IVC wrestling wrapped up

Drew Veskauf TimesNewspapers
IVC junior Trey Batey, right, bouts in a previous match.

It was a good year for the IVC varsity wrestling team. 

Coach Matt Russell led three grapplers to State and his team won the West Central Conference title this season.

“We had a good year. Our numbers were a bit down but we were still able to sell,” Russell said.

“We had some individuals do really well.”

The Grey Ghosts earned the WCC title after a dual win over Macomb.

Quincy Notre Dame was also a contender for the title but IVC beat them in a dual as well.

The team lost two seniors, Derek Meeks and Evan Schoenbein, but its state qualifiers are returning.

Sophomore Nic Norris and juniors Riley Beard and Jordan Ladd all advanced to the State tournament in Champaign.

Ladd, a state qualifier in the 2012-13 season, wrapped up the year with a 42-10 record and earned a fifth-place medal at the state tourney this season.

“That fifth-place match down at State, to tech fall that kid from Ottawa was a very pleasant surprise,” Russell said.

“We knew he could beat him but to beat him 16 to nothing was something.”

Ladd finished first at the Kewanee Invite. 

Beard finished with a 45-4 overall record and placed first in all of the tournaments IVC participated in.

He earned first in the St. Thomas More New Year’s Challenge, Princeton Invitational, Kewanee Invitational 

and the Randy Bowman Invitational in LeRoy.

Beard went 1-2 at the state tourney.

Norris finished the season 40-4 and earned first in three tournaments, one at St. Thomas More, another at the Kewanee Invite and his last at the Randy Bowman Invite.

Norris fell in his first match at the state tournament and did not advance.

Junior Chase Dietrich finished first in the 170-lbs. division at the Kewanee Invite.

Dietrich and junior Nic Ransom both reached the 30-win mark.

Dietrich finished the season with a 30-17 record. His time on the mat ended at Pontiac.

Ransom finished with a 30-15 record. He closed the season at Geneseo after a loss in the third-place match for the advancement to Sectionals.

IVC finished with a 16-15 dual record.

“In the super duals, we wrestled some really good teams,” Russell said. “We had a relatively tough schedule.”

With the loss of two seniors and a low incoming number of freshman wrestlers from this season, Russell said he is hoping for more numbers next year.

“If we can fill 14 weights next year, we’ll be a pretty good team. That’s just the part of it. You look at the numbers from schools across the state and the numbers are all down,” Russell said.