One of the biggest goals the Augusta wrestling team had this season was to win the AVCTL Div. IV title.
The Orioles easily accomplished that Thursday night at home. Augusta smoked a shorthanded Andale squad 70-6 to complete a dominant, undefeated record in league competition.
But ask the Orioles seniors, who were honored for Senior Recognition night Thursday, and they'll say that the league title isn't what they're after.
"It's just a stepping stone, really," Colton Clayborn said. "Like coach [Brandon] Terry said, it's nice to have, but the main goal is State."
The Orioles finish the season with a 14-1 dual record.
"I wish it would've been 15-0," senior Wright Bosley said. "...We've been working hard all year, sweating. I think we all lost 10 pounds yesterday (Wednesday). It was hot, and long."
Bosley and Clayborn, the two leaders of the Oriole squad, have been with the team for four years.
"I've been proud to be a part of it," Bosley said. "It's been the greatest time of my life."
In addition to Bosley and Clayborn, the senior honored were Blake Aitchison, Kalaeb Bratton, Tyler Hildibrand, Darrien Keyser and Cody Thompson. Senior Jeremy Travaille was sick and missed the night.
“We really do have a great group,” Terry said.
Terry praised the veterans like Bosley and Clayborn for their leadership and growth through the four years in the program, and he also appreciated first-year varsity wrestlers like Cody Thompson and Blake Aitchison. He even said guys like Darrien Keyser, who has wrestled JV all four years, who still sets a great example by showing up for runs in the morning and is one of the team’s ironmen.
“It’s a buy-in,” Terry said. “...The day we had a snow day, I had some of seniors say ‘We have to do something.’ When you get someone to buy in, that takes care of itself.”
Clayborn and Thompson were the only seniors actually competed in a bout. Clayborn (160) lifted Andale's A.J. Hein high in the air after grabbing his leg for a takedown in the first period. Clayborn started period 2 down, quickly escaped and worked for a pin at the 3:03 mark.
Thompson (182) got a fast takedown that led to a pin just 39 seconds into the match.
Bosley (170) and Aitchison (285) had open bouts. Andale had six open weights in all. Both teams were open in 106.
Jake Goldenstein (113) used both a cradle and a spladle against Bryce Garcia to get back points on way to a 13-0 victory.
Nathan Moore (120) took a great opening shot that led to a pin of Sam Lubbers at 1:05. Josh Moore (126) followed his brother with a second-period pin after leading 7-0 through one period.
Bratton (138) fought hard, but took the only Oriole loss as three-time state medalist and No. 1 ranked Tyler Mies got the win with a pin.
Rob Winzer (152) built a 7-1 lead against Davon Spexarth going into the third period. Winzer defended a shot and countered with a headlock throw that led to a pin at 5:10.
Ian O'Laughlin also got a pin at the 1:08 mark.
Augusta will compete in the Remington tournament this Saturday, then prepare for the Class 4A regional tournament in Winfield Feb. 21 and 22. The Orioles said they feel ready for that competition.
"Just staying in shape and getting better," Clayborn said about preparing for Regionals and State.
"I feel like I've been doing really well this year," Bosley said. "I think I'll have a good spot at State."