The Simley Spartans are used to being champions. Last season’s second place finish was not what they wanted.
For the first time in years, the Spartans didn’t start this season as the favorites in Class 2A, but they won their sixth title in seven years, beating Scott West 33-21.
They had holes to fill from 2013, but a dip into the junior high ranks and the contributions of two wrestlers with a total of one year of experience filled those holes nicely.
And the little things made all the difference in the 2A final. The first six matches were decided by a total of six points. A stalling call here, a ride out there told the tale early as Simley took a 12-6 lead. Seventh-graders Anthony Jackson and Greg Kerkvleit, who was a .500 wrestler, and junior Kyle Nordstrom all came away with one-point wins.
“We had two-seventh graders win one point matches. It was their first time out here at state. Those two guys really got it done for us,” Simley coach Will Short said. “Guys were giving for the team, getting bonus points and saving bonus points.”
No.-1 ranked Mack Short finally gave the Spartans some breathing room with a pin for a 18-10 lead.
“He brings it every single time,” Short said. “He’s always going for the pin. He led the team and has been the guy for us all year. He is one of the huge reasons we are state champions.”
Simley would grind out wins like they tend to do and continued to put space between themselves and Scott West. Simley sealed the match at 220 on Jack Ryan’s pin.