By Brian Nielsen
Having to miss much of his senior wrestling season with an injury, Hayden Stanley didn’t have to miss Senior Night.
Mattoon’s returning sixth-place state finisher from last year made up for lost time with a pair of first-period pins as part of the Green Wave’s Apollo Conference routs over Taylorville 54-15 and Effingham 58-18 Tuesday night at the north gym.
“It’s my last home meet,” Stanley said. “Senior Night is special for everyone.”
Joining in the fun with two pins each were Coby Haney, Rick Wright and Kyus Root as state-ranked Mattoon raised its dual record to 14-2, including 4-0 in the Apollo with matches against Lincoln and Mount Zion yet to go.
Kiefer Duncan and Jeremiah Jones both had pins against their Taylorville opponents and then technical falls over Effingham.
To go with Stanley’s two pins, the Green Wave’s other senior Gavin Jones received a forfeit win against Taylorville at 152 pounds before pinning his Effingham foe in 1 minute, 23 seconds.
“It’s kind of boring,” Jones said of the forfeit, “but I was fine with it.”
He just went about his business in the match he got to wrestle without any scouting report of his opponent.
“I try my best not to know anything about whom I am wrestling and just stay in my zone,” Jones said. “I kept it under control. I kept my hands out in front. I tried wrestling as slow or him or fast as him — the same pace so I’m not out of control or being controlled.”
This Senior Night might not have had the perfect fanfare with the triangular moved to the auxiliary north gym while Mattoon had a basketball game at the bigger facility.
“I think it’s better at the other gym,” Jones said. “I was a little disappointed we didn’t get to have the soft chairs.”
Mattoon coach Brett Porter was fine with the harder chairs on the sideline and two impressive wins.
“I think it just means a lot for kids to wrestle in front of their families,” Porter said. “Wrestling has always been moved into a smaller gym.”
Stanley is glad to wrestle again after being sidelined with a thumb injury as he dominated his two 160-pound opponents.
“I just went out and did what I always do,” he said. “I just did what I felt worked.”
Tuesday marked his third and fourth matches since missing several meets as he raised his season record to 8-2.
“I’m back now,” Stanley said. “I’m still working my way into shape, but I’ll be ready for regionals.”
Porter might be showing more patience than that for his senior standout. “We’re working him into it slowly,” the Wave coach said. “He might not be 100 percent until sectionals, but he’s been there before. When the lights come on, he’ll be fine.”
Stanley and Gavin Jones both drew the coach’s praise on their Senior Night. “I’m just so proud of those guys,” Porter said. “They’ve worked hard for four years. It was nice for the fans to see them do well tonight.”
The team as a whole continued a strong season that has Mattoon ranked 10th among the state’s Class 2A teams by Illinois Matmen and 17th in the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association poll.
“Our goal is to peak at the right time for conference and regionals,” Porter said. “We are working on things. You can tell they are trying to do those things. It was nice to see that today and when it was time to get the pin, we did. I think the kids are really focused on winning the Apollo. Beating Mahomet-Seymour last week was really nice.”
Before going for that Apollo championship in the triangular Tuesday at Lincoln, Mattoon has a non-conference triangular scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Chatham Glenwood.
In Tuesday’s other match at Mattoon, Effingham edged Taylorville 37-36.
(Photos/Krista Lewin, MCUSD2)
MATTOON 54, TAYLORVILLE 15
MATTOON 54, TAYLORVILLE 15
106: double forfeit
113: Brady Foster (M) won by forfeit
120: Coby Haney (M) pinned Dugler, 2:24
126: Mick Porter (M) won by forfeit
132: Rick Wright (M) pinned Neville, 3:02
138: Kiefer Duncan (M) pinned Rexroad, :42
145: Jeremiah Jones (M) pinned Sanders, 3:51
152: Gavin Jones (M) won by forfeit
160: Hayden Stanley (M) pinned Molina, 1:29
170: Kyus Root (M) pinned Herkert, 1:00
182: Anthony (T) won by forfeit
195: Angel (T) dec. Leo Meyer 5-0
220: Blue (T) won by forfeit
285: double forfeit
MATTOON 58, EFFINGHAM 18
106: double forfeit
113: Foster (M) won by forfeit
120: Haney (M) pinned Brown, 2:26
126: Porter (M) pinned Stroul, 1:41
132: Wright (M) pinned Reardon, :59
138: Duncan (M) tech fall over Manchhesic
145: J. Jones (M) tech fall over Perry 19-4
152: G. Jones (M) pinned Effingham , 1:23
160: Stanley (M) pinned Effingham, 1:44
170: Root (M) pinned Sparks, 1:24
182: Miller (E) won by forfeit
195: Meyer (M) pinned Worman, :45
220: Hoeschberger (E) won by forfeit
285: Hilles (E) won by forfeit