Wrestling sectional preview

-A A +A
By Andrew Harner

106 – Trevor Philpot
Vandalia Regional
1. Freshman Aaron Wood (33-6), Mt. Carmel
2. Freshman Trevor Philpot (23-16), Vandalia
3. Freshman Noah Egleston (24-14), Olney
Shelbyville Regional
1. Sophomore Nick Tankersley (22-7), Monticello
2. Sophomore Zack Stirret (30-9), Shelbyville
3. Freshman Iredis Daniels (15-17), Unity
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Freshman Drew Sobol (31-4), Wood River
2. Freshman James Henseler (18-8), Roxana
3. Junior Braden Barnes (15-9), Mt. Olive
Murphysboro Regional
1. Freshman Oliver Davis (29-6), Benton
2. Junior Zach Clarida (11-4), Harrisburg
3. Freshman Damian Hargett (12-15), West Frankfort


•Synopsis: Three standout freshmen and a sophomore earned regional championships to advance to Robinson, and they will all will jockey for position on Saturday, with challenges from second-place finishers like Philpot.

•Who Philpot’s seen: During the season, Philpot lost twice to Sobol, losing by fall during the Civic Memorial Tournament, but losing just 4-1 during a dual later in the year. Philpot also lost 10-1 to Stirret, and lost by fall to Tankersley. He won by fall over Clarida during the Litchfield Tournament.

•Favorites: Sobol is the likely favorite at Robinson, but he is far from a sure thing, as Tankersley, Stirret, Wood and Davis have proven they can win big matches throughout the season.


113 – Chaston Womack
Vandalia Regional
1. Sophomore Chaston Womack (32-10), Vandalia
2. Freshman Kenny Raigner (14-11), Carmi
3. Freshman Lance Bailey (13-12), Olney
Shelbyville Regional
1. Sophomore Logan Knisley (32-3), Monticello
2. Sophomore Noah Meyers (26-8), Auburn
3. Sophomore Hunter Lambert (14-13), Argenta-Oreana
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Senior Jeremy O’Gara (33-5), Roxana
2. Freshman Ty Durbin (16-20), Litchfield
3. Freshman Tyler Martin (7-12), Carlinville
Murphysboro Regional
1. Freshman Kevin Shuman (27-5), West Frankfort
2. Junior Steven Bastien (21-14), Murphysboro
3. Freshman Caiden Stone (16-11), Anna-Jonesboro

•Synopsis: The weight class is very top-heavy, with three heavy hitters – O’Gara, Knisley and Womack – to duke it out for the individual title.

•Who Womack’s seen: Womack has experience against the top wrestlers at the sectional, but the results haven’t been the best. Twice, Womack has lost to O’Gara, going down by fall at the Litchfield Tournament and losing 13-1 during a dual. Against Knisley, he won 6-1 at the Princeton Tournament, but lost 7-4 in overtime during a dual. Womack also defeated Bastein, 16-0, at Litchfield.

•Favorites: O’Gara has proven supreme throughout the season, and will look to polish his senior-year résumé with a sectional championship. Knisley and Womack, however, are capable of the upset, and both are surely hungry to win the title.


120 – Ryne Lipsey
Vandalia Regional
1. Junior Ryne Lipsey (35-8), Vandalia
2. Junior Austin Goodman (12-10), Fairfield
3. Senior Justin Winbrecht (8-17), Carmi
Shelbyville Regional
1. Senior Nathan Day (36-1), Cumberland
2. Senior Zach Whitsel (29-5), Argenta-Oreana
3. Freshman Kaehl VanDalsen (22-16), Monticello
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Sophomore Jared Braunagel (33-0), Althoff
2. Sophomore Jared Foiles (34-11), Roxana
3. Junior Deyton Mitchell (15-7), Marquette Catholic
Murphysboro Regional
1. Junior Darren Odell (26-4), Harrisburg
2. Sophomore A.J. Dees (22-11), Carterville
3. Freshman Maurcius Simmons (12-19), Murphysboro

•Synopsis: In one of the toughest weights at the sectional, an undefeated sophomore, a one-loss senior and three others with strong records will battle for the sectional crown.

