Sports Zone, Springfield

Colts’ boys finish second; Annis earns individual title

PORTLAND – While the Thurston Colts girls were securing a state title, the boys team earned its second-straight Class 5A silver trophy, finishing second with 202 points compared to Dallas’ 219.5. Thurston took a first-day lead with 121 points ahead of Dallas’ 110.5, but couldn’t hang on for the team title.

“Honestly, Dallas was the favorite. We had them on the ropes after day one and we had them on the ropes half of the day today. But I knew coming in it was gonna take like the perfect tournament – which we didn’t have – to beat Dallas. But I’m proud of our kids,” Thurston coach Mike Simons said. “It’s pretty cool to show up here and win trophies, and to be in the hunt to win the blue (first-place) ones. It’s pretty neat, and I know there’s a lot of programs that would switch with us if they could.”

Much like the girls side, the Colts’ boys had only one individual state champ. Junior Colton Annis trailed Crater’s Jaxon Godley heading into the final round of the 144-pound bracket, but scored six points in the final round to take the 10-6 decision.

“It means the world. I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a kid, so it means everything,” said Annis, who joined older sister Kaylee as a Thurston state champ. “It means everything for our family. My sister’s a three-time state champ, so I know she’s super proud back home.”

According to Simons, the late comeback win was nearly identical to Annis’ 8-7 win over the Crater sophomore at the Midwestern League championship a week prior.

“It was like the weekend before down in Crater. He did almost the same thing, and he was behind against the same guy. He’s a gamer though, he never quits,” Simons said. “He’s never out of a match. He’s very flexible and very unorthodox, because he’s so tall, and he’s deceivingly strong.”

Annis atop the Class 5A 144-pound podium

Along with the team hardware from the weekend, Simons took home a few pieces of his own. Each classification has a coach of the year, and Simons won the awards for both the Class 5A boys and the Class 6A/5A girls. Simons brought his whole staff up for the award presentations.

“These awards are truly a staff thing. And community thing, because there are people sitting in the bleachers that help out with the program. So my name just goes on it because I have the head coach title, but it’s everybody,” Simons said. “I’m lucky to have these people involved with the program. Some of them have been with me going back 20 years ago, other coaches I’ve had for 10-plus years, and my daughter’s on the coaching staff as well. It’s all pretty neat.”

The Thurston boys qualified 22 wrestlers for the state tournament, with 10 others joining Annis on a podium: Michael Salas Sanchez (106 pounds), Mason Hakki (113), and Sean Regas (132) in 2nd; Holton Halstead (138) in 3rd; Jaden Ellis (150) in 5th; and Truman Winningham (106), Kanoe Kelly (113), Jaxon Harada (126), Kamdyn Wardlaw (157), and Peighton Rofinot (285) in 6th.



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