Brady Foster pins his Troy Triad opponent Tuesday night, putting the Green Wave ahead in the first match. (photo/Scott Leeman, SRL Designs)

Mattoon posted four pins, fended off take downs against some celebrated opponents in two other matches and defeated Troy Triad, 42-30, to qualify for the school’s first-ever appearance in an IHSA state dual team tournament.

Unlike track or swimming, which gives the state team title to the school that accumulates the most individual points, the state dual meet pits 16 full squads against one another to determine the state champion. Each team qualified by winning its regional.

Tuesday’s dual matches across the state narrowed the field to eight schools heading into Saturday’s Class 2A finals in Bloomington.

By defeating Troy Triad at Lincoln High on Tuesday night, the Green Wave advance to face Lemont on Saturday morning. Lemont, which enters its seventh state finals berth after beating Chicago Noble/Comer 69-3, boasts three state champions and two state runner-ups.

But that’s a challenge for another day.

On Tuesday, Mattoon was more focused on celebrating an historic win in which it posted four pins and did not yield one back.

“I think that everyone on the team came out today with a mission in mind, knowing that victory was in reach and made sure that they got their job done,” said junior Ricky Wright, who won his match 11-5 at 126 pounds. “Seeing everyone on top of their game for one dual was a sight to see and will go down as a historic moment for Mattoon wrestling.”

Brady Foster was among three Mattoon wrestlers who pinned Triad opponents in less than a minute. The sophomore quickly attacked Triad’s Rowan Clark, taking him down in 25 seconds at 106 pounds in the opening match, giving the Green Wave a 6-0 lead that it ultimately never relinquished.

Sophomore Kiefer Duncan needed only 47 seconds to pin Ryan Weber at 138 pounds to make it 25-4.

“It feels pretty nice to make history and be a part of this journey,” Duncan said.

Several matches later, freshman Kyus Root then pinned Landon Tourville in 51 seconds to make it 42-9.

“Glad to do my part and help the team win this year and excited about going to team state,” Root said, “and to be a part of history for Mattoon wrestling.” 

A match earlier, senior Hayden Stanley took down Jordan Clines in 1 minute, 39 seconds at 160 pounds.

Troy won three of the final four matches by forfeit, but the Green Wave already had an insurmountable advantage thanks to these pins and to some effective defeats as well.

In dual meets, pins and forfeits are each worth six points, technical falls are worth five, major decisions are four and decisions are worth three. A wrestler ahead by eight points earns a major decision.

Rather than wrestle conservatively, to post a win, the Green Wave aggressively kept pushing. Junior Jeremiah Jones scored five points with a technical fall and freshman Logan Blackburn earned a major decision for four more.

“We looked pretty good last night and I’m very proud of the team,” Blackburn said. “I know this is where all the hard work pays off.”

Senior Gavin Jones, meanwhile, avoided getting pinned by state finalist Garrett Backarich and sophomore Mick Porter fought former all-state wrestler Chase Hall to a major decision – saving a combined three points.

“Tonight’s win was truly a team effort,” Mattoon coach Brett Porter said.

The Green Wave will face Lemont at 9 a.m. at Grossinger Motors Arena.

Mattoon 42, Triad 30

106Brady Foster (Mattoon) over Rowan Clark (Troy Triad), Pin 0:256.00
113Coby Haney (Mattoon) won by forfeit6.00
120 Chase Hall (Troy Triad) over Mick Porter (Mattoon). Major Decision, 10-104.0
126Rick Wright (Mattoon) over Aiden Postma (Troy Triad), Decision, 11-53.00
132Logan Blackburn (Mattoon) over Miguel Estep (Troy Triad), Major Decision, 11-24.00
138Kiefer Duncan (Mattoon) over Ryan Weber (Troy (Triad), Pin, 0:476.00
145Jeremiah Jones (Mattoon) over Sam Wheeler (Troy Triad), Technical Foul, 18-15.00
152 Garret Bakarich (Troy Triad) over Gavin Jones (Mattoon), Technical Foul, 17-105.0
160 Hayden Stanley (Mattoon) over Jordan Clines (Troy Triad), Pin, 1:396.00
170 Kyus Root (Mattoon) over Landon Tourville (Troy Triad), Pin, 0:516.00
182 Kaden Marmon (Troy Triad) won by forfeit06.0
195 Andrew Mcelligot (Troy Triad) over Leo Meyer (Mattoon), Decision, 2-103.0
220Matt Hobbs (Troy (Triad) won by forfeit06.0
285 Collin North (Troy Triad) won by forfeit06.0