Story and photos by Chet Piotrowski Jr.

You’ll have to forgive Mattoon’s Aidan Blackburn if he looks a bit tired.

He’s had quite the five day stretch.

The Green Wave’s 145-pound wrestler had defeated the state’s third-ranked wrestler at 145 pounds, Mahomet-Seymour’s Tallen Pawlak, at the Marty Williams tournament Saturday.

Blackburn defeated him again at Effingham during a quad meet Tuesday evening. 

“It’s been pretty crazy,” Blackburn said. “He’s ranked third in state right now and I’m ranked 11th at the moment. I knew it was going to be a tough match. No one thought I could beat him, but I did twice.”

Blackburn said he’s seen very little of Pawlak except for at sectionals last year.

“I saw him a little bit last year at 138,” he said. “He wrestled Mick (Porter) at sectionals, which he looked good. I was excited to wrestle him. I was little more cautious on shooting. I was lot better when he was riding legs and getting off.”

Emotions were riding high for both wrestlers.

“When I did beat him, there was a lot of hate from Mahomet,” he said. “There’s going to be haters. But then you get love from the fans and teammates.”

Blackburn doesn’t have any tricks up his sleeve if he faces him at sectionals.

“Not really,” he said. “I’m just going to stick to the basics.”

Mattoon wrestling coach Brett Porter, whose team defeated Charleston then lost to Mahomet-Seymour, said he was pleased with the team’s performance considering the tournament the team participated in Saturday.

“After a big tournament on Saturday and to come here on a Tuesday and play one of the better teams in the state, it was a tough call for us,” he said. “I thought a lot of our kids did a great job today. They wrestled hard. Real close matches on some of them. It’s good. We don’t have to worry about the Apollo anymore, we can get to wrestling and finishing out our dual meets at Lincoln next Tuesday.”

Porter was happy for Blackburn and his performance.

“Aidan Blackburn beating the number three kid twice was huge,” he said. “He beat that kid and he’s ranked third in state. That’s a tough thing. It was fantastic. Ben Capitosti has been wrestling better than just about anybody these days. We’re real happy for his performance as well.”

Porter said the team is going to take what they’ve learned at Effingham and implement it into practices in preparation for the postseason.

“We’re just trying to learn every day,” he said. “We’re going to take what we gathered here and put it at practice and work on it. We’ll see Mahomet again at sectionals, so we’ll be ready for those individuals that will go to the next level.”

Charleston wrestling coach Mike Stanley is impressed that his young team continues to improve. The Trojans, who lost to Mattoon and defeated Effingham, were led by Marcellx Boling winning at both 195 and then at 220 pounds.

“The people that did wrestle – everytime they go out, they’re getting better,” he said. “We’re young. We’re inexperienced. But you can see the improvement out there, especially with our heavier weights.”

Mattoon 66, Charleston 18

106 – (Charleston)L. Ross wins by forfeit

113 – (Mattoon) K. Cassady wins by forfeit

120 – (Mattoon) T. Porter wins by fall 1:15 over (Charleston) M. Smallhorn

126 – (Mattoon) V. Gibson wins over (Charleston) A. Bryant

132 – (Mattoon) K. Bateman wins by fall :40 over (Charleston) D. Lowell

138 – (Mattoon)B. Capitosti wins by fall 3:05 over (Charleston) K. Merrill

145 – (Mattoon) A. Blackburn wins by fall :18 over (Charleston) M. Williams

152 – (Mattoon) E. Freeman wins by fall 3:13 over (Charleston) A. Sellers

160 – (Mattoon) J. Skocy wins by forfeit

170 – (Mattoon) B. Taylor wins by forfeit

182 – (Mattoon) T. Owens by fall :26 over (Charleston) K. Dare

195 – (Charleston) M. Boling wins by fall 2:39 over (Mattoon) S. Gerkin

220 – (Mattoon) L. Meyer wins by forfeit

285 – (Charleston) S. Hughes wins by fall 1:28 over (Mattoon) J. Sullivan

Charleston 30, Effingham 24

106 – (Charleston) Lucas Ross wins by forfeit

113 – double forfeit

120 – (Charleston) M. Smallhorn wins by fall :29 over (Effingham) K. Stewart

126 – (Effingham) H. Roley wins by fall 1:53 over (Charleston) A. Bryant

132 – (Effingham) B. Moon wins by fall over :37 over (Charleston)D. Lowell

138 – (Charleston) K. Merrill wins by forfeit

145 – (Effingham) S. Ellis wins by fall :49 over (Charleston) M. Williams

152 – (Charleston) A. Sellers wins by dec. 10-7 over (Effingham) W. Haycraft

160 – double forfeit

170 – double forfeit

182 -(Charleston) K. Dare wins by forfeit

195 – double forfeit

220 – (Charleston) M. Boling wins by dec. 11-5 over (Effingham) J. Lorten

285 – (Charleston) S. Hughes wins by fall 1:38 over (Effingham T. Patterson)

Mahomet-Seymour 57, Mattoon 18

106 – (Mahomet) wins by forfeit

113 – (Mahomet) C. Hatton wins by fall 5:01 over (Mattoon)T. Porter

120 – (Mahomet) J. Vrona wins by fall :47 over (Mattoon) N. Gibson

126 – (Mahomet) R. Wilson wins by forfeit 

132 – (Mattoon) K. Bateman wins by fall 3:16 over (Mahomet)C. Heinold

138 – (Mattoon) B. Capitosti wins by dec. 3-2 over (Mahomet) D. Lewis

145 – (Mattoon) A. Blackburn wins by dec. 3-1 over (Mahomet) J. Pawlak

152 – (Mahomet) G. Decker wins by fall 2:43 over (Mattoon) E. Freeman

160 – (Mattoon)J. Skocy wins by fall 2:42 over (Mahomet) A. Demos

170 – (Mahomet) C. Hillard wins by fall 1:08 over (Mattoon) B. Howell

182 – (Mahomet) B. Houser wins by fall 1:05 over (Mattoon) T. Owens

195 – (Mahomet) M. Casillas wins by fall :57 over (Mattoon) C. Jordan

220 – (Mahomet) C. Crowley wins by dec 4-3 over (Mattoon) L. Meyer

285 -(Mahomet) C Harms wins by fall :55 over (Mattoon) J. Sullivan