•Who Lipsey’s seen: Lipsey is light on experience against the top wrestlers in the sectional. He split a pair of bouts with Foiles, losing 3-1 and winning 3-2, but the only other wrestler he has seen this season is Simmons, who Lipsey easily beat by fall.

•Favorites: Braunagel and Day should meet in the sectional final in what would be an exciting match. Day's lone loss came to a highly-ranked 126-pounder, so it is essentially a battle of unbeatens. Lipsey will be in the mix for his first state appearance, though he can't afford mistakes with the likes of Foiles, Odell and Whitsel in the bracket.


126 – Luke Tessman
Vandalia Regional
1. Freshman Nathan DeMeyer (25-16), Olney
2. Junior Dakota Boatner (20-9), Fairfield
3. Sophomore Luke Tessman (22-21), Vandalia
Shelbyville Regional
1. Sophomore Garrett Brachbill (37-4), Shelbyville
2. Junior Brock Overbeck (12-7), Cumberland
3. Senior Tristan Smith (20-11), Argenta-Oreana
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Junior Dalton Brito (36-8), Roxana
2. Junior Lee Welch (17-9), Mt. Olive
3. Sophomore Victor Kalaher (21-16), Litchfield
Murphysboro Regional
1. Junior David Luper (32-6), Carterville
2. Sophomore Dalton Wright (26-9), West Frankfort
3. Freshman Logan Jerolds (12-13), Anna-Jonesboro

•Synopsis: A sophomore plays the role of favorite in one of the weaker weights at the sectional. All four regional champions could find themselves at state, but those second- and third-place finishers will be ready to wrestle.

•Who Tessman’s seen: Tessman twice lost by technical fall to Brito during the season, and defeated Jerolds by fall at the Litchfield Tournament. He was also pinned by Brachbill. Tessman is familiar with Kalaher, but did not wrestle him in the teams' annual dual.

•Favorites: Brachbill is the one to beat at 126, but he will be pushed by Brito and Luper. The fourth spot is up for grabs, with several balanced wrestlers rounding out the bracket.


132 – Adam Palmer
Vandalia Regional
1. Senior Alec Keeler (25-12), Roxana
2. Sophomore A.J. Mendenhall (17-5), Lawrenceville
3. Junior Adam Palmer (21-21), Vandalia
Shelbyville Regional
1. Junior Chad Hinton (24-4), Unity
2. Senior Adam Boyer (20-6), Warrensburg-Latham
3. Junior Andrew Koss (26-10), Monticello
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Junior Cody Harris (19-15), Althoff
2. Sophomore Mitchell Law (14-13), Hillsboro
3. Sophomore Ryan Hewitt (5-19), Litchfield
Murphysboro Regional
1. Sophomore Peyton Smith (33-2), Benton
2. Senior Bailey Menees (25-7), West Frankfort
3. Senior Brayden Dees (17-17), Carterville

•Synopsis: One wrestler should reign supreme over the field in 132 pounds, and several others will be in contention for the final three spots.

•Who Palmer’s seen: During the season, Palmer has had mixed results against those in his bracket. He has two pins over Law and a pin over Hewitt, but lost 12-0 to Keeler and 6-3 to Koss.

•Favorites: Smith shouldn't have too much trouble navigating his way through the bracket for the win. Keeler, Hinton and Menees are the top choices to advance, but most matches in this bracket should be close, so anything can happen.


