Reigning champs: Bulldogs secure 4th-straight regional title

The Mahomet-Seymour wrestling team won its 33rd overall and fourth straight IHSA Class 2A regional title last Saturday at home.

But that was expected.

Now, the team and individual wrestlers will try to finish out their goals for the rest of the postseason.

"Winning the regional qualifies our team for the dual team sectional," M-S coach Rob Ledin said. "However, our focus remains with our (individual) sectional qualifiers right now. Our team continues to practice as a full squad, which keeps the intensity and excitement alive at this time of the year."

The Bulldogs won the 10-team regional with a score of 162.5, topping Danville's 150 and Centennial's 116.5.

"Winning the regional was a total team effort," Ledin said. "I was very proud of the way we competed, especially our youth in the final round. Besides David Griffet's title, the other wins came from underclassmen."

In the quarterfinals, Griffet pinned Max Russo in 51 seconds. Griffet, the Bulldogs' top finisher with 22 points, then avenged earlier season losses to win the 285-pound weight class.

In the semifinal Griffet pinned Caleb Guise of Decatur Eisenhower in 4:24, then won the championship match by defeating Hayden Copass of Westville 10-5.

Griffet had lost to both opponents on the same day in December.

"David has had to adjust his style and strategy for the heavyweight division," Ledin said. "Those early losses helped him understand the do's and don'ts of 285."

Griffet, a two-time state qualifier at 220 pounds, added to his all-time career pinfall total and now holds the No. 8 spot with 73, two behind Tim Holderer, who had 75.

Five Bulldogs earned second-place finishes, including David Spencer, Kyle Johnson, Wyatt Heimann, Lucas Hooper and Ben Stahl.

Spencer (138) took second and scored 18 points.

He pinned William Cutright-Werkman in 19 seconds to win the quarterfinal match, then pinned Eliseo Perez in 46 seconds to win the semifinal.

He lost in a tough 12-6 decision in the championship match.

Spencer broke into the top 10 list for all-time career wins. He is now tied (with Brett Porter, Kurt Sampson and Dave Scheurich) at No. 9 with 134 victories in his career.

"One more victory would put Spencer all alone with 135 wins at No. 8," Ledin said. "The next spot on the wins list is a No. 7 tie at 138 by Andrew Brewer and Jared Ernst."

Hooper (195) earned 18 points for his second-place finish.

After a first-round bye, he pinned his semifinal opponent in 2:44, then lost by 24-9 technical fall in the championship round.

Stahl (220) also was the runner-up at his weight class.

After a first-round bye, he won by fall at 4:29 but lost in the championship in a 16-0 technical fall.

Heimann (170) earned 17.5 points for his second-place finish.

In the quarterfinal, he pinned his first opponent in 2:43 and won his second match by 17-1 technical fall.

He lost in the championship match 8-4 in overtime.

Underclassmen who excelled included sophomore Chance Decker (126), sophomore Boden Freeman (132) and freshman Gage Granadino (145). They each placed third to advance to sectionals.

"Chance won by decision, Boden Freeman won by fall and Gage Granadino won by major decision," Ledin said. "That scored a combined 16 points in the final round."

Noah Schnepper (113) and Jack Vaughn (182) each placed fourth for a total of 15 points. They fell one position short of moving on as individuals.

M-S is scheduled to enter the IHSA individual sectional at Lincoln on Friday and Saturday.

Categories (3):Prep Sports, Wrestling, Sports

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