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Rogers wins third state title

Senior has 4 pins on his way to Class A 120 pound championship

While he has earned a plethora of medals since starting wrestling at age six in 2013, Three Forks High School senior Cole Rogers doesn't have many hanging up in his bedroom.

One of the few medals he does have on display at home is from his freshman year and a fourth-place finish at the 2021 Montana Class B/C State Tournament. According to Rogers, the medal is not hanging up as an accomplishment but more of a reminder of how it feels to not be at the top of the podium.

"It is one of the first things I see every day, and it motivates me to do everything in my ability to never have to feel the disappointing feeling of losing at the state tournament," Rogers said.

With his ninth-grade season's motivation and countless hours of hard work and determination, Rogers would not lose again at state.

After winning Class B/C titles as a sophomore and junior, Rogers put an exclamation point on his Wolves career, capturing the Class A 120-pound championship at last week's state tournament at the Metra in Billings.

Rogers not only won his third straight state title but also pinned all four of his opponents in the Magic City.

"It feels great to go out and finish my high school career with a bang. It's always been the goal to pin my way through the tournament, and to do it again felt amazing," Rogers said.

The senior standout took care of business quickly on day one of the tournament. In the opening round, Rogers pinned Brayson Orr of Libby in 19 seconds. Rogers pinned Hayden Frieboes of Miles City in the quarterfinals in 58 seconds.

Rogers advanced to the finals with a pin at 2:18 over Kona Fandrich of Lockwood.

The win over Fandrich would set the stage for another battle with Elijah Nose of Laurel, whom Rogers had wrestled two times near the end of the season.

Rogers would win the title after pinning Nose with 35 seconds left in the third period.

Rogers said he felt good going into the finals coming off wins over Nose at home and the Eastern Divisional Tournament in Hardin.

"I visualized our matches and played them out hundreds of times through my mind and what the best option was for every position. We worked on eliminating every mistake from the previous matches and did everything in preparation to wrestle as well as possible. I have never been so ready for something in my life, and when the time came, I performed," Rogers said.

While the high school season may have come to an end, Rogers is not ready to take a break.

"Right now, I feel like I'm at the top of my game. I plan on practicing and doing what it takes to stay in shape for whatever comes next," he said.


The Three Forks/Ennis High School wrestling finished 12th out of 25 teams in Class A.

Along with Rogers winning the state crown, Emry Veland had a fifth-place finish at 113 pounds.

Veland started strong in round one, picking up a pin over Lyric Fainter of Bigfork in 58 seconds. After falling to Gordan Knapp of Sidney in the quarterfinals, Veland won 9-0 (major decision) over Colt McCord of Fergus and picked up a 9-2 win over Sami Jocks of Libby.

After falling in the consolation semifinals to Philip Westrick of Lockwood, Veland finished fifth with a 9-2 win over Will Merkel of Miles City.

Eighth-grader Howie Gayle had a win for the Wolves at 103 pounds. Gayle won by fall over Brycin Bugli of Stevensville in 54 seconds.

Jacob Murphy had a win at 126 pounds, winning by technical fall (17-2) over Cash Byrd of Columbia Falls.

Eighth-grader Tatum Todd had won for Three Forks at 132 pounds, defeating Skyler Sias by a 14-4 major decision.

152-pounder Jack Hayder had a victory by medical forfeit over Will James Courville of Ronan.