There was both good and bad that came from Robinson High School's wrestling team's performance at the IHSA Class 1A Fairfield Regional Saturday (Feb. 3).
The Maroons managed to qualify four wrestlers for the Sectional, but had hoped to get a lot more through. Still, several wrestlers had solid performances and helped the team to a fifth-place finish in the nine-team meet.
"Our regional was very tough this year and everyone who got out certainly earned their trip to sectionals," RHS head coach Joe Cunningham said. "I had really hoped to take a minimum of six kids to sectionals with a possibility of eight, but I do believe the kids wrestled hard all day and we almost got several more through."
At 106, Jordan Caballero pinned Fairfield's Otis Lurz in his first match, then was pinned by Mt. Carmel's Dayton Hall in the semifinals. Caballero rebounded by pinning Cumberland's Joel Heynen and Lawrenceville-Red Hill's Emily Hyre to advance.
Elliott Stifle's path at 113 was the same, as he opened with a pin of Carlyle's Ethan Williams, then was pinned by Vandalia's Dakota Gasaway in the semifinals before scoring a technical fall over Fairfield's Damyan Akes and a pin of Cumberland's Logan Edwards to continue his season.
Grayson Wolf also took a similar route at 182, opening with a pin of Fairfield's Jayden Stuessel, then losing an 8-4 decision to Lawrenceville-Red Hill's Gavin Smith before rebounding to pin Carlyle's Ethan Foutch and Fairfield's Stuessel again to finish third.
Meanwhile, Jeff Hermann made it a little tougher on himself, as he dropped his opening match at 138 to Mt. Carmel's Nate Critchfield, 10-6. He bounced back with a pair of pins over Fairfield's Aaron Walker and Lawrenceville-Red Hill's Latham Chisolm to place third.
Robinson also had three wrestlers - Alex Hermann (145), Fernando Zuniga (195) and Taren Williamson (285) - reach third-place matches, only to fall short. They will serve as alternates should one of the top-three finishers be unable to compete at sectionals.
"Each kid steps on the mat with the dream of moving on to that next level and with the realization that a lot of very hard work and sacrifice is on the line," Cunningham said. "Especially for seniors, this day has a lot of meaning. Alex and Taren were able to advance as alternates Saturday, so we hope each of them along with Fernando gets the opportunity to wrestle at Vandalia Saturday, but they will be depending upon someone else to have some bad luck. Our seniors might not have made their goal of sectionals, but they were very successful in helping us rebuild this team. There will be a big hole in our hearts next year when Alex, Taren, Alex Douglas, Nick Rice, Gavin Butler and Raymond Gonzales will not be in the room."
2018 IHSA Class 1A Wrestling Regional
At Fairfield Community High School
Team scores - Vandalia 227, Mt. Carmel 184, Cumberland 125.5, Lawrenceville-Red Hill 106, Robinson 86.5, Fairfield 69, Carlyle 49, Carmi 26, Breese Mater Dei 0.
106 - Jordan Caballero (R) pinned Otis Lurz (FF) 1:00; pinned by Dayton Hall (MC) 1:12; pinned Joel Heynen (CU) 1:07; pinned Emily Hyre (L) 1:46. (3rd place)
113 - Elliott Stifle (R) pinned Ethan Williams (CARL) :35; pinned by Dakota Gasaway (V) 1:11; tech. fall Damyan Akes (FF) 16-1; pinned Logan Edwards (CU) 1:03. (3rd place)
120 - Landon Shonk (R) pinned by Lane Harvey (FF) 2:48; pinned by Matthew Hobler (V) 3:28.
126 - Gavin Butler (R) pinned by Alec Garner (CARMI) 1:15; pinned by Mason Lucas (CARL) 3:02.
132 - Nick Rice (R) dec. by Clay Critchfield (MC) 5-0; pinned by Jay Stierwalt (CU) 5:31.
138 - Jeff Hermann (R) dec. by Nate Critchfield (MC) 10-6; pinned Aaron Walker (FF) 1:18; pinned Lathan Chisolm (L) 1:28. (3rd place)
145 - Alex Hermann (R) pinned Justin Miller (FF) :53; major dec. by Michael Carpenter (CU) 17-7; dec. by Dehaven Burgess (V) 6-4.
152 - J.D. Caballero (R) pinned by Chris Shelby (MC) 3:28; pinned by Clayton Smith (L) 4:26.
160 - Nick Eby (R) pinned by Dustin Lott (V) 3:05; pinned Mikkel Brandtberg (FF) 1:24; pinned by Sebastian Lowe (MC) 5:21.
170 - Roger Cornwell (R) pinned by Robby Durbin (V) 1:57; pinned by Alex King (FF) 3:37.
182 - Grayson Wolf (R) pinned Jayden Stuessel (FF) :37; dec. by Gavin Smith (L) 8-4; pinned Ethan Foutch (CARL) :44; pinned Steussel (FF) 2:29. (3rd place)
195 - Fernando Zuniga (R) major dec. David Meyer (V) 12-2; pinned by Nathan Husman (CARL) 3:16; dec. Brian Lyczkowski (L) 12-5; pinned by Theron Stewart (FF) :15.
220 - Dalton Davis (R) pinned by Blake Kight (MC) 3:23; pinned by Gavin Mouser (V) 1:03.
285 - Taren Williamson (R) pinned Kyle Buchanan (FF) 4:59; pinned by Anthony Enlow (V) 1:41; pinned by Jake Rider (CARMI) :58.