PONTIAC – For the four Morris wrestlers who took part in the Class 2A Pontiac Sectional this past weekend, each one took away something from the experience.
State qualifier Trevor Allbert literally used his head, and it came back to hurt him, return qualifier Kenny Baldridge learned what life is like this winter as a defeated wrestler, senior Dalton Ness learned what dedication to the sport will get you and junior Andrew Faught watched four seniors from his weight class earn the right to State Farm Center in Champaign for state starting Thursday.
"Great tournament for us considering this is the toughest sectional in the state," Morris coach Jon Lanning said. "I think you are going to see a lot of these kids on the podium next week. It's not out of the question that all four kids that got out here [in each weight] are going to be up on that stand next weekend."
160 pounds – Trevor Allbert – Second
Allbert finished second in the 160-pound weight class, losing to Jake Warner of Washington, 16-3, in the finals. He did so with a gash on the top of his head that required attention during the finals at least four different times.
So how did Allbert get that cut on his head?
"My semifinal match against the kid [Rigo Fraire] from Sandwich," Allbert said. "He charged at me and I went to shoot and we butted heads. It hasn't stopped bleeding since."
Allbert said he got the worst of it.
"I think he got some of it on his eye, but I don't really know what happened," Allbert said. "I didn't really see anything on him."
Allbert had his head wrapped and was able to finish that match off as a 7-4 winner. He had previously defeated Tony Hall of East Peoria by fall on 5:02.
Lanning said there was no way he was going to decide to injury default out for Allbert.
"No, Trevor's too tough. He's going to finish that on his own," Lanning said. "I wanted to let him go the full six minutes and let him have a chance to win the match."
Allbert also said that answer was no.
"No. I've got to stay tough," Allbert said. "Even though things were not really going for me in that match, that doesn't mean I just quit. I like to finish off what I start."
"Trevor wrestled a great tournament. He got into the finals and beat the No. 3 kid in the state to get there," Lanning said. "The Warner kid from Washington, he's a stud. He's a load and he pretty much dominated the entire tournament. I wouldn't be surprised if he ended up the state champ next week."
132 pounds – Kenny Baldridge – Third
Baldridge had been undefeated heading into the sectional. He started with a win by technical fall (4:38) over Joe Goshko of Rochelle.
Baldridge the lost in the semifinals to the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the state – Alexander Butler of Rockford Boylan, 7-4, before bouncing back to defeat Noah Keefe of Lincoln-Way West 3-1 to finish third.
"Obviously, I wanted to be in the finals.I knew going into the semifinals that I was going to be going up against the No. 1 ranked kid, but I felt it could go either way," Baldridge said. "I was probably a little timid in the match but I've learned from some of my mistakes and I'm going to take that into next week."
Baldridge was asked if anything unexpected happened to him Saturday.
"Besides losing, not really," he said. "I was just too timid and defensive in my match. I should have been more offensive."
220 pounds – Dalton Ness – Fifth
Ness came one match from qualifying for state and ended the season with a 30-10 record.
"Great season for Moose. An unbelievable season for him," Lanning said. "The way he's improved over the years. He's a team guy who sacrificed himself and his moves to go for the pin to help us get those 11 team wins. Without him we don't get those 11 team wins for sure."
Ness beat Simon Montez by fall in 3:08 before losing to Lane Akre of Geneseo, 13-0. In the wrestlebacks, Ness beat Keith Wright of Peoria by fall in 1:20 before losing to Bryant Lilly of Sterling, 9-1.
285 – Andrew Faught – DNQ
Faught lost by fall to Marshall Guerra of Geneseo in 2:28 but then bounced back to defeat Steeler Trout of Washington 7-4. He was then eliminated by Jonathan Hewitt of LaSalle-Peru 50-0.
"It was a big weekend for Andrew Faught," Lanning said. "He had a great beginning to the season but then he lulled a little bit. He struggled a little bit in the middle of the season but then picked it up again last weekend and got himself here. That was a big step in the right direction. Heavyweight here is a senior-heavy class and I think that bodes well for him next year."
Faught finishes the season with a 20-14 record.