By Kyle Daubs
Mattoon wrestling dominated this list.
The last decade featured a slew of outstanding wrestlers across the county. The Green Wave, led by Hall of Fame coach Brett Porter, found themselves with a state qualifiers in nearly every weight class during this past decade.
Charleston, meanwhile, featured an All-State performance for the first time in nearly 20 years. Despite not having the overwhelming team success, the Trojans are featured on this list.
This list includes a lineup for a typical wrestling match. Each weight class in today’s format features a wrestler.
106 Pounds: Coby Haney (MHS Class of 2021): Haney was nearly snubbed. However, in 2019, Haney had one of the most remarkable runs in the weight division as a sophomore. Haney won the sectional championship on his way to finishing sixth in the state. At one point, Haney was 35-1 before finishing the season 38-4 overall. He qualified for state last year as well. Assuming there is a wrestling season, Haney could be poised for a huge senior year.
113 Pounds: Trevor Edwards (MHS Class of 2017): We are sharing the wealth a bit here. Technically, Edwards is the better bet at 106. After all, he won the 106-pound bracket in the NHSCA National Wrestling Tournament to be named All-American. This was after he finished third in the state tournament. However, we can place Edwards at this weight after he proved how dominant of a wrestler he truly was. As a senior, Edwards finished as the Herald & Review Wrestler of the Year by making the state championship, the highest finish ever for a local wrestler. He later signed to compete for North Carolina State, becoming the first Division I wrestler from Mattoon since 2004.
120 Pounds: Rick Wright (MHS Class of 2021): As a freshman, Wright (below) won more than 20 matches and followed that up by qualifying for state at 113 pounds as a sophomore. As he moved up in age, he has moved up to higher weight divisions, competing at 120 pounds last year. Wright qualified for state for the second year in a row by placing third at the sectional. Along with Haney, Wright should likely make another run at a state berth, if the tournament is allowed by IHSA.
126 Pounds: Trey Pearcy (CHS Class of 2020): Pearcy (below) was a three-time state qualifier, once competing at 113 and 120 pounds. This past season, Pearcy displayed some of his best wrestling at the 126-pound weight class. He wrestled his way to third place at the sectional and finished the season with an impressive 40-7 overall record. Pearcy was also an All-Apollo selection and won a regional championship. Pearcy can be considered a utility man on this list, but we will lock him up in this weight division.
132 Pounds: Creed Janes (MHS Class of 2013): Over a three-year span, Janes went 29-8, 35-6 and 35-8. Pound-for-pound, he was one of the best wrestlers in the decade and put on one of the best postseason runs to finish All-State. As a senior, Janes fought his way through the wrestlebacks to make the finals. His 4-2 decision win over Chase Wiggins of Rock Island advanced him to the quarterfinals; however, his two losses ended his season sixth overall. Janes did all of this after finishing third in the sectional. The two wrestlers that finished above him? The state champion and state runner up.
138 Pounds: Hayden Stanley (MHS Class of 2020): Stanley’s senior season did not start well. A broken hand led to Stanley competing at the 152-pound division this past season. He nearly made it to state, but had to finish as a three-time state qualifier. In this division, he became the first Wave wrestler to place at state since Bob Tolen when the structure was a one-class system back in 1952. Stanley placed sixth overall and finished the season 33-11.
145 Pounds: Mitch Godden (MHS Class of 2014): Godden won a sectional championship and was top-12 at 170 pounds while also winning a Regional at 160. However, we have other wrestlers to fill those spots. As a freshman, Godden won a regional in this division on route to a 29-9 overall record. For the sake of limited capacity at this division, we selected the wrestler who proved he can wrestle across multiple weight classes.
152 Pounds: Quinten Carver (CHS Class of 2017): Carver did something that hadn’t been done in Charleston in nearly 20 years. That was place at the state meet. Carver placed fifth overall, the first CHS wrestler to reach the podium since Clay French in 1999. Carver also accomplished this with an improbable run. After placing fourth at the Sectional, Carver lost his first round match to force him to the wrestler backs. Carver then went 3-0 to fight his way to fifth place and an All-State medal. He later signed to compete for Hannibal-Lagrange College.
160 Pounds: Kevin Reddish: (CHS Class of 2017): The combination of Reddish and Carver highlighted CHS wrestling for many years. Reddish was a state qualifier after winning a regional championship and placing third at the sectional. At state, Reddish lost in the first round to the eventual state champion to finish 23-11.
170 Pounds: Treye Williams (MHS Class of 2011): Godden would potentially be here if it wasn’t for Williams. To start the decade, Williams capped an amazing wrestling career by placing third at state. Williams won his first round match and then made the final four by defeating Mark Hendricks (Marengo) on a 3-2 decision. He lost a chance at the state title, losing in a tight 4-2 decision. However, the third-place match was won in epic fashion after Williams won the 10-9 major decision over Jake Tindle of Triad. Williams won the Big 12 Conference in his weight class and opted to play football at McKendree College.
182 Pounds: Nick Polston (MHS Class of 2014): Polston was a mainstay in this weight class for many years. His senior year was capped off by making the state tournament as a senior. Despite losing out at state, many who follow wrestling can remember this former all-conference pick, who consistently wrestled at the top of this class for years.
195 Pounds & 220 Pounds: Garrette Branson (MHS Class of 2018) : We have a wrestler to apologize to after this award, but Branson earns mention for both of these classes. At 195 pounds, Branson was the only wrestler from Coles County to qualify for state in the division after going 25-5. The 220-pound division is where Branson succeeded the most, placing third at state his senior season. Branson is one of the best heavyweights to compete in Coles county. He continued his wrestling career with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona, which was once ranked the No. 18 in the NAIA rankings.
Apologies: Brayden Doyle (CHS Class of 2020): Doyle won a regional championship this past season and finished the season 37-5. Doyle never qualified for state, but he finished his senior seasons strong.
One for Fun: Austin Nichols (MHS Class of 2011): Nichols went out for wrestling as a senior and competed at an 189-pound weight division that no longer exists. Nichols finished the regional in fourth place and was going to be an alternate for the Sectional. Just days later, the second-place finisher in the division was ruled ineligible, which moved Nichols to the third qualifying spot. Nichols was told in the PE locker room by teammate Kory Culp, and was, to say the least, zealously excited while jumping around the locker room. Nichols later bowed out at the sectional and finished the season 11-24.