Mattoon’s Kiefer Duncan (photo/Scott Leeman)

Brady Foster had a much more difficult time at sectionals than had faced at regionals the week before. 

The Mattoon sophomore, who entered Saturday’s matches 27-1, was among the state’s top-ranked wrestlers at 106 pounds. Yet, he lost in the second round to Morton’s Connor Kidd, 8-4.

That sent Foster into the consolation side of the bracket, often referred to as wrestlebacks. Although wrestling insiders know they’re really called blood rounds, where everyone fights for competitive survival.

Foster responded by pinning his Decatur Eisenhower opponent in 14 seconds and then took down a Springfield foe in 3:54, setting up his most important match of the day – a consolation semifinal that would determine a state berth.

Foster needed to go to overtime to defeat Civic Memorial sophomore Ben Skaggs, 9-7, to earn a trip to the state tournament.

“He was able to overcome the situation and relax,” Mattoon coach Brett Porter said. “He understood the situation and took advantage of it.”  

Foster later took third overall after defeating Normal West’s Matt Bicknell on a technical fall at the class 2A sectional meet in Mascoutah.

Foster’s teammates also faced bigger challenges Saturday.

Mattoon’s Brady Foster (photo/Scott Leeman)

Four of Mattoon’s 11 wrestlers advanced to the state meet.

Kiefer Duncan, though, did not lose until the championship at 132, where he lost 16-5 to take second. He returns to state for a second year in a row.

“He’s got his style that evolves through a match,” Porter said. “He doesn’t dominate. The results are always within a point. And most of the time he finds a way to win.”

Jeremiah Jones and Ricky Wright fought through wrestlebacks to earn berths as well. Wright took third at 120 pounds and Jones finished fourth at 138 pounds.

Said Porter: “While I feel bad for the seniors, we have four kids making a trip to the state tournament.” 

Charleston’s Trey Pearcy also earned a state berth by fighting through the wrestlebacks to defeat Mattoon’s Logan Blackburn, 10-5, and East St. Louis’s Zion Wilhite, 16-3.

“It is an exciting time of the year,” Charleston coach John Hansen said. “Overall, I’m pleased with how everyone competed. Trey Pearcy is headed to state for his third time.  I’m looking forward to seeing him walk out on the mat and represent Charleston wrestling.”

Coby Haney, another regional champ, had lost only one match heading into sectionals for a 28-1 record. The sophomore is among the best in the state at 113 pounds. He pinned a Jacksonville foe in 3:50 to reach the quarterfinals and seemed on his way before losing a 10-2 decision to defending state champ Chad Bellis of Bloomington.

He was then eliminated when he lost 10-8 in overtime to Glenwood’s Thomas Vansacik in wrestlebacks, just missing a state berth.

“He just picked a bad day to have a bad day,” Porter said. “He just caught at the end in overtime. He gave everything he could possibly give.”

SATURDAY’S MORNING REPORTS: MATTOON’S DUNCAN HEADED TO STATE

Kiefer Duncan beat Jacksonville’s Tim Welsh, 2-1, in the morning to advance into the championship round at 132 pounds at the IHSA Class 2A state wrestling tournament in Mascoutah, thus earning a spot in the state tournament.

Junior Coby Haney lost at 113 pounds by a major decision, 10-2, to last year’s state champion, Bloomington’s Chad Bellis. He next faces Glenwood’s Thomas Vansack (28-11). The winner heads to the state tournament.

Charleston’s Trey Pearcy lost at 126 pounds, 13-0, so he will next take on Mattoon’s Logan Blackburn. The winner advances to state and a chance to take third place at sectionals. 

Ricky Wright lost his semifinal match, 4-1, and heads over to the wrestlebacks at 120 pounds to try to qualify for state. He will need to win his next match to do so.

Mattoon’s Jeremiah Jones will also need to battle back for a state berth after losing in his 138-pound match to Bloomington’s Ryan Gardner (49-5), 14-4.

In the first-round of wrestle backs Saturday morning at the IHSA Class 2A sectional tournament in Mascoutah.

Mattoon sophomore Brady Foster (29-3) rebounded from his second-round loss yesterday to pin his Decatur Eisenhower opponent in 14 seconds at 106 pounds. Several of Foster’s teammates also fared well this morning. Senior Gavin Jones (22-8), like Foster (below) a regional titlist, pinned his 160-pound Lanphier opponent in 3 minutes, 22 seconds. Freshman Logan Blackburn (20-11) posted a major-decision at 126 pounds, 9-0. And freshman Kyus Root (26-10) just posted a major decision over his Danville opponent, 13-5, to advance.

These wrestlers need to win two more matches to qualify for state and three more matches to take third place in their weight categories.

Mattoon freshman Stewart Druin (4-8), meanwhile, was eliminated at 145 pounds after getting pinned in 1 minute as was freshman teammate Leo Meyer (19-18), who was pinned in 1:26 at 192 pounds.

Two Charleston wrestlers were also eliminated by pins this morning – sophomore Tyler Thompson (28-18) in 3:32 at 152 pounds and freshman Wyatt Kennedy (9-15) in 2:20 at 220.

4 GREEN WAVE WRESTLERS ADVANCE IN MORNING SESSION

Mattoon is doing well this morning during wrestlebacks at the IHSA Class 2A sectional tournament in Mascoutah.

Mattoon sophomore Brady Foster (29-3) rebounded from his second-round loss yesterday to pin his Decatur Eisenhower opponent in 14 seconds at 106 pounds. Several of Foster’s teammates also fared well this morning. Senior Gavin Jones (22-8), like Foster (below) a regional titlist, pinned his 160-pound Lanphier opponent in 3 minutes, 22 seconds. Freshman Logan Blackburn (20-11) posted a major-decision at 126 pounds, 9-0. And freshman Kyus Root (26-10) just posted a major decision over his Danville opponent, 13-5, to advance.

These wrestlers need to win two more matches to qualify for state and three more matches to take third place in their weight categories.

Mattoon freshman Stewart Druin (4-8), meanwhile, was eliminated at 145 pounds after getting pinned in 1 minute as was freshman teammate Leo Meyer (19-18), who was pinned in 1:26 at 192 pounds.

Two Charleston wrestlers were also eliminated by pins this morning – sophomore Tyler Thompson (28-18) in 3:32 at 152 pounds and freshman Wyatt Kennedy (9-15) in 2:20 at 220.