The quest for an individual and team state championship is underway at the 2016 Wyoming State Wrestling tournament.

2:00 P.M. UPDATE: Ethan Sell, Idris Elias, Kaden Schriner, Ben Graeff, Carless Looney and Tony Ortega all won first round matches. Sell has also won his quarterfinal match to reach tonight's semifinals.

It’s been 18 years since the Laramie Plainsmen stood atop the podium. Chasing the dream of a team state title, Laramie has 17 wrestlers competing across 11 weight classes. They are open at three. LHS placed sixth in 4A a year ago.

Plainsmen head coach Mikah Kadera feels like his team is ready.

“We like our draws. You know, some of our kids got seeded and look good in the bracket. Others are going to have a little bit tougher way to placing or a state championship, but we’re prepared and ready to roll.

Laramie has a pair returning state champions in senior’s Idris Elias and Carless Looney. Elias is out to defend his title at 126 pounds, while Looney won at 170 pounds last year, but is wrestling up at 195 this year. Those two, along with fellow senior Kaden Schriner at 145 pounds, are considered favorites to win a title this year.

Kadera says, “They need to keep their heads focused. You know that’s the biggest thing. A lot of things going on this weekend, so you’ve gotta make sure that you are focused, and you’re prepared each and every match and not over-looking anybody. Focus one match at a time and do what you’re supposed to do.”

That’s the game plan for those three and others Kadera sees as a threat, like sophomores Ethan Sell (106) and Zech Aguilar (182), as well as junior Arsenio Lemus (132) and senior Tony Ortega (285).

Action began at 9 a.m. Friday with first round action. The quarterfinals and first round of consolation is Friday afternoon. The semifinals are Friday night at 7 p.m.

Saturday resumes with three rounds of consolation action at 9 a.m. The third and fifth place matches are at 2:30 p.m. The championship matches are at 5:15 p.m. Saturday. All of the wrestling is at the Casper Events Center.

More From KOWB 1290