In elite company

Twice in five days, Mahomet-Seymour’s wrestling team found itself in the same position.

In their two matches in the IHSA team-dual postseason series, the Bulldogs were down early in the meets.

That’s where the similarity ended.

In the match that determined which school would reach the Elite Eight in Class 2A, the Bulldogs made up a 19-6 deficit against Chatham Glenwood — an opponent that was ranked higher in the state polls — and rallied for a 39-25 victory.

On Saturday, in the state quarterfinals at U.S. Cellular Coliseum, M-S lost the first four matches against Dixon in a meet that started at 132 pounds, but parlayed three pins in the upper weights into a 22-16 advantage with five matches remaining.

However, Dixon won the next four bouts and earned a 32-28 triumph, ending the M-S season one victory shy of earning a state trophy. Dixon went on to place third.

For 195-pound senior Hunter Crowley, the dual-meet series enabled him to make further progress into the school’s all-time record book.

His third-period pin in the quarterfinals was No. 80 in his prep career, breaking a tie he held with Brett Camden and Joe Sapp as the all-time career leaders. It was also his 37th pin as a senior, also a new school mark.

“Every match, he looked for a pin,” M-S coach Rob Ledin said.

Crowley completed his career with a season-record 53 wins, surpassing the record Camden ended with (50) as a senior in 1989. His pin over Dixon’s Dylan Messer provided individual state runner-up Crowley with career win No. 147, which broke a tie he held with Jeff Castor for fourth place on the career list for victories. Messer was a 20-match winner who had been pinned just four times before facing Crowley.

“To reach the marks he did says a lot about him,” Ledin said.

Other Bulldogs to win by pin against Dixon were senior Zach Daebelliehn (170) and junior David Griffet (220). Wyatt Heimann (160) earned a major decision and David Spencer received a forfeit win, accounting for the team’s 28 points.

The Bulldogs finished 20-6 in dual meets, the school’s 21st 20-win season

in the past 37 years. In that same span, M-S has placed among the top four wrestling teams at state 15 times, 11 since the advent of the team-dual series 34 years ago. This year marked the Bulldogs 17th appearance at state in the team-dual series.

Ledin hopes to see that total increase.

“We’ll take this experience and hope to build on what we did this year,” he said.

To advance to state for the first time in eight years, the Bulldogs recovered from a slow start in a team sectional match at home Tuesday (Feb. 21) against Chatham Glenwood. After six matches (out of 14), M-S trailed by 13 points.

In the seventh match, the meet’s halfway mark, M-S’ 152-pound entry Lucas Morgan, was behind 6-4 with less than 2 minutes remaining before turningthe tables and registering a pin with 32 seconds left in the bout.

Instead of a deficit that would have been 22-6 if Morgan had been decisioned, his pin narrowed the gap to 19-12 and the comeback was underway.

Four matches later, when Crowley received a forfeit win, M-S took its first lead 27-22.

In the matches that followed, Griffet and Chance Decker (106) posted pins to ensure that the Titans would not rally. Griffet’s pin in 3:56 officially clinched the school’s berth at state.

“We knew we had to fill in some spots in the lineup this year,” Ledinsaid. “It was a great team effort. We were very happy to qualify. This was a close team. We’ll miss these (six) seniors.”

Besides Crowley and Daebelliehn, R.G. Bradley (182), Nathan Girouard (195), Ryan Harper (220) and Noah Trapp (160) were the other Bulldogseniors. Collectively, the seniors were 150-49 with 90 pins.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Wrestling, Sports

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