Yorkville coach Jake Oster projected that seven of his wrestlers would make it out of regionals, at minimum.
He was right on the number.
The Foxes qualified seven of their wrestlers for sectionals at last Saturday’s Class 3A East Moline Regional.
Nick Stemmet, Brady Fisher and Keenan Ness won regional championships; Cole Ferguson, Joe Rogers and Ben Stemmet took second; and Zack Katula took third for Yorkville, who placed third behind Minooka and Moline in the team finish.
“I think most of it played out like we expected,” Oster said.
At 220 pounds Fisher got two pins to get to the finals, where he won a 9-8 decision over Connor Briley of Minooka.
“That’s a good showing against a good wrestler,” Oster said. “We had beaten him earlier in the year, a one-point match in December. It kind of played out the same.”
At 182 Nick Stemmet notched two pins, the second over Minooka’s Connor Colbert in the final. Ness at 285 won a 2-1 decision over third-seeded Cobie Underwood in the semifinals and a 3-1 decision over fourth-seeded Derek Wentworth of Minooka in the final.
“The bracket played out different than we expected, but I expected Brady to win,” Oster said. “It was good to see him win a regional. He was pretty disappointed after conference losing to a ranked Geneseo kid.”
Ferguson lost to Plainfield South’s Enzo Silva in the final at 113, Roberts lost to Oswego’s Gannon Hughes in the final at 145 and Ben Stemmet lost to Moline’s Hunter Henning in the final.
At 160 Katula beat Danny Debow of Minooka 7-1 in the third-place match to grab the last sectional spot.
“Katula had a close match with Debow during the year,” Oster said. “He widened the gap which was good to see.”
The Foxes did have a rough round in the semifinal wrestlebacks, losing four of the five matches. Minooka’s 200 points easily surpassed Moline (136.5) and Yorkville (130).
“Team-wise, Minooka is just solid,” Oster said. “They qualified 12 guys. It’s hard to beat that.”
As far as this weekend’s sectionals in downstate Alton, Oster projects the 220-pound bracket as the one to watch.
“Brady has to be in one of the toughest sectionals in the entire state,” Oster said. “Someone in the top five isn’t going to make it out. It will be a good litmus test for the upcoming weekend at state. He has a tough bracket, but if there’s one kid I would want to have a tough bracket it would be Brady.”
Oster figures that Yorkville has a good shot at getting a handful of guys through to state, which is Feb. 15 to 17 in Champaign.
“I’m looking forward to this weekend,” Oster said. “Especially with every single one of our guys being an underclassmen it will be a good experience.”