Wrestling Cavaliers win four matches in opening week
Carlinville finishes third out of six teams at Litchfield Super Duals
By Jackson Wilson
Although the season had just begun, the Cavaliers felt as if they were already in a playoff atmosphere at the annual Litchfield Super Duals wrestling meet on Saturday. The fans were into it and the competition was fierce for the entire duration of the five-hour event. Despite a slow start, Carlinville rallied to win three out of five round robin matches against some of the most successful wrestling programs in the state.
“Our area is very strong in wrestling. We only have to travel 20 miles and we are already up against some of the best 1A wrestlers in the state right here in our backyard and it’s great to see,” said Carlinville head coach Tim Johnson.
Carlinville ran into a buzzsaw in the opening round against Auburn. Aside from Evan Bethard’s triumph over Dalton Hatcher in the 182 lb. weight class, the Cavaliers were completely shut down and bowed their heads in defeat, 66-6.
“I think they opened our eyes,” Johnson said of Auburn. “We might have been asleep a little bit early on. We don’t match up the best with them but we also didn’t show up ready to go. But, we turned a corner, forgot about it and the next four (matches) went pretty good.”
This turned out to be the wake up call that the Cavaliers needed. They dominated the rest of the afternoon by defeating Pinckneyville (60-24) and earning two big conference wins over Litchfield (54-24) and Roxana (69-12) due to consistent individual performances combined with several forfeits. Carlinville also came close to shocking Petersburg-PORTA (37-39), the first place finisher who defeated Auburn earlier in the day.
Carlinville concludes the season’s opening week with a 4-3 record overall and 2-0 in the South Central Conference. Earlier in the week, the Cavaliers traveled to Mt. Olive and defeated the host Wildcats 56-17 before falling short to Rochester 36-45.
N. Burns, T. Burns and Hughes have all posted 6-1 records in their first seven individual matches. Following close behind with solid 5-2 marks are Michaelis, Roberts and Miller.
The Cavaliers will travel to Petersburg on Saturday, Dec. 8 to participate in the Porta Invite at Porta High School. Matches will begin at 8:30 a.m.