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Six for sectionals

Posted Tuesday, February 08, 2011 by Steve Amy

Six for sectionals

By Chris Yucus - cyucus@bcrnews.com
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PHS heavyweight Ben Staton (left) ties up with Newman's Jake Walls in the 285 pound title match Saturday at the Rock Falls 1A Regionals. (BCR photo/Chris Yucus )

“Six guys moving on, it’s better than last year. We should have had a few more, but it wasn’t in the cards today,” said Tigers’ coach Steve Amy, whose troops finished fifth overall. Sterling Newman captured the team title, outscoring second-place Erie-Prophetstown 234-164.

Senior Reiter Bird came the closest to claiming a regional title for PHS, dropping a 5-2 decision to Jonathon Ortman of Newman in the 135-pound championship, after taking only 22 seconds to pin his semifinal opponent, Jeff Dornbush of Erie-Prophetstown.

Bird entered the final round of the title affair down 2-1 after ceding a takedown in the first and registering an escape to open the second, but a late takedown in the third from Ortman helped the Comet grappler secure the decision victory.

“I was a little disappointed in the finals, coming up short,” said Bird, but the Tiger senior said he was happy to move on and that his game plan helped keep things within reach.

“(Ortman) beat me pretty bad last week. We came in with a new game plan to keep the match tight, hoping to get that one takedown to get the match,” said Bird. “I wanted to go in there and stop him from taking his outside shots, that was the whole plan going in.”

Joining Bird with a silver-medal finish and return trip to sectionals was fellow senior Colton Pate (171). Pate picked up a fall 2:49 into his opening round match with Putnam County’s Austin Pletch, and earned his trip to the finals with a 13-10 decision over Morrison’s Calvin Harridge. The Tiger senior dropped the championship to Newman’s R.J. Troye, falling by pin at the 2:32 mark of the match, but was glad to be making a repeat voyage to sectionals.

“It means a lot moving on two years in a row,” said Pate (16-16). “I tried to wrestle a little different today — a little more aggressive, and it worked out well.”

Earning their first trips out of regionals with second-place efforts were juniors James Dove (130), and Ben Staton (285). Dove scored a 13-9 decision over Brandon Meadows of E-P in the semis, before dropping a 17-7 decision loss to Newman’s Maxx Hubbard in the finals.

“I feel good about it, especially since I haven’t been wrestling that long,” said Dove, only in his second year of competitive grappling. “I was surprised, because I wouldn’t have thought at the beginning of the year that I’d make it this far.”

Staton marched into the heavyweight finals with a pin over Rock Falls’ Josiah Torres halfway through the third-round of their semifinal contest, before getting pinned by Newman’s Jake Walls with only four seconds left to go in the first round of their championship match.

“I’m pretty happy, being a junior going to sectionals — I’m pretty proud of that,” said Staton.

Tiger seniors Dylan Olson (160) and Brewer Ary (215) each came up big when it mattered most, securing decision wins in their third-place matches to ensure advancement to sectionals.

Olson said that he paid the price for inactivity in his semifinal match, where a late takedown from E-P’s Dylan DeShane helped the Panther wrestler snag a 4-3 decision win, keeping Olson out of the finals. Determined to not make the same mistake twice, Olson came out full of energy in the consolation bracket, scoring a quick pin over Tyrell Foockle of PC before manhandling Morrison’s Jake Dobbins for a 15-5 major decision win, despite being shaken up briefly during the third-place match with a head injury.

Ary moved past a 9-7 semifinal loss to Fulton’s Mitch Butt, with a pin over Trey Davis of Newman to enter the third-place eliminator, and picked up a second win of the day over Rock Falls' Derrick Dingman with a 14-7 decision.

“They knew how important it was,” said Amy of his troop’s third-place wins. “Dylan got there last year and ended up getting caught, and lost, so he especially knew how important it was.”

St. Bede’s James Peacock (125) was the Bruins’ last hope for a sectional berth as the lone Academy grappler to enter the final session of the day, but the freshman fell via pinfall 58 seconds into his third-place match with Newman’s Maison Bittner.

“We had some kids who really showed up and did a great job today. This is a tough region. It’s our fourth different region in five years — I like this one the least,” said Academy coach Blair Tiger.

• Notes: Princeton’s Cody Cumpton (140) saw his 30-win season come to a close at regionals with a third-round consolation bracket fall to Alex Cole of E-P, while PHS soph Marshall Ary (119) fell in his third-place match to Ethan Jones of Fulton via a 14-1 major decision. ...St. Bede finished ninth in the nine-team field with a score of 13. ...Newman captured six titles, and added four seconds and a pair of third-place finishes to send 12 of their 14 wrestlers on to sectionals.

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