Wrestlers Brought 4 State Titles Back To The Stateline
By Al Zipsie
Five wrestlers from the Stateline were in the championship matches at the University of Illinois Saturday.
Four brought home a state title in 1A Ethen Doty of Eastland high school and the West Carroll wrestling Coop at 126, Anthony Wenzel of Dakota in 1A and Major Dedmond of Freeport in 2A both at 170 and Aydin Guttridge of Rockford East in 3A at 285. Tyler Elsbury of Byron finished second losing a tough 7-5 match to Logan Lee of Orion in the 285 1A final.
Guttridge a senior won the title with a 3-1 decision over Justin Hull of St. Charles. Guttridge was in the shadow of Anthony Cassioppi of Hononegah (now a Division 1 wrestler at Iowa) who won the 285 title the past two years. Guttridge, who didn't even qualify for last years state was on a mission and became East's first state champion since 1999.
For Wenzel of Dakota and Dedmond from nearby Freeport, they won the 1A and 2A 170 pound championships within seconds of each other and on another mat within 20 feet away. Wenzel (43-6) took a 7-5 lead with 1:23 left in the third and final period and held on to beat Connor Eaton of Frankfort. For Wenzel only a sophomore he has two more seasons to add to this state titles. For Dedmond who has been plagued by injuries he finally got that elusive state title in his senior year. In 2A Dedmond (35-1) scored the only point of the match with an escape with three seconds left to win 1-0 knocking off formerly unbeaten Alex Cramer of Grayslake who had won all 46 of his matches coming into the final. Dedmond, will be playing football in college, he won the title after an injury had him finish sixth last season and third as a sophomore. Dedmond's father and coach Anthony Dedmond was the runner up for the Pretzels in AA in 1992. Dedmond joined the only other state champion from Freeport in Pete Rhode who won at 105 in 1984.
Doty, became the first area champion as he finished undefeated at 45-0 winning at 126 with an injury default :27 seconds into his finals match with Cameron Johnson of Aurora Christian. Doty, a sophomore had finished fifth last year.
Elsbury the Byron junior finished 40-4. He had beat Ian Kuehl a senior of Lena-Winslow/Stockton in the semifinal in a 3-2 ultimate tiebreaker. Kuehl, who finished third as a sophomore and was last years state champion at heavyweight. Kuehl, then bounced back winning a 5-4 tie breaker over Anthony Enlow of Vandalia for third place. Kuehl, a three-time medal winner ended as the all-time career win leader at Lena-Winslow.
Oregon led the Stateline with the most medals with all four coming in the third-place matches. Jacob Milliman 113, Noah Paul 132 and Chase Clark at 152 all finished third and Andrew Herbst at 106 was fourth. Herbst had knocked off Dakota's Maddux Blakely in the blood round, one match away from a medal. Both Milliman and Paul had hard-earned third places. They both lost in the first round before winning five straight in the wrestle backs and winning decisions for third place. Clark won four in a row and capped it off with a pin in 1:53 in his third-place match.
Colton Ingram (45-4) joined Elsbury who made it to the podium for Byron. Ingram recorded a fall in 3:48 for third place at 195.
Joining Kuehl in winning medals for Lena-Winslow/Stockton were fourth places from sophomores Jason Hermann at 145 and Case Harmston at 160. Hermann fell 2-1 in overtime in the third-place match while Harmston, after falling in the opening round clicked off four straight wins before a setback for third place. Lena-Winslow/Stockton and Stillman Valley wrestlers are the only teams with the season not over. On Tuesday at the 1A Sterling Newman dual Sectional the Panther/Hawks face Orion and Stillman Valley collides with the defending state champion Aurora Christian. For Kuehl, he should get a shot at this year's state champion in Lee of Orion. The winners advance to team State.
For Dakota, Caleb Alber at 138, the nephew of coach Pete Alber, got a medal in his senior year with a fifth place. He fell to the unbeaten eventual champ Ezra Elliot of Hoopston 10-5 in the semifinal and lost an 8-6 heartbreaker in sudden victory before bouncing back with a 7-5 win in the fifth-place match. For more information on Dakota wrestling go to Facebook Dakota Illinois wrestling history.
Giovanni Cassioppi a senior from Hononegah took fifth in 3A at 145 winning his last match 7-2.
Bryce Faworski Winnebago fifth at 145 1A.