The Carbondale Terriers qualified three wrestlers and Marion one for next week’s state tournament at the Lincoln Class 2A sectional Saturday.
Carbondale senior Zach Williard (41-1) is putting an exclamation point on his high school career winning his fourth regional title last week and this week his second sectional title to qualify for the state tournament for the third time.
“Zach is really on his game wrestling the way he should be this time of year,” said Carbondale coach Dennis Ragan. “He looked sharp the whole tournament. “I’m very impressed with his poise and the fact he is being very aggressive the whole match. He was doing anything he wanted to do.”
After sitting out the first round with a bye, Williard went into beast mode beating Cody Wheeler (29-7) from Lanphier in the quarterfinals by a 13-4 major decision. He then pinned Mascoutah’s Trenton Fitch (36-14) at 4:12 in the semifinals before dominating Hayden Stanley (31-9) from Mattoon in the finals with a 20-5 technical fall at 5:17 in the 126-weight class.
Marion senior Michael Cantrell (34-6) won his first sectional title at 195 to advance to the state tournament for the third time. He opened with a pin at 1:46 over Glen Cadell (15-7) of Waterloo and followed with a pin at 1:35 of Lucas Hooper (19-22) of Mahomet in the quarterfinals and won by a 13-1 major decision over Nicholas Capriotti (22-12) of Rochester in the semifinals.
He finished off his day with a 6-2 decision over Kyle Beasley (32-4) of Richland in the championship match.
“Mike wrestled the same guy who beat him in the regional in Mattoon and Mike beat him pretty well,” said Marion coach Brandon Page. “Him and Beasley had went back-and-forth his entire career, so it was nice to get a win at sectionals because he now will face a four seed instead of a three at state and that is huge.”
Fellow Carbondale senior Kolbi Caffey (38-5) qualified for state for the second time the hard way having to wrestle five matches to finish third in the 152-weight class.
Caffey had a bye in the first round and ran into the eventual sectional champion Cahokia senior Martell Boone (35-1) in the quarterfinals losing by a sudden victory 8-6 decision.
Caffey dropped into the third place part of the bracket and pinned Tyler Marschewski (23-15) from Effingham 31 seconds into the second period. He then pinned Kyle Johnson (26-18) from Mahomet at 30 seconds before winning by a pin at 2:46 over Polycarp Amosun from Urbana to advance to the third place match where he beat Glenwood’s Garrick Walker (34-5) by a 12-4 major decision.
Carbondale sophomore Aron Taylor (38-8) earned his first trip to the state final with a fourth place finish at 145. He started off great with a 10-2 major decision over Justin Owens (28-10) of Rochester and a 7-6 decision to Dalton Viglasky (36-5) of Waterloo before losing to the sectional champion Peter Mccusker (44-2) from Rantoul in the semifinals.
Taylor recovered to beat Owens for the second time by a major decision 11-2 before losing the third place match to Ean Pottorff (40-7) of Richland by a 12-4 major decision.