Local wrestlers brought their 'A' game to the state championships

POCATELLO, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) Declo's Dax Blackmon is just a sophomore who only has three losses on the year. He wasn't going to let Dylan Sotie of St. Maries be his fourth. After a slow start in the first round, Blackmon came in the second and got the decisive pin.

Blackmon said, "after the first round, I started feeling him out and the second round I realized, 'oh! I can do this, I can definitely win."

In the 113 weight class, Buhl's Kade Orr looked to cap off a perfect season. That he did, with a 7-6 decision over Evan Barajas of Bonners Ferry. Orr completes his mission his sophomore campaign.

We had conflicting matches in the 120 weight class with local athletes in both of the 3A and 4A championships going on simultaneously.

For the 3A championship, Jonah Bacon went up against his friend Joseph Egusquiza of Homedale. This one went back and forth. The Kimberly junior had the lead, but the sophomore pulled away in the third round, winning by a 10-7 decision.

In the 4A ranks, Twin Falls' Kase Mauger going for his second consecutive state title, now a junior facing a different opponent in the final, Gabriel Taboa of Jerome. The Bruin coasted through the first three rounds getting pins, but the sophomore Tiger presented a challenge and Mauger came away with a 4-2 decision.

Mauger said, "it's just another tournament, I'm super stoked." "I worked all year for this, just keeping working and be humble."

In the 132 weight class, another Bruin in the finals, Anthony Maldonado, facing an uphill battle once again. See he was seeded third in districts, then seeded third at state. but he upset Dawson Osterhout of Minico, now facing the number one seed of Kuna, Dante Roggio. Maldonado held on for the 8-7 decision, going out strong his senior year.

He explained, "I started off on the JV two my freshman year and I really wanted this." "I dreamt of this moment, I worked hard for it in the off-season and the regular season and here I am, a state champion!"

And he accomplished this feat with someone very special in mind.

"My grandpa passed away from cancer two weeks ago and I know he's proud of me right now."

We'll have more wrestling highlights Sunday on the News at 10.

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