Capping run to back-to-back championships, Mitchell's Jagger Tyler wins 152-pound state title in Class A
Tyler recorded a 3-1 decision over Harrisburg's Logan O’Connor in the championship match to finish his senior season 42-3.
RAPID CITY — One was sweet, but two is much sweeter for Jagger Tyler.
Taking down the Class A state title last season placed a target squarely on Tyler’s back in 2023. It only got bigger when he earned the No. 1 seed in this year’s 152-pound bracket.
But once the bright lights came on inside the Summit Arena, no one could deny the Mitchell High School senior a repeat championship.
In Friday night’s championship match, Tyler earned a 3-1 decision over Harrisburg’s Logan O’Connor, capping a 42-3 campaign that saw Tyler become the 10th multi-time state champion in MHS history, dating back to 1958.
“I knew if I wrestled a mistake-free match, I could win, and I think I did that,” Tyler said. “I did wrestle pretty conservatively, and I don’t really like doing that. But I got one last year, and I just wanted to secure another one in a way that I felt comfortable.”
In coach Andy Everson’s words: “He wrestled a great match. … A perfect match.”
To reach the championship, Tyler recorded a pair of 15-0 technical falls on Thursday before taking a 9-2 decision in Friday morning’s semifinal round.
The title match may have taken on a different tone than Tyler’s prior three state tournament matches, but that was by design. O’Connor hit on what Everson described as a “crazy move” to record a pin in the other semifinal from a position Tyler had taken down O’Connor in the past, making Tyler and Everson wary.
But throughout the match, Tyler was his normal, calm self — even if there was extra gravity heaped on the final match of his prep career.
“I do feel that pressure,” Tyler admitted. “But I do think I was pretty relaxed. The self-talk I give really helps me go out there confident. … It’s the same every time, I tell myself I’m going to dominate that match.”
While a 3-1 scoreline doesn’t scream ‘dominant,’ there was never a moment where the match wasn’t in Tyler’s control.
After a scoreless first period, Tyler recorded an escape in the second to take a 1-0 lead. Later in the third, the match’s lone takedown put Tyler in front 3-0. O’Connor’s lone point came on an escape just 30 seconds remaining.
Though Tyler made it look relatively easy, the path to a second-straight state championship was anything but.
“It’s a whole different ballgame once you’ve won one,” said Everson, himself a two-time state champion during his time at MHS. “That second one is about 10 times harder to get because everybody is gunning for you and there’s that pressure that you’re supposed to win. He handled it well all season … and he joined an elite crew tonight.”
Though he moved to Mitchell from Wagner in the middle of his prep career and competed as a Kernel for three seasons, Tyler will leave as one of the most accomplished wrestlers in program history.
“Being a two-timer is much more rare than one,” Tyler said. “It just feels good to leave that type of legacy.”