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Bakers Dozen: Triad Wrestling Wins 13th Straight MVC Title

By Mark Jurgena, Reporter



-Apple introduced the iPhone.

-The Mars Lander was launched

-A high school beside Triad won the Mississippi Valley Conference wrestling title.

After beating Waterloo in the final match of the MVC Super Duals at Highland, the Knights kept that streak alive.

“It never gets old… especially this year going into the season with Mascoutah and CM (being favored)…there’s a lot that goes into a year as far as attrition…our kids came through. 13 in a row is great!” said coach Russ Witzig.

Triad began the day with a win over Highland 54-21.

Ethan Zawodniak, Miguel Estep, Garrett Bakarich, Kaden Marmon, Collin North and Thomas Walsh all had pins.

Chase Hall, Jackson Hampton and Jordan Clines all won their match on points.

“That started off our day, we wrestled well and just seemed to continue from that dual on,” Witzig said.

Triad squared off with Jerseyville and came away with a 61-3 win.

Aiden Postma, Sam Wheeler, Hall, Clines and Walsh had pins,

Devin Pace, Zawodniak, Estep, Marmon, Andrew McElligot and North all outpointed their opponents.

“Miguel Estep wrestled well that match. He beat a kid that had beaten him earlier in the year and our kids just kept it going,” said Witzig.

Jersey would finish in 2nd place with a 4-1 record.

A 51-29 win over Mascoutah was next.

“I really thought this was going to be a tight match. On paper I had either team winning by 3-9 points. Our kids wrestled tough,” Witzig said.

Hall, Postma, Estep, Bakarich and Walsh all recorded pins.

Zawodniak recorded a 4-2 win.

“We flip flopped him (Zawodniak) and Hall. He beat a kid (Brenan Wadlow) that it was a pretty close match but he grinded the whole match out and at the time it was a big turning point in the dual,” said Witzig.

Mascoutah finished in 3rd place.

Triad battled a tough Civic Memorial squad and came out on top with a 48-36 win.

Zawodniak, Postma and Marmon all recorded pins.

The final match was a 66-15 win over Waterloo. The Knights won 11 matches by pinfall.

Hall, Postma, Estep, and Bakarich got their second pin of the day.

Ryan Weber, Hampton, Wheeler, Clines, Marmon and North also had pins.

“I thought we were favored but I didn’t anticipate the score being what it was,” said Witzig.

A side note to the day. Triad’s Bakarich bumped up to the 160 lb. class in order to help Triad claim the conference title.

In the Jerseyville dual he met the 2nd ranked wrestler in Illinois Class 2A, Zeke Waltz. Waltz won by decision 4-2. It was Bakarich’s initial loss of the season. He stands at 32-1 on the year.

“Garrett wrestled a tough match against that kid, he just made a couple of mistakes. When you wrestle a top level kid like he is, one mistake is all it takes to win or lose a match. It was a match he needed, he’s not been challenged except a couple times all season,” Witzig said.

Triad claimed four individual conference champs on the day in Hall, Postma, Marmon and North.

Zawodniak, Estep, Bakarich and McElligot finished second in their weight classes.

Triad wrestles in the Mascoutah Individual Regional this weekend.

Knight Notes:

-Triad coach Russ Witzig claimed his 400th career dual meet win when Triad beat rival Highland to open the day at the MVC Super Duals.

-He now has overseen 404 dual wins in 27 years as the head coach of Triad.

-According to Witzig, that 2007 MVC champ was Mascoutah.

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