BUTTE — After an overtime loss to Billings Skyview freshman Chris Grossman at the CMR Holiday Classic in December, Three Forks senior wrestler Cole Rogers made up his mind — he wasn't going to drop another match this season.
"It was a good match but it was tough to lose that one for sure," recalled Rogers, who was in Butte competing at the Class A Duals last week. "That kind of made it more clear of my goals. After Christmas I was like 'OK, I don't want to lose again. I want to go undefeated the rest of the year.'"
If that lofty aspiration comes true, Rogers — who took fourth place at state at 103 pounds as a freshman before claiming the 103 State B-C title as a sophomore, the 120 B-C crown as a junior and is again wrestling at 120 pounds as a senior — will emerge as a three-time state champion with the Wolves, but there will be a twist.
Three Forks, which co-ops with Ennis, was bumped up to Class A this season based on the combined enrollment of the two schools. If Rogers again finds himself atop the podium in Billings, he'll do so with the uncommon distinction of claiming multiple titles with the same school across multiple classifications.
"This is going to be awesome," said Rogers of the opportunity. "I get a chance to win state titles at multiple classes and just kind of show that B-C kids can hang with A and AA kids as well.
"It's been fun, I've enjoyed wrestling all these new kids. There's a lot of good competition (at the Class A level)."
Aside from the early-season loss to Grossman, Rogers hasn't dropped a match this season and he piled up seven more victories at the Class A Duals — five falls and two forfeits.
Three Forks' senior night dual is Thursday and after that the Wolves, who took second place in the team standings last season, will set their sights on the Western A divisional tournament in Hamilton on Feb. 2-3.
If Rogers takes care of business in the Bitterroot and earns at least a top-eight finish, he'll be on to Billings where he'll have a shot at accomplishing something that's unique in Montana wrestling history.
When asked what his mindset is as he looks toward the approaching postseason, Rogers didn't hesitate.
"All out," he said. "Everything that I've got is going into this year. I'm never gonna look back and regret working so hard. So I'm just doing as much as I possibly can to prepare myself for state."