138 – Rodney Tedrick
Vandalia Regional
1. Senior Rodney Tedrick (21-13), Vandalia
2. Senior Braden Robertson (19-8), Fairfield
3. Junior Dalyn Brach (19-20), Olney
Shelbyville Regional
1. Senior Nate Jozsa (36-0), Argenta-Oreana
2. Junior Jared Finley (38-2), Shelbyville
3. Junior Blaine Yocum (30-7), Cumberland
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Junior Brett Vogel (14-4), Hillsboro
2. Freshman Doug Carlile (10-2), Litchfield
3. Sophomore Talon Pile (10-5), Roxana
Murphysboro Regional
1. Junior Christopher Hagen (23-4), Pinckneyville
2. Senior Dalton Williams (21-12), West Frankfort
3. Senior Heath Moffit (5-3), Carterville

•Synopsis: The three best wrestlers in the bracket already duked it out in the Shelbyville Regional, and several others will look to claim the fourth spot and a ticket to state.

•Who Tedrick’s seen: Tedrick battled only one of his bracket-mates during the regular season, falling to Vogel, 12-5, at the Litchfield Tournament.

•Favorites: Jozsa is the man to beat with an undefeated record, but Finley could give him another run for the title. Yocum won't want to be the odd man out again, so expect him to be as flawless as possible. Tedrick has a chance to be make his first state appearance, though he can't afford any miscues against a balanced field.


145 – Dalton Blankenship
Vandalia Regional
1. Junior Dalton Blankenship (39-4), Vandalia
2. Senior Hoa Bobe (22-12), Lawrenceville
3. Sophomore Brandon Stringfellow (9-5), Mt. Carmel
Shelbyville Regional
1. Junior Wyatt Fox (33-5), Shelbyville
2. Junior Brock Barnhill (28-9), Auburn
3. Freshman Keaton Titus (28-13), Cumberland
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Senior Seth Newkirk (35-6), Litchfield
2. Freshman Jacob Dixon (16-4), Carlinville
3. Junior Jeddah Gallego (N/A), Roxana
Murphysboro Regional
1. Senior Daniel Krug (28-7), Benton
2. Junior Austin Lowery (23-9), Harrisburg
3. Junior Anthony Carter (18-7), Sparta

•Synopsis: Three exciting wrestlers fill out the top of the 145-pound bracket. Will it be round three of Blankenship/Newkirk, or will Fox block one of their paths to the title?

•Who Blankenship’s seen: Blankenship has the best track record over opponents in the bracket, beating Newkirk 5-4 and 7-6 in a pair of tightly-contested bouts. He also squeezed by Fox, 6-5, and topped Barnhill, 5-1.

•Favorites: A Blankenship/Newkirk championship bout would potentially be one of the most exciting of the sectional, as the two veteran scrappers would be bound for a third close battle. Fox's abilities should not be discounted, however, and he could find his way into the title bout. The likes of Barnhill, Krug, Lowery and Titus all could sneak into the fourth spot.


152 – Tyler Dagen
Vandalia Regional
1. Senior Tyler Dagen (32-11), Vandalia
2. Senior Beau Taylor (31-7), Mt. Carmel
3. Senior Raymond Knightstep (15-12), Lawrenceville
Shelbyville Regional
1. Junior Adam Hudson (37-1), Shelbyville
2. Senior Dylan Knisley (31-3), Monticello
3. Senior Chuck O'Neill (7-2), Argenta-Oreana
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Senior Caleb Thompson (35-6), Litchfield
2. Senior Jacob Palen (23-21), Roxana
3. Junior Shon Calvert (20-9), Mt. Olive
Murphysboro Regional
1. Senior Keegan Gardner (33-4), West Frankfort
2. Junior Daniel Bower (16-20), Murphysboro
3. Sophomore Trevor Barbeau (11-2), Red Bud

•Synopsis: Six veterans will vie for four spots in the state tournament in the toughest bracket at the sectional.

•Who Dagen’s seen: Dagen is familiar with many wrestlers in his bracket, though his success against the top wrestlers is limited. He was knocked off 14-3 by Hudson, 2-1 by Thompson and 12-3 by Knisley. Dagen twice beat Palen, winning 10-4 and 5-1, and he beat Calvert and Bower by fall.

