MAHOMET — Mahomet-Seymour wrestling coach Rob Ledin got a little taste of how dominant Seth Buchanan could be last year. As a sophomore, Buchanan placed in a couple of tournaments that Ledin inserted him into.
But the 285-pounder sat behind David Griffet and watched and learned from the Class 2A state runner-up.
In the preseason, Ledin preached that Buchanan was in position to have a really solid year.
"He didn't get a lot of playing time, but we put him in two varsity tournaments last year and he placed in both," Ledin told The Mahomet Citizen in early December. "We feel really good about where Seth is at."
Ledin was right. With a pin over Mount Zion's Anthony Nash last Wednesday, Buchanan eclipsed 30 wins on the season. The junior sits at 31-10 as the Bulldogs get ready for the Class 2A regional at Urbana, beginning on Saturday.
Buchanan was one of five Bulldogs who went 2-0 in last Wednesday's final regular season meets. M-S defeated Taylorville 49-19 and lost to Mount Zion 38-30.
Noah Schnepper (120), Chance Decker (138), Gage Granadino (152) and Daunte Roberts (182) all were undefeated. Schnepper and Decker both had two pins.
Logan Petro (132), Tyler Kittivanichkulkrai (160) and Wyatt Heimann (182) all won one bout.
As Ledin surveyed the competition at the Urbana regional, he believes his squad has as good a chance as any to survive and advance to sectionals.
"We're realistic, but we have the expectation that we want to win it and move on and have a chance to be in a dual team sectional match," Ledin said. "I think our lineup will come together and get healthy."
Granadino improved to 29-13 on the season, and Ledin believes the sophomore has a great chance to make a run in the state tournament.
"Gage Granadino looks pretty good for us," Ledin said. "Won a lot of matches for us. Still figuring some things out for us. He's a sophomore who still will have some growing pains, but he can be very dominating and very slick. I feel really good about his chances."
The competition will be very stiff, but Heimann and Buchanan are two who can absolutely make a strong push in the postseason. Buchanan's regional will be loaded with big-time talent, but he's passed every test this season.
"Seth Buchanan will have the toughest regional in the state," Ledin said bluntly. "He has three ranked wrestlers in the regional, and he'll have to knock off one of them to reach the sectional. I think we can do it. I think we can get to the sectional, and when he gets to the sectional, he's going to be alright because he's got the top two guys in his regional and he'll be ready for it."
M-S finished 14-7 overall and 4-2 in Apollo Conference bouts. The tough schedule has prepared Ledin's squad for postseason play.
Now, it's time to execute. If the Bulldogs can finish in the top-three at the 10-team regional, they'd advance to their own individual sectional on Feb. 8-9.
"Up and down the lineup, I feel pretty good," Ledin said. "I'm hoping we can pull off the regional and get a couple guys downstate. I always tell them, 'I don't wantto buy a ticket to the state tournament. You guys have to get me there.'"