Bonners Ferry wrestlers shine in big competitions
September 1, 2017
Kyle Smith, Eli Richards, Jake Summerfield, Andrew Sandelinand Evan Barajas qualified for the Idaho Schoolboy Dual National Team. Barajas was unable to compete due to graduation.
By Corey Richards

The Bonners Ferry Wrestling Club took flight this past season as Eli Richards, Kyle Smith, Evan Barajas, Jake Summerfield, Jackson Rickter, Austin Madden, Dalton Regehr, Jessie Sandelin, Maddox Mertwieller, Chance madden, Marcus Regerhr and Andrew Sandelin brought home over 27 medals from the Idaho Kids State folkstyle, freestyle and Greco wrestling tournament.

Kyle Smith took first in all three styles, becoming a Triple Crown winner in the schoolboy 128 pound division, and Andrew Sandelin received his award from being a triple crown winner the year before.

Bonners Ferry Wrestling Club members Kyle Smith, Eli Richards, Andrew Sandelin and Jake Summerfield all made Idaho USA Schoolboy National Dual Team by placing in the top three of their weight classes.

The boys practice the month of May, which included a group of the other top Idaho wrestlers and Team Idaho coaches coming up to Bonners Ferry to train with the boys for a weekend.

The boys also traveled to southern Idaho Memorial Day weekend for training. The boys joined up with the rest of Team Idaho in Boise and flew out to Indianapolis, Indiana, June 6 through 12 for the USA Schoolboy National duals. The team as a whole went 5-3, beating team North Carolina, Team Tennessee, Team Indiana blue, Team Georgia Red and Team Alabama, to take second in the blue/red pool during Greco wrestling competition. During the freestyle competition, Team Idaho went 4-3, beating Team Delaware, Team Colorado blue, Team Kansas silver and Team Iowa Blue to take third in the green/yellow pool.

The boys worked hard during practices and represented Bonners Ferry Wrestling Club well, both on and off the mat, as they were very respectful and polite at all times.

Kyle finished 16-4 and Eli finished 15-7 in both freestyle and Greco wrestling during the duals.

After getting back from the schoolboy duals, Eli, Kyle, Andrew and Jake went directly to Wendell, Idaho, and met up with Bonners Ferry Wrestling Club members Evan, Chance, Jessie, Austin and Marcus at Delchev Wrestling Training Center to prepare for Western Regionals in Pocatello, where the boys wrestled from June 21 through June 24 in the biggest tournament of the year, where some of the boys had 64-man brackets.

Placing in the top four was extremely tough, however, the team won many matches and Jake Summerfield took third in both styles, Jackson Rickter took fourth in both styles and the rest of the boys wrestled tough but missed reaching the top four by a match or two.

Getting home during the early hours on June 24, they took the day off and wanted to meet back up the evening of June 25 to throw the wrestling dummies around and prepare for USA Wrestling Kids Nationals in Atlanta, Georgia.

Eli, Kyle, Jake, Evan, Andrew, Coach Conrad Garner and I left early on Monday, June 27, and landed in Atlanta that afternoon.

The boys again faced large brackets of 32 to 64 fighters, with tough competition from around the country.

Jake Summerfield placed foutth in Greco to earn All-American honors, and Kyle, Eli, Andrew and Evan wrestled extremely well and beat some tough kids, but came up short of placing in the top eight and earning All-American Honors.

Success is not always about winning and placing, but about just being there, learning, making new friends and competing at the higher levels. Thanks to these boys’ hard work and dedication over the years, Bonners Ferry Wrestling Club is nationally known and are currently ranked 139th in the nation, according to USA Wrestling.

A big thank you goes out to the community of Bonners Ferry, Woody’s Gun n' Pawn and the Bonners Ferry Vet Clinic (Linda and Dr. Roland Hall) for allowing these boys to come and work to earn money and buying raffle tickets for their wrestling and traveling.

It is much appreciated.
The Bonners Ferry Wrestling Club had a busy and fun summer. Thanks to their hard work and dedication, the team is currently ranked 139th in the nation, according to USA Wrestling.