•Favorites: The 152-pound bracket will be a slugfest. Knisley, Hudson, Gardner, Thompson and Dagen are ranked Nos. 3-7 by Illinois Matmen, so one of the state's best 152-pounders will be left out, and Taylor is no slouch. On the season, Knisley has beaten Hudson and Dagen, Hudson has beaten Thompson twice and topped Dagen, Gardner has beaten Thompson, and Thompson beat Dagen. Dagen looks like the odd man out, but he is not satisfied with just one appearance at state in his career and will undoubtedly be wrestling at his best.


160 – C.J. Runkel
Vandalia Regional
1. Senior C.J. Runkel (37-7), Vandalia
2. Junior Timothy Strum (28-10), Olney
3. Junior Cole Westall (24-8), Lawrenceville
Shelbyville Regional
1. Junior Jacob Burton (28-6), Litchfield
2. Senior Brock Elliott (15-5), Argenta-Oreana
3. Sophomore Evan Patterson (28-15), Auburn
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Freshman Zac Blasioli (31-5), Wood River
2. Senior Mason Nichols (20-20), Roxana
3. Junior Gavin Twitty (18-16), Hillsboro
Murphysboro Regional
1. Junior William Lenzini (28-9), West Frankfort
2. Junior Brock Barnes (13-10), Murphysboro
3. Senior Zack Ury (16-9), Carterville

•Synopsis: A Vandalia senior looks to reign supreme over the 160-pounders, but a couple of others will be looking for revenge wins.

•Who Runkel’s seen: Runkel hasn't lost to anyone in the bracket, but some of his wins have been tight battles. He has a 5-4 win against Blasioli and a 9-6 win against Burton, as well as two pins against Nichols and a pin against Twitty.

•Favorites: Burton and Blasioli will be looking to reverse their results against Runkel, who has been a consistent winner throughout the season. After a disappointing result the last time he wrestled at sectionals, Runkel will be set to battle for a championship.


170 – Seth Purcell
Vandalia Regional
1. Senior Seth Purcell (37-3), Vandalia
2. Junior Jacob Wirth (25-10), Lawrenceville
3. Junior Calvin Heimann (16-8), Mater Dei
Shelbyville Regional
1. Junior Lucas Duckett (38-2), Shelbyville
2. Junior Mike Redwinski (22-11), Monticello
3. Freshman Toby Trexler (17-14), Unity
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Junior Luke Curtis (24-17), Roxana
2. Senior Cole Blankenship (29-14), Litchfield
3. Sophomore Jacob loftus (6-11), Marquette Catholic
Murphysboro Regional
1. Junior Patrick Stanton (30-7), Murphysboro
2. Junior Richard Jones (24-6), Pinckneyville
3. Sophomore Micah Bradshaw (17-5), Sparta

•Synopsis: Two of the best 170-pounders in the state are expected to collide for a rematch in the championship bout, while several other veteran wrestlers look for their spot in the state tournament.

•Who Purcell’s seen: Purcell earned his signature win of the season with a 3-1 win against Duckett, and he has also defeated Blankenship twice – once by fall and once 9-0 – and has a 6-4 win against Stanton.

•Favorites: Purcell has the edge over Duckett with his earlier victory, but a second win in a potential rematch is far from a guarantee, as Duckett's only other loss came to ranked Class 2A senior, Mitchell Godden, who also beat Purcell. Stanton, Curtis, Blankenship, Jones and Wirth all have a shot to slide into the third-place bout, and should wrestle close matches throughout the sectional.


