Seaforth wrestling captures first individual team title, two Hawks win individual state championships

Josh Miller and Layne Armstrong win their first individual state titles.


To cap off a historic season, Seaforth captured the 2A individual team state title while having two wrestlers win individual state championships Saturday.

Senior Josh Miller took home the state crown for the 120-pound weight class, and junior Layne Armstrong claimed the 126-pound title in the 2A tournament. They are Seaforth’s first two individual wrestling state champions.

Armstrong’s victory gave Seaforth the necessary points to top the team standings with a score of 136 and win the first team sport state title in school history.

The state tournaments started Thursday and finished with the championship rounds Saturday evening.

“It feels amazing,” head coach Ryan Armstrong, who is Layne’s father, said. “It (was) a very emotional three days.”

Said assistant coach Pete Rogers, “Seeing these guys accomplish what they did, it’s your dream as a coach…It couldn’t have happened to two better people both on and off the mat. They’re great leaders, they’re great people, (and) they pick people up on the team.”

Coming into the championship round, Seaforth sat at second place in the team standings, trailing 2A dual team champs Trinity, 128.5-126.5. Ahead of the Hawks’ two matches, Trinity picked up another victory by major decision to extend its lead, but the title remained in reach for Seaforth.

Seaforth’s last efforts for the top spot started with Miller, who finished as a state runner-up in 2021 and 2023. He had to wrestle Trinity’s Spencer May who beat Armstrong in the state dual finals two weeks prior.

Miller used a couple of successful double-leg takedowns to jump out to a 4-1 lead in the first two rounds. May came close to getting Miller on his back for points numerous times, but Miller did a good job of getting to his knees and preventing May from turning him.

“I knew (May) was going to be very strong,” Miller said. “When I got an early lead, my mindset was really to go out there and score some more points.”

At the end of the second round, an illegal slamming move from May gave Miller a crucial extra point and extended his lead to 5-1. Two minutes from his first state title victory, Miller spent the third round fending off May’s shots and once again staying off his back to win the match by decision, 5-2.

“I’ve worked really hard for this,” Miller said. “I used to come out to this tournament when I was like 11 years old just to watch. (Since) I was 11, I knew I wanted to be a state champ…To see people I know (and) people I grew up in the sport with win it year after year and me not win it last year, I had to win it this year. It felt really good.”

Although Miller got the storybook ending to an outstanding career, Seaforth still had a job to finish. Now within striking distance of Trinity, the Hawks’ hopes for a team championship lied in the grip of Armstrong, who took the mat against Chase’s Adrian Fox right after Miller.

“My strategy was to kill him,” Armstrong said. “No mercy on (Fox). I wanted that state championship.”

Armstrong took the title right out the gate by quickly getting Fox to the ground and keeping him there. With some near falls and swift takedowns on the rare occasion that Fox escaped, Armstrong continued to rack up points, ending the first round up 10-1.

A final near fall late in the second period clinched the 17-1 technical fall victory. The nature of the win was fitting, considering Armstrong pinned every opponent in the state championship tournament leading up to the final round.

Of course, Seaforth’s championship-winning performance at the state tournament took more than just Miller and Armstrong.

Out of its 10 other state qualifiers, five placed in their respective tournaments and weight classes. Gabe Rogers (106 pounds), Keira Rosenmarkle (girls, 152), Judge Lloyd (175) and Ethan Kuball (215) finished third.

Harrison Compton finished fifth in the 190-pound tournament.

Ryan Armstrong credited Pete Rogers with a lot of the team’s success, and he said their ability to win the individual team championship after a tough loss to Trinity in the 2A dual final exemplifies how this year’s trailblazing Hawks squad is “special.”

“We took what we learned from duals, and (Rogers) went into the room and fixed it,” Armstrong said. “You can see the results (Saturday). In order for Coach Rogers and the boys and girls we have in this program to take criticism and execute and then you see it the next week and the week after in the state finals, that says something is special about them.”