BETHALTO — The trip to Bethalto produced quite of a bit of hardware for the Vandalia Vandals.
With six wrestlers in title matches, the Vandalia Community High School wrestling team took first place at the 2014 Civic Memorial Holiday Tournament on Saturday.
"I thought we did a real nice job," Vandalia Coach Jason Clay said. "We looked pretty good. We attacked more. We faced some good opponents, and we had some good individual performances."
The Vandals compiled 196.5 team points en route to the tourney title. Waterloo was second (164) and Jacksonville finished third (154.5). Other top teams were Mattoon and East St. Louis.
In addition to the team championship, Vandalia had four individual champions at the event — Chaston Womack, Ryne Lipsey, Dalton Blankenship and Jake Stewart.
Blankenship was named the tourney's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
That's not all. The Vandals also had two second-place finishers in Kolton Etcheson and Kendrick Woolsey.
Two others, Luke Tessman and Adam Palmer, finished fourth in their respective brackets. In fact, all of Vandalia's entries finished in the top eight of their brackets.
"Our older guys did what was expected," Clay said. "And some of our younger kids did real well. All 12 kids placed, so that was nice."
Simply put, it was a good day for Vandalia, as the team took home a lot of hardware from the annual event.
Vandalia's Chaston Womack took first-place at 113 pounds.
A junior, Womack received a bye in the first round. In the quarterfinals, Womack won by fall in 20 seconds over East St. Louis' Essex Crutcher. Womack earned a 9-1 major decision over Zach Shaw of Waterloo in the semifinals.
In the title match, Womack earned a 10-8 decision over Benton's Oliver Davis.
"He looked real good in the semifinals," Clay said. "In the title match, Chaston almost gave up a big lead. That's something we'll work on."
At 120 pounds, freshman Jarrett Paslay took seventh place.
Marquette Catholic's Deyton Mitchell defeated Paslay, 6-4, in the first round. Paslay pinned Mitchell Hamilton of Mater Dei in 1:12. Paslay then won by major decision, 10-0, over Andrew Martin of Benton. Cooper Secker of Freeburg then won by fall over Paslay. In the seventh-place match, Paslay won by fall over Austin Davy of Jacksonville.
Clay said Paslay gained valuable experience at the event.
Vandalia senior Ryne Lipsey took first place at 126 pounds.
Lipsey received a bye in the first-round, and then won by fall in 30 seconds over Mason McManaway of Herrin. In the semifinals, Lipsey won by tech fall, 21-6, over Jacob Hampton of Jersey Community.
In the title bout, Lipsey won by fall over Trent Brown of Civic Memorial.
"I thought Ryne looked real dominant all day," Clay said. "He didn't have a match go the distance. He looked super aggressive."
Vandalia junior Luke Tessman placed fourth at 132.
After a bye in the first round, Tessman pinned Carter Pate of Waterloo. Brandon Critchfield of Jerseyville won by fall over Tessman. In the third-place match, Tyler Dunn of East St. Louis won by fall over Tessman.
At 138, VCHS sophomore Cody Phillips placed eighth.
Marquez Roberson of East St. Louis pinned Phillips in the first round. Phillips received a bye, and then earned a 13-7 decision over Ian McMahon of Benton. Jamikah Toney of Jacksonville won by fall over Phillips.
For seventh place, Treyvon Williams of Richmond Heights won by fall over Phillips.
Clay said Phillips usually wrestles at 126, but bumped up to 138 for the team.
"He was giving up a lot of weight to most of his opponents, but we were glad he was able to wrestle and be a part of it," Clay said.
Next, Vandalia senior Adam Palmer finished fourth at 145.
Palmer had a bye in the first round, and then won by major decision, 17-6, over Jerrick Spencer of East St. Louis.
Mack Mundy of Waterloo defeated Palmer, 4-2, in the semifinals. In the third place match, Matt Rooney of Jacksonville defeated Palmer, 10-2.
"Luke and Adam both had good tournaments," Clay said. "They both had tough matches in the semifinals. And they had tough opponents for third, too. They had Class 2A opponents."