182 – Jake Stewart
Vandalia Regional
1. Senior Cody Wall (35-3), Mt. Carmel
2. Senior Nick Berty (28-12), Robinson
3. Junior Jake Stewart (33-9), Vandalia
Shelbyville Regional
1. Senior Brendan Menacher (34-0), Monticello
2. Junior Colton Reed (32-5), Unity
3. Senior Austin Wenskunas (17-5), Argenta-Oreana
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Senior Bryce Thornton (29-13), Litchfield
2. Senior Kurtis Owens (15-11), Mt. Olive
3. Sophomore Darian McLemore (16-15), Wood River
Murphysboro Regional
1. Senior Austin Biggs (21-8), Murphysboro
2. Junior Jeremiah Teal (16-16), West Frankfort
3. Sophomore Lucian Hicks (22-10), Harrisburg

•Synopsis: Plenty of 182-pounders have a shot to make it through the bracket, though an undefeated wrestler will make earning the championship tough on all comers.

•Who Stewart’s seen: Stewart has two wins – 8-4 and 12-6 – over Thornton, a pin of McLemore and a 4-3 win against Berty, who avenged that loss during the regional. Biggs got the best of Stewart in a 7-4 decision this season.

•Favorites: Menacher hasn't lost all season and will look to keep it that way at the sectional. Challenges for the final three spots will likely come from Wall, Berty, Stewart, Reed and Thornton, so for Stewart to qualify, he will need a strong tournament.


195 – Bobby Bradley
Vandalia Regional
1. Sophomore Bobby Bradley (36-8), Vandalia
2. Senior Aaron Rankin (26-13), Robinson
3. Senior Anthony Thomas (23-7), Fairfield
Shelbyville Regional
1. Freshman Matt Baker (25-5) Monticello
2. Sophomore Caleb Cloe (25-14), Shelbyville
3. Junior Tyler Bright (15-15), Warrensburg-Latham
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Senior Nathan Weaver (29-13), Litchfield
2. Junior Tim Hancock (12-18), Mt. Olive
3. Sophomore Billy Mathis (2-4), Roxana
Murphysboro Regional
1. Senior Joe Behan (31-3), Carterville
2. Senior Drew Hopkins (24-6), Murphysboro
3. Senior Cole Adams (21-12), Harrisburg

•Synopsis: The 195-pound bracket will be more of a challenge than the wrestlers' records indicate.

•Who Bradley’s seen: Bradley has seen a fair share of his bracket-mates during the regular season. He has wins over Baker (5-3), Cloe (4-2) and Rankin (9-0), but lost twice to Hopkins, falling 4-1 and 3-2.

•Favorites: Behan looks to be the favorite among the 195-pounders, but for the rest of the top contenders, it will be a battle to the final round. Look for Bradley, Weaver, Rankin, Baker, Hopkins, Cloe and Thomas to all have a shot in one of the more challenging brackets at the sectional.


285 – Kendrick Woolsey
Vandalia Regional
1. Sophomore Kendrick Woolsey (29-15), Vandalia
2. Senior Trevor Richards (28-9), Lawrenceville
3. Sophomore Naaman Unfleet (10-10), Olney
Shelbyville Regional
1. Senior Tyler Ortmann (35-0), Argenta-Oreana
2. Junior Andrew Mudgette (29-10), Shelbyville
3. Sophomore Gabe Kent (19-9), Warrensburg-Latham
Mt. Olive Regional
1. Junior Rodney Baker (23-9), Althoff
2. Senior Michael Johnson (9-12), Hillsboro
3. Senior Kyle Roberson (20-14), Roxana
Murphysboro Regional
1. Sophomore Will Monroe (15-6), Sparta
2. Senior Mike Dennison (27-5), Carterville
3. Senior Jon Gasper (15-10), West Frankfort

•Synopsis: The heavyweights should provide an interesting bracket, outside of the undefeated favorite.

•Who Woolsey’s seen: Woolsey had pins over Johnson and Gasper and lost 4-2 in overtime to Mudgette during the regular season.

•Favorites: Ortmann shouldn't have any trouble keeping his unblemished record clean at the sectional. Who will grab the other three spots is not nearly as clear. Woolsey and Baker will have the edge with first-round byes, but Richards, Mudgette and Dennison are all formidable challengers.