Local wrestlers had some success in the opening round, but then faced a defending state champ, a state runner-up and a top-ranked, undefeated wrestler – all from state powerhouse Washington in the quarterfinals Thursday night.
All five local wrestlers must now battle through wrestlebacks to earn a medal at the state meet, which, for three local wrestlers, means winning two more matches.
Each of these wrestlers are accustomed to fighting their way through wrestlebacks, having done so in last week’s sectionals to reach the IHSA State wrestling tournament here in Champaign’s State Farm Center.
Mattoon sophomore Brady Foster, who won four matches through wrestlebacks last weekend, edged Crystal Lake’s Amador Castro (28-8) for a tough 3-2 decision in one of the most anticipated early-round matches at 106 pounds.
“Brady was able to understand the situation, kind of control the tie-ups and make sure he wasn’t doing anything that would cost himself points,” said Mattoon coach Brett Porter.
Foster advanced to take on Washington’s Kannon Webster (44-0), getting pinned in 3 minutes, 48 seconds by the state’s No. 1-ranked wrestler in this division.
Foster next faces the winner between Riverside’s Quintin Godlewski (21-10) and Marian freshman Nick Davidson (33-18) in the early afternoon.
Charleston senior Trey Pearcy (39-5), who battled back through both regional and sectional tournaments, won a major decision in his first match at 126 pounds, beating Oak Forest sophomore Tyler Evitts (29-8), 10-2.
Like Foster, he then had to face a top-ranked foe, Washington junior Joey Cape. Cape, the defending state champion at 120 pounds, dominated from the beginning in winning by technical fall midway through the second period when he tallied a 15-point advantage.
Said Charleston coach John Hansen: “We knew it was going to be a tough match, and it was one.”
Pearcy takes on the winner between Grayslake North senior Jake Jozwiak (29-7) and Kennedy sophomore Hunter Helson (23-5) in an early afternoon match.
Mattoon sophomore Kiefer Duncan (22-6) took down St. Laurence senior Mike Archer (22-10) a few times before posting a pin 2:45 into his first-round match at 132 pounds.
Said Porter: “He wrestled fantastic.”
Like the other local wrestlers, Duncan next faced another top-ranked Washington athlete, senior Brody Norman (37-2), who was the state runner-up at 126 pounds last year. Norman took control early in posting a technical fall over Duncan in the second period.
Duncan competes against the winner between Antioch senior Danny McPherson (34-7) and Lincoln senior Trevor Bree (34-16) on Friday afternoon.
“We just need to refocus and work on winning the next few matches and getting a medal,” Porter said. “They’re ready to wrestle.”
In other matches:
Mattoon junior Ricky Wright lost a 6-1 decision to Antioch’s Alex Barbarise, a medalist at 120 pounds last year.
Mattoon junior Jeremiah Jones (22-8) lost a 13-6 decision to Marian junior Bryce Shelton, who improved to 40-2.
They both are set for late-morning matches.
THURSDAY’S LOCAL RESULTS
106 pounds: Brady Foster (32-3)
- Champ. Round 1 – Brady Foster (Mattoon) won by decision over Amador Castro (Crystal Lake (South, 28-8), 3-2
- Quarterfinal – Kannon Webster (Washington, 44-0) won by pin over Brady Foster (Mattoon), 3:48
120 pounds: Ricky Wright (20-10)
- Champ. Round 1 – Alex Barbarise (Antioch, 41-3) won by decision over Ricky Wright (Mattoon), 6-1
126 pounds: Trey Pearcy (39-5)
- Champ. Round 1 – Trey Pearcy (Charleston) won by major decision over Tyler Evitts (Oak Forest, 29-18), 10-2
- Quarterfinal – Joey Cape (Washington) 16-2 won by tech fall over Trey Pearcy (Charleston), TF-1.5 3:24 17-2
132 pounds: Kiefer Duncan (22-6)
- Champ. Round 1 – Kiefer Duncan (Mattoon) won by pin over Mike Archer (St. Laurence), 2:45
- Quarterfinal – Brody Norman (Washington, 37-2) won by technical fall over Kiefer Duncan (Mattoon), 22-6 (TF-1.5 3:40 16-0)
138 pounds: Jeremiah Jones (22-8)
- Champ. Round 1 – Bryce Shelton (Woodstock Marian, 40-2) won by decision over Jeremiah Jones (Mattoon), 13-6