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Three Forks wrestler Cole Rogers completes three-peat quest as a Class A champion

Posted at 2:40 PM, Feb 12, 2024

BUTTE — With a pair of State B-C wrestling titles to his name and now with a State A title in hand following Saturday's 120-pound Class A championship match, Three Forks senior Cole Rogers joked that he wished he had another season ahead of him.

"I wish I had another year to go do it at (Class) AA honestly," said Rogers with a grin.

Saturday's championship victory over Laurel's Elijah Nose may have been the end of the high school wrestling road for Rogers, but it was certainly a memorable one in Montana sports history as he completed his quest to earn multiple state titles at multiple classes with the same team.

It was the Wolves' shift from Class B-C to Class A this season that set him on the unique path. And it was his lone loss of the season to Billings Skyview freshman Chris Grossman — who emerged as the Class AA 120-pound runner-up at state — that helped Rogers zero in on his goal to be standing atop the Class A podium at the end of this season.

"After that (loss to Grossman) it was just goals were set in stone," said Rogers. "I knew exactly what I wanted to do and what I had to do to get there. And I just followed the plan."

His championship bout against Nose was Rogers' most tightly contested state match after pinning Libby's Brayson Orr in 19 seconds in the opening round, earning a 58-second fall over Miles City's Hayden Frieboes in the quarterfinals and then getting the pin over Lockwood's Kona Fandrich in 2:18.

Nose — whose performances at state helped the Locomotives secure the team title — pushed the match to a third round where Rogers ultimately earned the championship-sealing pin with 35 seconds remaining.

"I just knew I had to do what it takes," said Rogers. "I've wrestled (Nose) twice this year and they were all hard matches that came down to the end. He's solid and I knew I just had to stay on the attack and do what I do best."

After earning two B-C titles and now a Class A title with Three Forks, Rogers has carved out an uncommon distinction in Montana wrestling. Overall, he said he was just grateful to be given the opportunity to accomplish it.

"It was really cool to do that," said Rogers. "It's just cool to be different, it's cool to have something different."