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Anthony Fladeland’s return to the Vandalia High School wrestling team paid its first significant benefits on Saturday.
Sidelined until the Princeton Invite on Jan. 8 with an injury, Fladeland pinned Monticello’s Dylan Benson in 2:49 to give the Vandals their first points against the Sages during a dual meet which they won, 49-24.
Before his match, Vandalia trailed 12-0 after junior Dayin Godberson was pinned with one second left in his match, and Sean Newcomb was pinned in the first round.
“I was nervous, because you don’t like to start like that,” said coach Jason Clay.
Those nerves were eased following Fladeland’s victory, however, as Clay said that lifted the Vandals' spirits.
"That got momentum back on our side," he said.
Though he is a junior, Clay said Fladeland does not have as much experience as other juniors on the team, especially in heavyweight matches.
Clay and assistant coach Matt Shroyer are both bigger men, which Clay said gives Fladeland an advantage that other heavyweight wrestlers might not have.
“You can’t just forfeit, so if you put a guy out there, you have a chance to win,” Clay said. “We’re still working with him on how to wrestle the weight class.”
Freshman Tyler Dagen followed up Fladeland’s pin with a comeback of his own. He trailed 2-0 after the first round, but pinned Austin Hyde 49 seconds later in a surprising victory.
Clay said Dagen is a “hard worker” who has been staying after practice to better himself, which showed against Monticello.
Vandal wrestlers would win the next five matches, including a 12-3 decision for Seth Purcell and a 7-3 decision for C.J. Runkel, to open a 31-12 lead.
Those two freshmen beat “fairly decent kids,” according to Clay, which is another step forward in their maturation.
After two forfeits for Monticello, juniors Daniel Edwards and Levi Ulmer recorded pins to finish off the consistent battle.
Prior to defeating Monticello, the Vandals easily handled Murphysboro, 60-18.
Senior Justin Hill again pinned an opponent in less than a minute, handling Austin Biggs in just 25 seconds.
Fellow Senior John Vosholler took down Caleb Stanton in 1:04, and junior Levi Ulmer defeated Drew Hopkins in 51 seconds.
Purcell also recorded a pin for Vandalia.
On Thursday, the Vandals will host Carlinville and East Alton-Wood River at 6 p.m. as a makeup for the Jan. 11 cancellation.
Senior Brenden Cripe, along with Hill and Vosholler, will be honored during the meet.
Saturday, Jan. 15
103 – Double forfeit
112 – Dagen de. Hyde by fall at 2:49
119 –Trevor Alstat (V) def. Dakota Brown (M) by fall at 1:46
125 – Hill won via forfeit
130 – Purcell def. Josh Burton (M), 12-3
135 – Runkel def. Dylan Knisley (M), 7-3
140 – Vosholler def. Ramsey Hoss (M) by fall at 1:18
145 – Luke Dunn (M) won via forfeit
152 – Clay Wright (M) won via forfeit
160 – Daniel Edwards (V) def. Austin Johnson (M) by fall at 1:49
171 – Ulmer def. Beau Thomas (M) by fall at 2:32
189 –Brandon Menacher (M) def. Godberson by fall at 5:59
215 – Drew Benson (M) def. Newcomb by fall at 1:38
285 –Fladeland def. Benson by fall at 2:49
Saturday, Jan. 15
103 – Kyle Chambers (M) won via forfeit
112 – Dagen won via forfeit
119 – Alstat def. Trey Topp, 6-5
125 – Hill def. Biggs by fall at 0:25
130 – Purcell def. Jordan Landewee by fall at 2:50
135 – Brad Jenner (V) won via forfeit
140 –Runkel won via forfeit
145 – Vosholler def. Stanton by fall at 1:04
152 – Josh Thompson (M) def. Devin Sims (V) by fall at 3:11
160 – Edwards def. Napolean Hughes, 5-0
171 – Ulmer def. Hopkins by fall at 0:51
189 – Godberson won via forfeit
215 – Newcomb won via forfeit
285 – Brad Sauer (M) def. Fladeland by fall at 1:11
Thursday, Jan. 13
103 – Emily Bloomfield (H) won via forfeit
112 – Dagen won via forfeit
119 – Alstat won via forfeit
125 – Hill def. Danny Dicken (H) by fall at 3:53
130 – Cameron Singular (H) def. Purcell, 7-2
135 – Jenner won via forfeit
140 – Dylan Anderson (H) def. Runkel by fall at 5:21
145 – Alex Westerman (H) def. Vosholler, 4-3
152 – Edwards def. Brandon Ohren (H), 11-5
160 – Matt Smith (H) won via forfeit
171 – Godberson won via forfeit
189 – Ulmer won via forfeit
215 – Dustin Rosborough (H) def. Newcomb, 4-0
285 – Tanner Farmer (H) def. Fladeland by fall at 0:46
103 – Seth Newkirk (L) won via forfeit
112 – Caleb Thompson (L) def. Alstat, 7-5 (OT)
119 – Devon Fenton (L) def. Alstat, 16-3
125 – Hill def. Corson Anderson (L) by fall at 2:34
130 – Purcell def. Justin Wright (L), 12-9
135 – Coy Davidson (L) def. Jenner by fall at 1:24
140 – Dolan Davidson (L) def. Runkel by fall at 5:18
145 – Vosholler def. Dillon Ballowe (L) by fall at 2:59
152 – Edwards def. Cole Blankenship (L) by fall at 1:37
160 – Bryce Thorton (L) def. Sims by fall at 0:57
171 – Godberson def. Wade Jackson (L), 9-6
189 – Ulmer def. Frank Hollo (L), 8-0
215 – Bolton Brakenhoff (L) def. Newcomb, 8-1
285 – Dan Perryman (L) def. Fladeland by fall at 5:09