Wrestlers to send 11 to Sectionals
Despite sterling performances by several team members, the Ghost grapplers heartbreakingly came up inches short at the Princeton Regional.
Illinois Valley Central finished second of seven schools participating with 200.5 points.
North Central Illinois Conference-Lincoln Division rival Kewanee took home the top place at the tournament with 223 points.
“I felt the team did a great job on Saturday,” coach Matt Russell said. “You don’t like to finish second, but the kids had a great day. Give credit where credit is due, Kewanee has a good team and had a little better day.”
Despite the team season being over, the Ghosts will still send 11 wrestlers to Sectional.
To qualify for Sectional, a wrestler had to finish in the top three of his weight class.
In the 119-pound class, senior CJ Caughey dominated his championship match with a 13-3 decision to be crowned Regional champ.
Sophomore Jared Lauber, in the 145-pound division, had a tough championship match when he took on a Princeton opponent he had lost to earlier in the season.
This time around, Lauber found his revenge and eked out a close 3-2 decision to be named Regional champion.
Jared’s older brother, senior James Lauber, continued the Lauber family tradition by completely dominating his opponent in the 152-pound division.
James pinned his opponent in 52 seconds to make him the third Regional champion for the Ghosts.
Despite having no other Regional champions, the Ghosts still had plenty of other qualifiers for Sectional.
Despite putting up a valiant effort in his 103-pound championship match, sophomore Zach Switzer came out on the losing side of a 5-1 decision.
In the 125-pound championship match, sophomore Aaron Lunini, could not outwrestle his opponent, and lost a 6-3 decision.
Senior Shawn Hostetter put up an impressive effort in the 130-pound championship match, but finished second in the division when he was pinned in 1:32.
In the 140-pound championship match, senior Allen Simmerman was bested when he lost on a tech fall in 5:05.
Senior Andrew White was defeated in the 171-pound division by a 7-0 decision.
In the last championship match for the Ghosts, senior Chris Green lost the 275-pound championship when he was pinned in 1:15.
Junior Frank Barrett took home third place in the 112-pound division when he pinned his opponent in the third-place match in only 0:43.
Junior Scott Ladd became the last Sectional qualifier for the Ghosts when he won his 215-pound third-place match by a pin in 1:19.
“The team portion of the season is over,” Russell said. “Now we want to qualify as many for Champaign as we can.”
The 11 Sectional qualifiers will wrestle at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Oregon and at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The championship matches for the right to go to State will be at 4 p.m. Saturday.