The Carbondale Terriers finished third at the Mattoon 2A wrestling regional and advanced seven wrestlers to next week’s Lincoln Sectional, including taking home three first place finishes Saturday.
“I wouldn’t want to say we had a few surprises, but some kids really stepped up today, like Shandon Scott-Rivers and Donnelle Watson,” said Carbondale coach Dennis Ragan.
Senior Zach Williard (38-1) won his fourth regional title by a 14-3 major decision over Mattoon sophomore Hayden Stanley (28-8) at the 126-pound class.
Senior Kolbi Caffey (34-4) won his second regional title after missing last year with an injury. Caffey pinned Effingham junior Tyler Marschewski (23-13) with 38 seconds left in the first period at 152.
Unseeded senior Nolan Beck (30-10) won his first regional title by beating top seed Marion sophomore River Flute (33-6) in the semifinals by an 8-7 decision, and the third-seed, Mt. Zion senior Gus Wheeler (26-9), in the finals by a 9-2 decision at 160.
“Nolan had a heck of a day,” Ragan said. “The semifinal match was probably harder than his final.”
Also advancing were freshman Luke Daly (26-13) at 132 and sophomore Aron Taylor (35-6) at 145, with second place finishes, and sophomore Donnelle Watson (17-20) at 120 and senior Shandon Scott-Rivers (14-8) at 182 with third place finishes.
“Luke was the second seed and beat the third seed (Mount Vernon senior Will Walton) in the semifinals 4-0, and he lost to top seed, 4-0, so he had a good day,” Ragan said. “Aron lost to Brandon Marschewski at sudden death overtime at Murdale ... Maybe he will beat him next week.”
Marion finished sixth and qualified four wrestlers. Third seed sophomore Gaige Owens (32-5) won his first regional title by a 9-8 decision over the top seed, Charleston sophomore Trey Pearcy (26-3) at 113.
“Gaige has been wrestling the 106 weight class, but bumped him up today because we thought he had a better chance to get to state at 113,” said Marion coach Brandon Page. “He was the No. 3 seed and he upset the No. 2 in the semifinals before upsetting the No. 1 in the finals, who was a state ranked wrestler. I don’t think he saw Gaige coming, honestly.”
Finishing second for Marion were senior Michael Cantrell (30-6) at 195 and senior Rohan Cook (31-10) at 170, with Flute advancing with a third place finish at 160.
Herrin advanced two wrestlers, with senior Frank Mannie (30-10) finishing second at 285 and junior Jace Hahs (32-11) third at 138.
“Both my guys went in as seeded wrestlers, so we thought they had better than average chance of making it,” said Herrin coach Kelsey Lewis. “Frank had some knee problems that set him out near the end of the season, but he came back pretty good. Jace had been pretty consistent all season. We would have hoped to qualify more. It’s kind of hard when you have a lot of rookies trying to fill in the varsity lineup, but they went down swinging.”
Mount Vernon also advanced two wrestlers, with second seed freshman Gabe Taylor (25-13) winning the 182 title by a 4-1 decision in double overtime over the top seed, Mattoon senior Cayden Collings (25-12).
Also advancing is freshman Bill Penrod (14-5) with a third place finish at 195.