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Two Kahok wrestlers advance to sectionals

By   /  February 11, 2014  /  No Comments

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The season will continue for at least two Collinsville wrestlers ,who advanced to the Sectional tournament in Normal, starting Friday.

Dylan Johnson atop the medal stand following the Granite City Regional / Photo by Tom Blaha

Dylan Johnson atop the medal stand following the Granite City Regional / Photo by Tom Blaha

Dylan Johnson and Cody Pope won first and third place respectively at the Granite City Regional Saturday to move one step closer to the State Tournament. Fellow seniors Brandon Fisher and Alex Stowers took fourth place in the Regional and will travel to Normal as alternates.

Collinsville Head Coach Tom Blaha said Fisher and Stowers have a good chance of making it into the tournament. “I’ve seen it happen more times than not,” Blaha said of alternates being placed into a tournament because a qualifier was unable to compete for injury or another health issue.

Johnson was seeded first and Pope third entering the Regional. Both lived up to their seed.

Johnson rolled to victory, defeating Mason Hewitt, of O’Fallon, in the final by a 7-1 decision. Pope lost in the semi-finals before beating Kameron Moss, of Granite City, in an 8-1 decision to take 3rd place. Fisher and Stowers each lost his third place match.

This will be Pope’s first time competing at a Sectional. Johnson came up just short of qualifying for State last year, losing in a 30-second tiebreaker. “I think Johnson has a pretty good chance of avenging that loss,” Blaha said.

The team finished 8th of nine teams in the Regional despite completing the season in a 3rd place tie with Alton in the Southwestern Conference. The Regional was comprised of all the teams from the Southwestern Conference, in addition to Quincy and Pekin. Only one team, Edwardsville, advanced in team competition.

Blaha said the team’s finish was somewhat disappointing, but many of the wrestlers narrowly missed a better result. “We had a lot of kids that came up short in a couple of matches,” Blaha said. “Kids that we beat before or kids that we lost to by a point.”

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