JOHN CURTIS - Daily Union Sports Editor
SHELBYVILLE, IL. —
Shelbyville wrestling continued their historic season on Saturday by sending 11 wrestlers on from the Tolono 1A Regional to sectional, the most in school history.
The Rams were hoping to win the regional as a team and advance towards team state. The Rams won the Okaw Valley Conference meet over Argenta and Monticello last week and the three favored teams battled again.
Shelbyville was one point behind Monticello when the regional championship round began. But on this day, Monticello proved better. Monticello finished the day with 194 points, in the 9-team regional.
Those who advanced were: freshman Zach Stirrett (106), freshman Garrett Brachbill (113), sophomore Jared Finley (132), sophomore Wyatt Fox (138), sophomore Adam Hudson (145), sophomore Lucas Duckett (152, senior Jordan Johnston (160), senior Josh Hicks (170), senior Mitchell Barna (195), sophomore Andrew Mudgette (22), and junior Elliott Smithson (285).
Eight of the Rams made it to the championship matches, but only two were crowned, sophomore Wyatt Fox (37-5) and freshman phenom Garrett Brachbill (36-3).
Fox, ranked 12th in the state at 138 had a #1 seed and started with a bye. Then he had to face two tough Okaw Valley Conference opponents. Fox took on Chitwood, a senior from Monticello (19-19).
Fox, "The Surgeon," worked Chitwood, holding him to one escape and getting a, 9-1, major decision. Against Bowman, a senior from Argenta (25-5). Only four points were scored in 6:00, with Fox, again, only allowing one escape and winning the title, 3-1.
Brachbill, ranked 14th in the state at 116, also had a top seed and a bye. He then faced another freshman, Heren of Auburn. Brachbill controlled the match and ran up the score for a 15-2 major decision. The title match was against an unfamiliar Wall-Lamkin, a sophomore of Rochester (20-3). Brachbill did not allow a score and won the battle, 3-0.
Six other Rams made it to the title matches of their weights, but couldn't grab the gold ring.
Freshman Zach Stirrett (19-19), not seeded to advance to sectional, came up big at 106. Stirrett came out of the middle of the bracket to beat the top seed, Crawford, a freshman from Rochester (11-5) by an 8-2 decision.
Stirrett went to the title bout against Logan Knisely, a freshman of Monticello (22-12), who had upset the #2-seed. Knisely won with a 2nd period pin (3:22).
Sophomore Jared Finley (32-7) had gone to state last year as a freshman. Ranked 15th in the state at 132, Finley, the #2 seed, faced a Tolono senior, Brandenburg (20-17). Finley stuck him in the 2nd period (2:20).
In the title bout, Finley looked down the barrel of the #1 wrestled in the state, Jozsa, a junior of Argenta. Jozsa was in control from the start and notched a tech fall, 17-1, with three seconds left in the match (5:57).
Sophomore Adam Hudson (32-7) beat a junior and a senior rival to make it to the 145-pound title bout. He beat Bundy, a senior from Warrensburg (12-14) with a pin in the 2nd period (2:32).
Hudson faced his Monticello rival, junior Dylan Knisely (30-8). Hudson knocked off Knisley, 7-4, to go to the title bout. He then faced Lane (34-1), a senior of Argenta, ranked 3rd in the state. Lane controlled the match and won by major decision, 14-0.
Sophomore Lucas Duckett (34-9) beat a senior from Monticello, Rook (1-4) by major decision, 9-1. He then knocked off another sophomore, Lanter of Rochester (18-5) by another major decision, 14-6.
The title bout was nip 'n tuck against undefeated Argenta junior, Elliott (23-0), ranked 16th in the state. Duckett didn't get a take down call near the out of bounds. The official blew the whistle with no one out of bounds. Duckett ended up losing, 3-2.
Senior Josh Hicks (32-12), ranked 14th in the state at 170, stuck Hebenstreit,a junior of Rochester (6-20) with a 2nd period pin (3:11). Hicks then beat Godden, a Cumberland senior (25-12), with a 6-2 decision. In the title bout, Hicks faced Redwinski, a Monticello sophomore (21-18) and lost by fall (1:14).
Junior Elliott Smithson (33-7) wrestled heavyweight and had to face two state Top 10 opponents. Prior to that Smithson started against York, a freshman of Tolono (6-8). Smithson made quick work of him, sticking him in the first minute (:59).
