Tigers pin wins during season debut
Mountain Home High School's wrestling team had three undefeated athletes with the team finishing second overall during its debut at the Bucks Bags Tournament, held Dec. 2 and 3 at Capitol High School.
Facing teams representing a number of 5A schools in the Treasure Valley, the Tigers started the tournament by winning the opening bracket to move into the gold bracket round.
During that final round, Mountain Home posted 6-1 record to take the second-place honor, losing one match against Minico. Tigers that went undefeated at the tournament were veterans Gavin Hazell in the 113-pound weight class, Pierce Mederios at 126 and Kanoa Doronio in the 132.
"We beat some really good 5A schools, including Meridian," said coach Scott Mederios.
Those going 6-1 at the tournament were Gage Wilson and Jonathan Kaiser. Those who posted 5-2 records were Dustin Farnworth, Hunter McCluskey and Dylan Park. Zach Slack, Tyler Hardin, Alex Castro, Jayden Sexton and Hayden Keierleber went 4-3 while Anthony Humphus and Tim Goodell were 3-4.
The high school wrestling team started the season with 36 competitors, including 15 returning seniors. While the teams are smaller than they were in previous years, this season is the first time that the high school has seen that many seniors on the squad, according to Mederios.
Many time, the wrestling team sees challenges filling its ranks because students are often drawn to more visible sports like football, baseball and basketball. Wrestling remains a "hard sell" each season, the coach said.
But Mederios knows that the students he signs up each year are committed to the program, which comes with a major commitment to remain in peak condition. This also requires them to remain within their respective weight class, which is a sport all by itself, he said.
Looking ahead to the rest of this season, the coach said the Tigers will face some tough teams like Minico, which is ranked second only to Caldwell in the 4A division.
The Tigers return to action later this week as they compete at the Bonneville Duals and then head to Buhl for a tri-meet versus Buhl and Twin Falls on Jan. 3 after the holiday break.