Unfortunately all good things must come to an end. And on Feb. 21 the book was closed on the 2014-15 wrestling season.
It didn’t come without some strong fights from Greater Alton area grapplers on the main mat at Champaign’s State Farm Center at the individual state tournament, though.
Six Greater Alton wrestlers brought home state medals, and overall 12 wrestlers from the five local schools competed on the state mat. I’d say that’s not too shabby.
The immediate consensus from the wrestlers themselves was disappointment for not bringing home a state championship, but that’s a monumental task and they shouldn’t hang their heads low.
Of the five schools, CM has four state champs in school history, Roxana has three and East Alton-Wood River has one. Alton and Marquette Catholic have never even had a state champ.
David Pearce of the Eagles (‘12) was the last of the locals to snare the top honors in the state.
CM’s Kip Kristoff won three state titles (‘82, ‘83 and ‘85) and Roxana’s Tom Riggins won two (‘96 and ‘97) to be the only multiple state champs from the Greater Alton area.
Entering the 2015 edition of state, Roxana owned 24 state medals from 18 individuals, CM had 23 from 13 different matmen, Alton had eight from six wrestlers, EA-WR had seven from seven different guys and Marquette owned one from a fourth-place finish from Dave Meyer in 1997.
It’s not easy to win medals at state, so the guys that did it this year have nothing to hang their heads about.
The Redbirds added two more medals to their total this year with twins Phyllip (145) and Nicholas DeLoach (152) securing fourth-place finishes at state. It marked the first time in AHS history that multiple wrestlers brought home hardware in the same year. It was the first medals in the careers of the twin senior standouts at Alton.
The Eagles and Shells added to their already gaudy medal count, too. Junior Drake Boverie (132) of CM finished fourth and senior Brayton Williams (152) was sixth, while Roxana sophomore James Henseler (106) earned sixth and senior Dalton Brito (126) garnered fifth. It was also the first state medals in all of their prep careers.
Sadly, Alton senior Qiant’e Wagner (160) and Roxana junior Jarod Foiles (132) each finished a win short of the medal round on Feb. 21 in Champaign.
Other wrestlers to advance to state but not place were EA-WR sophomores Drew Sobol (106) and Zac Blasioli (152), Alton senior Darian Pierson (285) and Redbird junior Connor Broyles (120).
State rankings finished up on www.illinoismatmen.com with a lot of local names filling slots. In Class 1A, Sobol (106) was fifth, Henseler (106) was eighth, Marquette’s Deyton Mitchell (120) was an honorable mention, Brito (126) was eighth, Foiles (132) was 11th, Blasioli (152) was an honorable mention, Roxana’s Luke Curtis (182) was an honorable mention and Brett Nyswonger (220) of the Shells was an honorable mention.
For Class 2A, CM’s Boverie (132) finished fourth and Williams (152) was seventh, while in 3A, Alton’s Broyles (120) was an honorable mention, Phyllip DeLoach (145) was fourth, Nicholas DeLoach (152) was seventh, Wagner (160) was 11th, KeOntay Holmes (182) was an honorable mention, as was Pierson (285).
Overall it was just a cap to a fantastic wrestling season for the Greater Alton area for a lot of guys who finished ranked in the state with stellar records. Just because there were no state champions crowned doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great campaign. Congrats on a great season.