CASPER – Coming into the state wrestling tournament on Friday, Sam Sorenson knew what was at stake. The Torrington sophomore also knew it state wasn’t going to be an easy run if he were to finish the season unbeaten.
However, he made it look easy.
“Once I came into the state tournament, I knew it was a reality, but I knew there were a lot of tough guys. You just never know,” Sorenson said. “The state tournament is another beast. Everyone is giving a 110%. Sometimes there are upsets. Sometimes there are not.”
At the end of the day, Sorenson breezed through the competition, picking up four pins en route to the 220-pound state championship Friday evening at the Wyoming Ford Center in Casper to finish the season with 31 wins and no losses.
“I’m happy that all my hard work throughout my whole life just added up to right now. I’m off the wall happy right now,” Sorenson said. “You go out and try to win every match, but if you work hard enough, things will fall in to place.”
Sorenson became the first Blazer wrestler to finish the season undefeated with a state championship since former THS coach Jared Hatley accomplished the feat in 2009.
Sorenson pinned Adam Flores of Powell in the opening round in 2 minutes, 13 seconds, while pinning Weston Simianer of Newcastle/Upton in the quarterfinals in two minutes.
In the semifinal round, Sorenson pinned Deylin Miller in 1:24 to reach the championship match.
In the final bout of the day, Sorenson scored a pair of take downs and an escape to take a 5-1 lead into the final minute of the second period.
With 30 seconds remaining in the period, Sorenson pinned Worland’s Christian Peterson to the mat to finish off the day.
“Sam is super solid. He’s always in good positioning with his feet to get the take down. He’s not going to be in a bad position. It was business as usual for Sam from what we’ve seen out of him this year,” THS coach Cody Grant said. “It’s been a different season He’s beaten some tough guys. We’ve bumped him up to heavy weight multiple times, and he was always willing to do it. It was a great season for him.”
Sorenson wasn’t the only Blazer to reach the championship match, as Grubbs reached the championship match of the 195-pound bracket.
“Those guys have made each other better in the practice room,” Grant said. “I’m super proud of both them. They wrestled their hearts out today.”
Grubbs picked up a trio of pins to reach the championship. He defeated Bryce Humphrey of Burns/Pine Bluffs, Michael Cynova of Green River and Kaden Gantenbein of Riverton. All three victories came in the first period.
In the championships match, it took Lane McBee of Worland only 55 seconds to pin Grubbs to the mat.
“I know Rhiley would tell you he was hoping for a different result, but he wrestled a great match against a tough weight,” Grant said. “That guy is a thrower. Rhiley is a thrower. We weren’t afraid to be in that position because we thought if he threw us, we’d be able to counter and roll through like we did in the semifinals. Sometimes you live and die by the throw. If we wrestled the guy again, there is no doubt in my mind we’d put him on his back. It was whoever went for it, and unfortunately, we didn’t come out on top in the scramble.”
Reece Grubbs (113 pounds) and Sam Birdsall (195) also picked up one win apiece for Torrington.
The duo both lost in the opening round before scoring wins in the first round of the consolation bracket. Both wrestlers had their season come to an end in the second round of the consolation bracket.
“I’m proud of our guys for working hard. I hope they will be back next year and keep grinding to get better,” Grant said. “That’s what it’s going to take to get back where we want to be.”