CASPER – It took Lingle-Fort Laramie sophomore Kaleb Brothwell two takedowns and a reversal to score a 6-1 victory in the Class 2A 132-pound state championship over Kemmerer’s Connor Vickrey on Saturday afternoon.
Brothwell’s state title occurred just two matches after LFLSE senior Grant Logsdon came up short in his bid for a state title.
Afterwards, LFLSE coach Brandon Gifford talked about the highs and lows that wrestling can bring.
“A couple matches before, (Grant Logsdon) doesn’t reach his goal and achieve his dream then you’re on a real low, and then to have Kaleb come and accomplish something he’s worked for and put in a lot of time for brings tears to your eyes,” Gifford said. “I’m so proud of those guys. The time they’ve put in, it’s fun to see kids finally get something for that time.”
As time expired on Brothwell’s match, he turned around and flexed his muscles towards the LFLSE fan base sitting in sections 109 and 110 who were loudly cheering him on from the two corner sections of the packed Wyoming Ford Center in Casper.
“It’s a surreal feeling,” Brothwell said after receiving his first-place medal.
He controlled much of the match against Vickrey, a defending state champion, but the only point he gave up was for a stalling call in the third period.
“I thought I was good on top, but it ended up not being that way. I had to get to my feet to get to my work,” Brothwell said. “I thought it was questionable, but it is what it is. You can’t do anything about it.”
Brothwell also picked up pins over Kaden Hill of Tongue River, Oscar Martinez of Greybull/Riverside and Andrew Davis of Sundance en route to the championship match.
“Knowing him, this is only going to drive him more,” Gifford said. “That kind of drive is rare.”
Brothwell said he’s going to put in the work to have a chance to repeat as a junior next year.
“That’s all you have to do – just put in the work,” he said.
At 120 pounds, Logsdon also pinned his way to the championship match, defeating Kayden Austin of Hulett, Nicky Kniggle of Shoshoni and Gabe Matthews of Niobrara County.
In the championship match, Logsdon was pinned by Kemmerer’s Karl Haslem only 1:48 into the match.
“He wrestled well. We knew the kid was going to be tough,” Gifford said. “We thought we had a chance with him, and the cards just didn’t fall our way. He’s put in an amazing career and done things behind the scenes that aren’t just part of the wrestling. The stuff he does as a leader that he does for his teammates is something that is more important for him.”
Logsdon and Brothwell led a group of six medalists from LFLSE.
Freshman Louden Bremer finished third, capping off the season with a 10-5 win over Micah Petersen. Bremer went 4-1 on the weekend with his only setback of the weekend coming to Gabe Emery of Kemmerer, who went on to finish runner-up at 138 pounds.
At 285 pounds, Will Baker finished fourth with a 3-2 record on the weekend.
After two pin victories to reach the semifinal round, Baker was pinned by Rosendo Garcia of Lovell in the semifinal round. Baker battled back to get a pin in the consolation semifinal round to wrestle for third, a match he lost by a 5-3 decision to Ethan Mack of Wright.
LFLSE had a pair of fifth-place finishers in Wyatt Sylvester and Jaden Houk.
Sylvester went 3-2 on the weekend with two pins and a 9-6 decision to finish fifth at 113 pounds.
Meanwhile, Houk 4-2 at 126 pounds, ultimately pinning Aidan Collingwood of Tongue River in the fifth-place bout.
“We had a great medal round. We did just about as good as you can coming out of the medal round. You can’t ask for anymore,” Gifford said. “The kids laid it all on the line. We just fell a few points short of a trophy as a team, and sometimes, that’s the way it goes.”
Carter Blevins (138 pounds), Kade Kates (145), Lance York (152), Tiegen Thompson (160), Gage Gibson (170), Alec DeMarce (170), Taylor Swartwood (182) and Emmett Coxbill (195) also won at least one match for LFLSE on Friday.
LFLSE finished tied for fifth in the final team standings with Thermopolis at 130 points. Kemmerer won its first state title with 209.5 points, while Moorcroft was second with 170. Cokeville was third with 151, and Niobrara County was fourth with 135.5.