Bottom row (l to r): Josh Dubson, Korbin Bateman, Ben Capitosti, Blaine Howell.
Middle row: Clayton Webb, Tristan Porter, Luke Ferris, Aidan Blackburn, Vincent Gibson, Cale Kimbro. Top row: Cam French, Clayton Bryant, Ean Freeman. Not pictured: Tristan Porter.

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.

MMS’s Tristan Porter


70Tristan Porter/61
75Josh Dubson/63
85Blaine Howell/72
90Korbin Bateman/81
90Clayton Bryant/83
100Ben Capitosti/71
105Ean Freeman/71
112Vincent Gibson/72
135Cale Kimbro/71
135Luke Ferris/83
145Aidan Blackburn/81
215Clayton Webb/82