Six Vandalia wrestlers have advanced to the IHSA Individual State Tournament later this week, and the Vandal wrestlers will face a known opponent next Tuesday in their bid for a return trip to the state’s dual team finals.
Anthony Enlow, Garret Stewart, Jarrett Paslay, Tanner Swain, Dakota Gasaway and Jarek Wehrle will travel to Champaign for the state individual finals, which get under way at 1 p.m. on Thursday and continue into Friday and Saturday.
After the individual finals are completed this weekend, the Vandals then focus on team competition again, traveling to Benton on Tuesday for a 6 p.m. contest against Murphysboro. The winner of that match will compete in the dual team finals next Saturday in Bloomington.
Enlow was the Vandals’ lone champion at the Vandalia Sectional held Friday and Saturday at Vandalia Community High School.
Wehrle, Swain and Paslay advanced to state with second-place finishes, Stewart placed third and Gasaway advanced by finishing fourth.
“We had a good tournament,” Vandals coach Jason Clay said.
“There were some tough matches, and at sectional, you’re going to have that.
“Some matches that we felt we could win got away from us, but we had a lot of good matches, too. We had a couple of matches where we got down and were able to come back and get some wins.
“Dakota being down 6-0 and getting the pin, Garret got down 5-0 early and came all of the way back (for third); that was a little bit scary,” Clay said.
“We got six,” he said. “I would have liked to had more, but six is a good number; that’s more than a lot of people get.”
With the sectional completed, “We’ll wait and see what the brackets look like. We’re still focused on individuals.
“We feel like we’ve got some guys who can win matches at state and bring home some medals,” he said.
“Once that’s done, we’ll shift gears to the team side,” Clay said. “We’ve beaten them (Murphysboro) earlier in the season (69-9 in a home quad on Jan. 13), but they had some kids missing, and I’m sure they think they can improve. But I feel our guys will be confident, and we look forward to that.
“But, right now, we’ll focus on individual state and enjoy this,” Clay said.
In the latest Illinois Matmen rankings, on Feb. 7, the Vandals (28-3) had moved up from No. 8 to No. 5 in Class A.
Aurora Christian, 20-3, is No. 1, followed by Lena-Winslow/Stockton (30-1), Coal City (24-8) and Clinton (25-1).
Individual State Championships
• 106 pounds – Jarek Wehrle (37-10) will face Gage Mowry of Rock Island Alleman (30-9).
• 113 pounds – Dakota Gasaway (34-11) Giovany Amira of Chicago Hope Academy (32-12).
• 126 pounds – Tanner Swain (41-5) will face Asher Wiegand of Eureka (35-2).
• 138 pounds – Jarrett Paslay (38-7) will face Nolan Thorne of Taylor Ridge (Rock Ridge) (40-5).
• 182 pounds – Garret Stewart (40-5) will face Dylan Reeves of El Paso/Gridley (38-4).
• 285 pounds – Anthony Enlow (39-4) will face Josh Smith of Clifton Central.
• 106 pounds, Jarek Wehrle – Major decision win against Parker Hopkins of Warrensburg-Latham, 13-2; ultimate tie-breaker win against Bailey Powell of Litchfield, 8-7; major decision win against A.J. Wagner of St. Joseph-Ogden, 11-0; loss to Dayton Hall of Mt. Carmel in championship. Second place, advances to state.
• 113 pounds, Dakota Gasway – Lost to Eivory Shellman of St. Thomas Moro, 11-4; bye in first round of wrestlebacks; defeated Cody Cherry of Roxana by fall at 1:02; defeated Carter Powell of Litchfield by fall at 1:10; defeated Elliott Stifle of Robinson by fall at 2:47; last to Jake Wendling of St. Joseph Ogden in third-place match, 8-3. Fourth place, advances to state.
• 120 pounds, Matthew Hobler – Lost to Landon Hicks of Harrisburg by major decision, 10-2; bye in first round of wrestlebacks; defeated Zach Hayes of Roxana, 8-5; lost to Noah Booth of Pittsfield, 9-4.
• 126 pounds, Tanner Swain – Bye in first round; defeated Jordon Brewster of West Frankfort by fall at 1:38; defeated Cam Lee of Litchfield in overtime, 5-3; lost to Chase Bittle of Belleville Althoff by fall at 2:49 in championship. Second place, advances to state.
• 132 pounds, Zack Stephenson – Bye in first round; defeated Peyton Holt of St. Joseph Ogden by fall at 3:34; lost to Anthony Federico of Althoff by major decision, 13-4; lost to Nate Burns by fall at 4:41 in wrestlebacks.
• 138 pounds, Jarrett Paslay – Bye in first round; defeated Tristian Mack of Murphysboro by fall at 3:50; defeated Collin Davidson of Litchfield, 3-2; lost to Max Kristoff of Althoff in championship, 7-3. Second place, advances to state.
• 152 pounds, Bradyn Kaiser – Bye in first round; lost to Jack Spence of Monticello, 8-6; defeated Chris Shelby of Mt. Carmel, 6-2; lost to Joe Braunagel of Althoff by fall at 5:32.
• 160 pounds, Dustin Lott – Lost to Jordan Haskins of Murphysboro, 12-8; bye in first round of wrestlebacks; lost to Jordan Koester of Pinckneyville by fall at 1:46.
• 182 pounds, Garret Stewart – Bye in first round; defeated Rewn Stearns of Murphysboro by fall at 3:59; lost to Zac Braunagel of Althoff by fall at 3:06; defeated Noah Conner of Pinckneyville in wrestlebacks by fall at 5:18; defeated Gavin Smith of Lawrenceville in third-place match, 6-0. Third place, advances to state.
• 220 pounds, Gavin Mouser – Defeated Julian Harshbarger of Carterville, 4-1; lost to Cody Miller of Bismark-Henning-Rossville-Alvin; defeated Andrew McElligott of Althoff by fall at 2:15; lost to Logan Wilson of Unity by fall at 5:31.
• 285 pounds, Anthony Enlow – Bye in first round; defeated Adam Maxwell of Warrensburg-Latham by fall at 3:25; defeated Nolan Schmidt of Althoff by fall at 0:21; defeated Lucas Scarver of Carterville in championship match by fall at 2:23. First place, advances to state.