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Rogers signs to wrestle at Western Colorado University

In February, Three Forks High School senior wrestler Cole Rogers put an exclamation point on his storied prep career with a third consecutive state title. While his time competing as Wolf may have ended, he is far from finished on the mat.

Rogers signed a letter of intent last week to compete at the collegiate level for Western Colorado University in Gunnison.

Prior to a signing ceremony in front of a packed audience of family, coaches, teammates, friends, and supporters, Rogers discussed the journey to sign with the Mountaineers.

"I'm excited. It's been a fun process, and I'm definitely excited to get it done and get the weight off my chest," he said.

Following the 2023-24 season, which culminated with Rogers winning four straight matches by pin to win the Class A 120-pound title at the State Tournament, he made a campus visit to Colorado.

"It was a fun trip. I've got some family who live close by, and I just loved the surrounding areas. It's pretty, it's a ski town, and they had a bunch of kids on the team that hunted too," said Rogers. "I like the coaches too, and it was good talking to them. Everyone on the team was really cool. I just had fun the whole time."

Before the signing, Three Forks High School Wrestling Head Coach Nye Howey addressed the audience and said a kid like Rogers doesn't come around often.

"Cole is a true leader. He doesn't lead with his mouth. Cole leads with his actions. Any of the little kids here who had the opportunity to wrestle with Cole or be in the room with Cole know that he gets into the room and gets to work. He has been doing that since he was your age. Cole never came to any 'Little Guys' practice and wanted to goof around. Cole came into the room and worked," Howey said.

Having coached Rogers since he was six, Howey discussed the work ethic that led to the three state titles.

"Cole gets to high school, and he comes to practice, and every night after practice, he goes to another practice. Cole was never on the ineligibility list, not even close. He worked his tail off for what he got, and I'm super proud of him for that," Howey said.

After finishing fourth at the 2021 State Tournament, Rogers would not lose again at the season-ending tournament in Billings with Class B titles as a sophomore and junior and a Class A title as a senior.

"It's hard to place at the state tournament. It's really hard to place at state when you're a freshman. It's harder to win a state tournament. It's even harder when you are a sophomore. Then, in your junior year, expectations keep rising, and it makes it harder to win another one. Senior year, everybody is looking at you, and it makes it harder because everyone in the state is gunning for you. And that's when you've got to work harder, and Cole did that day in and day out, at practice and school," Howey said.

Regarding expectations for his first season in college, Rogers said the goal is to start, although he is still determining whether he will be wrestling at 125 or 133 pounds.

"Everything will fall into place when I get there," Rogers said.

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