4 (SV-1 4-2)
132: Tyler Feeley (Payette) 14-1 won by fall over Austin Kelly (Wasatch) 12-2 (Fall 3:21)
138: Hunter Bidelman (Caldwell) 21-0 won in sudden victory—1 over Ryder Robinson (Wasatch) 20-5 (SV-1 6-4)
145: Jason Mara (Meridian) 25-4 won by decision over Kayd Craig (Gooding) 21-3 (Dec 3-1)
152: Jadon Skellenger (Bishop Kelly) 24-0 won by decision over Jackson Potts (Mt. View, Ore.) 20-3 (Dec 8-5)
160: Cade White (Meridian) 20-5 won by decision over Noah Holman (Gonzaga Prep) 13-4 (Dec 6-5)
170: Jose Laguna (Post Falls) 18-1 won by decision over Rustan Cordingley (Highland) 16-2 (Dec 11-9)
182: Isaiah Twait (Meridian) 20-3 won by fall over Shane Hepner (McQueen) 27-5 (Fall 1:07)
195: Gentry Smith (Post Falls) 22-0 won by fall over Carson Gooley (Meridian) 22-5 (Fall 3:09)
220: Garrett Vail (Minico) 28-0 won by fall over Trevor Miller (Post Falls) 25-2 (Fall 5:10)
285: Aden Attao (Borah) 14-0 won by decision over Shilo Jones (Mountain View, Idaho) 21-2 (Dec 6-1)
1, Eagle, 153.0; 2, Columbia, 105.5; 3, Thunder Ridge, 103.0; 4, Boise, 102.0. 4, Reed, 102.0; 6, Syracuse, 101.0; 7, Redmond, 100.0; 8, LaGrande, 95.5; 9, Emmett, 79.0; 10, Caldwell, 74.5
100: Taylor Brown (Thunder Ridge Girls) 11-0 won by decision over Payton Gines (Syracuse Girls) 18-2 (Dec 3-0)
107: Dahlia Yerby (Emmett Girls) 15-2 won by decision over Taylor Call (Hillcrest Girls) 9-1 (Dec 10-6)
114: Kadence Beck (Grangeville Girls) 22-1 won by fall over Amber Perkins (Carson HS Girls) 9-2 (Fall 3:54)
120: Skyla Zimmerman (Moscow Girls) 8-0 won by decision over Katie Ward (McQueen Girls) 18-3 (Dec 5-3)
126: Alyssa Randles (Couer D Alene Girls) 12-3 won by tech fall over Jade Seymour (La Pine Girls) 19-2 (TF-1.5 3:43 (16-1))
132: MacKenzie Shearon (Redmond Girls) 8-0 won by decision over Hannah Hernandez (Ontario Girls) 16-2 (Dec 2-0)
138: Clare Waite (Boise Girls) 14-2 won by decision over Elise Twait (Meridian Girls) 15-1 (Dec 3-2)
145: Ava Collins (Vale Girls) 11-0 won by decision over Mia Furman (Rocky Mountain Girls) 15-1 (Dec 7-1)
152: Hallie Campbell (Columbia Girls) 15-3 won in sudden victory—1 over Ellah Olson (Carson HS Girls) 11-2 (SV-1 4-2)
165: Kyra Richards (Columbia Girls) 13-5 won in sudden victory—1 over Jordynn LeBeau (Eagle Girls) 12-2 (SV-1 8-5)
185: Maria Aiono (Reed Girls) 24-1 won by fall over Reece Woods (Eagle Girls) 8-2 (Fall 1:29)
235: Amie Hartman (Mountain Home Girls) 11-0 won by fall over Olivia Woods (Eagle Girls) 7-2 (Fall 1:08)