Smithson then faced 8th ranked Argenta junior, Ortman (27-5). No matter, Smithson didn't back down and knocked off the state-ranked foe in the barn-burner, 5-4. Smithson then had to take on 6th-ranked Behrends of Monticello (33-3) in the title bout. Behrends got the pin this time (1:33)
Three more Rams advanced by wrestling back for 3rd place finishes.
Senior Jordan Johnston (18-16), arguably the most improved Ram wrestler this season, dropped his opening match at 160 pounds to a senior from Cumberland, Jamison (25-12). The stage was the set a great wrestleback comeback.
Johnston faced Biesaida, a Rochester junior (15-10) and beat him, 7-3. That put Johnston in the 3rd place match against Neal, an Argenta junior (13-21). Johnston ran up a major decision, 13-3, to advance to sectional.
Senior Mitchell Barna (25-3), ranked 16th in the state, wrestled 195. He beat Gibbs, a Warrensburg senior (8-17) with a 3rd period fall (5:45). He then faced VanDalsen (34-7) , a senior of Monticello, ranked 9th in the state and was just edged, 5-4.
In wrestlebacks, Barna took it out on White, a Tolono sophomore (6-17), with a 1st period pin (1:30). The 3rd place match was a good one as Barna faced McBride, an Argenta junior (28-7). Barna emerged with the victory, 7-4, to advance.
Sophomore Andrew Mudgette (17-12), also a hugely improved wrestler this season at 285 and 220, wrestled 220 at regional. Out of the box he lost to top seeded Armstrong, a Monticello junor (28-8) by fall (1:44). But Mudgette would wrestle back.
Mudgette controlled Cohen, a junior of Cumberland (15-21), with an 11-2 major decision. Mudgette then faced Rodgers of Argenta and won by default. That put Mudgette in the 3rd place match. He not only beat Siciano, a Rochester sophomore (18-21), a he stuck him in the 2nd period (2:38).
Tolono 1A Regional
Team Results: *1. Monticello 194, 2. Shelbyville 174, 3. Argenta 161,5, 4. Auburn 126.5, 5. Rochester 74, 6. Cumberland 68, 7. Warrensburg 48, 8. Tolono 34.5, 9. St. Anthony 4
106-*2. Stirrett def. Crawford (ROC), 8-2; lost championship to Knisely (MONT) by fall (3:22)
113-*1. Brachbill def. Heren (AUB) by maj. dec., 15-2; def. Eli Wall-Lamkin (ROC) for the championship, 3-0
120-Wade lost to Henson (ROC), by fall (1:40); lost to Griffet (TOL), 4-2
126-Ja. Hicks lost to Snell (AUB) by tech fall, 17-2 (2:40); lost to Seitz (ROC), 15-9
132-*2. Finley def. Brandenburg (TOL) by fall (2:20); def. Smith (MONT) by fall (5:38); lost championship to Jozsa (AO) by tech fall, 17-1 (5:57)
138-*1. Fox def. Chitwood (MONT) by maj. dec. 9-1; def. Bowman (AO) for championship, 3-1
145-*2. Hudson def. Bundy (WL) by fall (2:32); def. D. Knisely (MONT), 7-4; lost to Lane (AO) in championship to Lane (AO) by maj. dec., 14-0
152-*2. Duckett def. Rook (MONT) by maj. dec., 9-1; def. Lanter (ROC) by maj. dec., 14-6; lost championship to Elliot (AO), 3-2
160-*3. Johnston lost to Jamison (CUMB), 7-4; def. Biesiada (ROC), 7-3; def. Neal (AO) for 3rd by maj. dec., 13-3
170-#2. Jo. Hicks def. Hebenstreit (ROC), by fall (3:11); def. Godden (CUMB), 6-2; lost to Redwinski (MONT) in championship by fall (1:14).
195-*3. Barna def. Gibbs (WL) by fall (5:45); lost to VanDalsen (MONT), 5-4; def. White (TOL) by fall (1:30) ; def. McBride (AO) for 3rd, 7-4.
220-*3. Mudgette lost to Armstrong (MONT) by fall (1:14); def. Cohen (CUMB) by maj. dec., 11-2; def. Rodgers (AO) by dflt; def. Siciano (ROC) for 3rd by fall (2:58)
285-*2. Smithson def. York (TOL) by fall (:59); def. Ortman (AO), 5-4; lost to Behrends (MONT) in championship by fall (1:28)
*Watch for web updates and the Tuesday print edition for photos.