MASCOUTAH — Like Meatloaf said, two out of three ain't bad.
And it's actually four out of five for the Alton Redbird wrestling program.
On Saturday, the Birds earned the championship of the 45th annual Mascoutah Invitational tallying 277.5 points. The title came on the heels of tourney wins in 2013, 2011 and 2010 in Mascoutah.
Alton was guided by 10 medal winners on Saturday, including three champions.
Connor Broyles won at 126 while Phyllip DeLoach (145) and Nicholas DeLoach (152) also nabbed individual titles.
The Birds outdistanced second-place Quincy (214) by 63.5 points. Collinsville (209), Triad (199.5) and O'Fallon (177.5) rounded out the top five.
Recent success at Mascoutah has Alton head coach Eric Roberson pleased. It's telling of the program the Redbirds are putting together.
“It's the sign of a good program,” Roberson said. “We're just trying to build consistency from year to year. Even in your down years you still want to be competitive and not let your down years be too down, but this is a nice tournament for us. We like this tournament, I wrestled in it when I wrestled, we've been in it since I've coached at Alton and it's a great tournament to start of the season with.”
Besides the three champs, Q'iante Wagner (160) took second, Christian Everage (132), Alejandro Lopez (138), Keontay Holmes (182) and Darian Pierson (285) all finished third, Dylan Sims (113) grabbed fourth and Tim McCarvey (126) was seventh.
Broyles, who sat out Alton's previous dual with Collinsville and lost his match vs. Granite City in overtime, was stoked to be a champ and to see his team earn a title also.
“I think this was real big team effort, we've been working a long time and working very hard,” Broyles said. “We've had some tough losses against a team like Granite City and we've just got to get better. As a team out there on the mat we get ourselves hyped up and we're a big family. We're always supporting each other in our matches and I think that shows in our wrestling. We're always ready.”
Locally, the Civic Memorial Eagles, Roxana Shells and East Alton-Wood River Oilers also competed in Mascoutah on Saturday.
CM and Roxana each produced three medalists, while EA-WR had two. The Eagles were 14th, while Roxana finished 23rd and the Oilers were 24th.
Drake Boverie continued his whirlwind season for the Eagles, winning an individual title at 132 pounds. Brayton Williams (152) was third in his first competition of the season, returning from a broken thumb, while Jordan Stagner (195) finished fourth.
“Drake's always been a really hard worker,” Williams said. “I'm always working on him in practice. He's about 20 pounds lighter, but he's the best competitor I have around my weight. He finished one match away from placing at state last year and this year I easily see him making it to the finals. He's really good.”
Williams, ranked fourth at 152 on www.illinoismatmen.com, thought he could have been better at Mascouth, but knows he's got to get back in wrestling shape and it will come.
“(Friday) was really tough being my first day back after like a week of practicing,” Williams said. “My cardio wasn't the best so I just had to really improvise and make the matches as slow as possible. My stamina was there. It wasn't my best tournament, but this is probably the best tournament we go to actually. There were 27 teams here, so I'm not too upset with third. It doesn't really matter until regionals and sectionals.
As for the Shells, Dalton Brito led the way with a fourth place finish at 126, while Luke Curits (182) was seventh and James Henseler (106) was eighth.
“It's a great tournament and it gets better and better every time we come here,” Roxana head coach Rob Milazzo said. “There are several ranked kids in all three classes and for us being a small school it's very difficult, but the competition is very good for us. We use it as a measuring stick for later on in the season.”
Brito agreed with his coach about Mascoutah being a good barometer for the rest of the season.
“It's our first tournament, so we've still got a lot of work to do,” he said. “Everyone's cardio is pretty bad. We've mainly just got to get our stamina up and get ready for the other tournaments.”
EA-WR head coach Dave Sobol said there isn't much better for a Class 1A program than what they saw in Mascoutah. The tournament has better competition than what the Oilers will see in regionals and sectionals in Sobol's opinion.
Drew Sobol (106) finished fourth and Zac Blasioli (160) took sixth for EA-WR.
“The kids are so competitive and this is tougher than our 1A sectional,” Dave Sobol said. “For any of our Class 1A kids to get on the podium here I like our chances down the road. It was a good experience for (Drew and Zac).”
The Oilers took some freshman from their young squad to compete at Mascoutah, too. Austin Hammond (113), Chris Staggs (120) and Zac Kincade (182) also competed for EA-WR. Dave Sobol said it was great experience for the young grapplers.
“We brought five, but the rest are freshman,” Dave Sobol said. “Even though Drew and Zac are just sophomores they've been here before and placed here last year. They are mature beyond their years. (The others) see the matches we're in now and the dual meets and then they see this and they kind of realize how tough it is and the caliber of wrestling we have in the area.”