When Trigg County High School junior Colin Stevens stepped on the wrestling mat for the last time Saturday at the Kentucky High School Athletic Association State Wrestling Championships, he was guaranteed the team's highest state finish since his father earned a state title in 1982.
It was the finals match and the culmination of a two-day tournament in Lexington that had already included pins over North Bullitt's Nate Dodson and Anderson County's Cameron Bixler. Stevens had also knocked off No. 1-ranked wrestler Noah Duke of Ryle in a 2-1 quarter finals match, followed by a 3-0 finish over Harrison County's Chase Blanton in the semi-finals.
Stevens competed in the 182-pound division, but came up short in the finals with a 3-2 loss from North Oldham senior Sam Jenkins. For Stevens, his second-place finish was bittersweet.
"I'm unsatisfied with how I ended the day. I went out there with the goal to win, and I had it within my reach. Now I'll do whatever it takes to get better and have a better outcome next season," he said.
Stevens' father and head coach Ralph Stevens said he had hoped to lose his claim to Trigg County's only state championship title over the weekend.
"It's great to have someone back in the finals after 37 years," he said. "Now, we need to work on winning the championship. Colin broke a lot of individual records this year, but the record he wants is a state title."
The younger Stevens still holds more state medals than any other wrestler at Trigg County. In addition to his runner-up spot this year, Stevens finished third his sophomore year in the 160-pound division and sixth his freshman year at 152 pounds.
Trigg County sophomore Ethan Futrell also competed at the state tournament, finishing 2-2 in the 132-pound division. Futrell missed most of his sophomore year of competition due to a pre-season injury. He returned to competition two weeks before the Region 1 tournament where he finished third.