Next, Vandalia senior Dalton Blankenship took first place at 152.
"I thought Dalton wrestled real well," Clay said. "He definitely earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler award."
After a first-round bye, Blankenship pinned Lucas Hanke of Carlyle in 1:37. In the semifinals, Blankenship defeated Mason Lee of Highland, 9-5. In the title match, Blankenship earned a 6-1 decision over Connor Godar of Jacksonville.
At 160, Vandalia's Kolten Kaiser placed fifth.
A sophomore, Kaiser won by fall over Sidney Harvey of East St. Louis, lost by fall to Jacksonville's Grant Carmody and won by fall over Kristain Wells of Carlyle. Kaiser pinned Keire Jefferson of Herrin and then won the fifth-place match by fall over Luke Blackman of Benton.
"He had three pins on the day, and I know he was excited," Clay said.
Vandalia sophomore Skylar Depew placed seventh at 170.
"It was the first time he wrestled varsity and he did a good job," Clay said.
Trevor Curry of Mattoon won by fall over Depew and then Depew received a bye. Depew won by fall in 1:08 over Dannel White of Centralia, but then lost by fall to Zack Siebert of Richmond Heights. Depew won the seventh-place match by forfeit over Jack Albers of Mater Dei.
Vandalia senior Jake Stewart took first-place at 195.
After a first-round bye, Stewart won by fall in 1:47 over Alex Longfellow of Benton. Stewart then earned a 12-5 decision over Brandon Carpenter of Civic Memorial in the semifinals. In the title bout, Stewart pulled out a 4-2 overtime victory over Zach Stout of Jacksonville.
"Jake had to pull it out in overtime, but he looked solid all day," Clay said.
At 220, Kolton Etcheson took second-place.
After a bye, Etcheson defeated Carlyle's Brendan Pfister, 10-9. Etcheson then beat Drake Boomer of Herrin, 11-4. In the bracket's title match, Garrette Branson of Mattoon won by fall over Etcheson.
In the heavyweight bracket, Vandalia's Kendrick Woolsey was the runner-up.
Woolsey had a bye and then won by fall over Shakesphere Cowger of Mattoon. In the semifinals, Woolsey pinned Calvin Miley of Centralia. In the first-place match, Nick Czar of Highland earned a 7-1 decision over Woolsey.
The Vandals won the tourney for the second-straight year. Vandalia won the event last year for the first time since 2008.
The Vandals were scheduled to compete at Shelbyville on Wednesday night. Taylorville will also be in attendance.
"It should be two good matches for us," Clay said. "We hope to have Bobby (Bradley) back in the lineup."
Clay said his team has developed a good rivalry with Shelbyville in recent years. The Vandals will go to Hillsboro on Thursday night and then host a tourney on Saturday at 10 a.m.
"We've got a busy week," Clay said. "We'll see some good teams Saturday."
Vandalia will host a Class 1A individual sectional tournament on Feb. 13 and 14. Vandalia will also host a 1A dual team sectional on Feb. 24.
The team regional destinations have not yet been announced. Carterville, Lawrenceville, Roxana and Argenta are possible locations the Vandals may be assigned to.
Vandalia has several wrestlers listed on the preseason rankings from illinoismatmen.com.
In Class 1A, Trevor Philpot is ranked fifth at 106 pounds, Womack is 10th at 120, Lipsey is ranked ninth at 126, Blankenship is third at 152, Stewart is eighth at 182, Bradley is ranked fifth at 195 and Woolsey is ninth at 285.
Civic Memorial Tournament
1. Vandalia 196.5, 2. Waterloo 164, 3. Jacksonville 154.5, 4. Mattoon 127, 5. East St. Louis 123, 6. Highland 118, 7. Herrin 117, 8. Benton 115.5, 9. Civic Memorial 114, 10. Jersey Community 108, 11. Maplewood-Richmond Heights 83, 12. Centralia 59.5, 13. E. Alton-W. River 31, 14. Carlyle 24, 15. Freeburg 16, 16. Mater Dei 14, 17. Marquette Catholic 12.5.