By Anthony Jones
Triad wrestling improved to 6-2 overall after a busy weekend.
The nineteenth ranked Knights started their action packed slate with a Dec. 9 visit to the Granite City Warriors. Triad rolled their way to a 66-16 win in the matchup.
Jason Powell, Nate Engler, Bobby Patterson, Landon Lynn, Jacob Perez and Braden Carlson all provided pinfall victories in the contest. The rest of Triad’s victories came from forfeit and were scored by Will Kelly, Brody Smith, Dylan McCain, Ben Baumgartner and CJ Duhacheck.
The following day, Triad traveled to the Bloomington quad. This event provided matchups with Rochester, Bloomington, Mattoon, Mahomet-Seymour and Belleville East.
Against the Rochester Rockets, the Knights flew to a 66-16 victory.
Glen Henry, Aidan Postma, Lynn and Duhachek all scored wins via pinfall in the dominant win. McCain, Braden Rowe, Carlson, Perez, Koen Rodebush, Nate Engler and Jason Powell all added victories by forfeit.
A match with the hosting Bloomington Purple Raiders proved much more competitive, but Triad prevailed in 39-37 fashion. The Raiders were ranked seventeenth, two spots ahead of the Knights in the most recent rankings.
Pinfalls were secured by Henry, McCain, Baumgartner, Duhacheck, Lynn and Patterson to fuel the upset. Rowe added another win on the mat in a 15-8 decision.
The Mattoon Greenwave provided another challenge for the wrestling Knights, as they were ranked thirteenth. Triad scored another victory however, taking a 42-35 win.
Baumgartner, Postma and Patterson all scored pins enroute to the victory. Carlson and Powell added on decision wins.
Two forfeit victories were supplied by Kelly and Perez.
Triad added another win over Belleville East, doing so by a score of 43-29.
But Coach Witzig felt his team could have won by a larger margin, “We came out very flat against East, and they took advantage of it. We have to learn how to be more consistent and be able to compete hard every time we step out. Right now we’re battling illness as well as a couple of injuries but when we get to full strength, I feel like we will be very competitive.”
Kelly, Smith, Baumgartner, Lynn and Powell all scored pins against the Lancers. Henry added on a 6-5 decision win and Carlson did the same with a 9-2 margin.
A 12-1 major decision from Engler tacked on another Triad win.
The Knight’s lone loss came against Mahomet Seymour. The third ranked Bulldogs muscled their way to a 63-12 victory.
A Baumgartner pinfall win and a Postma default provided two wins for Triad.
Early this month, Triad competed in the Chatham-Glenwood tournament. The Knights would finish second out of fifteen teams, only being bested by the host Titans.
In the 138 division, reigning state champion Colby Crouch was Triad’s lone champion of the event. Postma(145) and Engler(220) both finished as runners up.
Baumgartner took third at 126, while Kelly(106),Rowe(132) and Carlson(152) all finished fourth.
Smith and Matt Hobbs, at 113 and 285 respectively, both finished in the top five. Lynn was the lone Knight to take sixth, doing so at 160.
Alex Milam(120), Drew Meyer(126) and Rodebush(182) all finished eighth at the event.
“I’m not sure what to expect at the Mascoutah tournament this weekend as we are recovering from illness and injuries, but I know it will be a very quality tournament. After that we will take on a tough Edwardsville team next week and then wrestle in the Granite City holiday tournament, which is one of the toughest tournaments in the state,” Witzig previewed his team’s upcoming schedule.
“Hopefully, we’ll get it all together between now and the end of the season where it really counts. If we do, we will be in the mix to win conference and regionals again.”