Six Mattoon Middle School wrestlers captured titles in the Region 16 meet at Mahomet-Seymour, and 12 total advanced to the IESA sectional meet set for Jacksonville High next Saturday.
The state meet will be held at Northern Illinois University on March 13-14.
Tristan Porter was the youngest Wildcats wrestlers to win, capturing the 70-pound weight class. Seventh-graders Ben Capitosti (100), Ean Freeman (105) and Cale Kimbro (135) won their respective weight classes while Korbin Bateman (90) and Aidan Blackburn (145) were the two eighth-grade titlists.
Bateman was the state champion in 2018 at 70 pounds while Blackburn was Class AA state champ last season at 135 pounds.
“We have several qualifiers who have a good shot to make it to state and to make some noise when they get there,” Mattoon Middle School coach Mike Stanley said.
Cam French, an eighth-grader who won last season’s 70-pound state championship, hurt his elbow in practice earlier this year and was unable to recover in time to compete at regionals. Jordan Eveland, a returning state qualifier, did not make his weight at the regional weigh-in.
Mattoon Middle placed second in the 2016 IESA state wrestling meet, its best finish.
Here’s a breakdown of those who qualified at regionals:
Tristan Porter (70): The sixth-grader has state experience at the club level. He is 27-4 this season.
Josh Dubson (75 pounds): A sixth-grader who has posted a 7-2 record at two JV tournaments this season. This is his first sectional meet.
Blaine Howell (85): This seventh-grader is a returning state qualifier.
Korbin Bateman (90): This eighth-grader was a state champion at 80 pounds in 2018.
Clayton Bryant (90): Dominated his third-place match to earn his first sectional appearance.
Ben Capitosti (100): This seventh-grader, who did not qualify from sectionals last season, has defeated several state qualifiers this season, putting him in a great spot to make it to state.
Ean Freeman (105): This seventh-grader is was a state qualifier last year.
Vincent Gibson (112): The seventh-grader erased a 4-point deficit in the third period of his semifinal match to win 5-4. He took second to qualify for his first sectional meet.
Caleb Kimbro (135): A match away from qualifying for state at last year’s sectionals, this seventh-grade regional champ ought to have a favorable position to advance this time around.
Luke Ferris (135): The eighth-grader also erased a third-period deficit to take third and advance to sectionals for a second consecutive season.
Aidan Blackburn (145): This eighth-grader sectional titlist was a state champion last year at 135 pounds.
Clayton Webb (185): This first-year wrestler took second to earn a trip to his first sectional meet.
IESA REGIONAL WRESTLING RESULTS