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Redskins advance four wrestlers from regional

Kenny Baldridge of Morris was the lone champion for the Redskins at the Pontiac Regional.
Kenny Baldridge of Morris was the lone champion for the Redskins at the Pontiac Regional.

PONTIAC — For the Morris wrestling team, the Class 2A regional at Pontiac went about the way the Redskins thought. Four individuals advanced with Kenny Baldridge getting the lone championship. Both Justin Barkley and Nik Countryman were second and Trevor Allbert was third.

"It what we were thinking, somewhere between four and seven," Morris coach Jon Lanning said of his advancers. "Those four are our best. Those four have been the most consistent wrestlers for us all year."

The four advancers from Morris will move on to the Rochelle Sectional next weekend.

First Place

Kenny Badridge - 120 pounds

Baldridge drew a bye before beating Max Kurkowski of La Salle-Peru in the semifinals by fall in 1:09.

"There was no messing around there," Baldridge said. "I just went out and pinned the guy as fast as I could."

In the championship, Baldridge beat Jesse Wood of Sandwich 10-1. It is the first regional title for Baldridge. He was fourth as a freshman and second last year.

"I think I'm getting to that next level," the junior said. "I think I'm one of the top competitors now."

Baldridge is 33-1 on the season.

"Kenny got us off to a nice start (in the finals)," Lanning said. "He's been very consistent all year."

Second Place

Justin Barkley - 132 pounds

Barkley lost to Steven Richardson of Pontiac by fall in 3:29.

"He caught me in a couple of positions and I couldn't finish my shots," Barkley said of the title bout.

Barkley also mantioned that Richardson beat him earlier in the year by technical fall.

Previous to the finals, Barkley opened with a win by fall in :42 over Lucas Munter of Metamora and then got a crucial 4-3 decision over Devon Jones of Ottawa.

"I had faced him (Jones) three other times. He had beaten me twice before and I got him once," Barkley said. "But I beat him when it mattered. It was a tough match."

Barkley, a senior, is 27-13 on the season.

"Bark wrestled well today," Lanning said. "That Richardson kid is really, really good."

Second Place

Nik Countryman - 182 pounds

It was a surprise to few people that Countryman and Bobby Schillinger of Yorkville met for the title here. The two were tied at 1-1 when Schillinger got a takedown with 14 seconds left in the third period and then got back points for a 4-1 victory.

"I had been pretty much blocking his shot the whole match, but then he got a good single and tree-topped me," Countryman said. "That put me to my back and the match was pretty much over at that point."

Countryman opened with a win by fall in 1:47 over Paul Turner of Ottawa and he then pinned Erik Schwartz of Sandwich in 3:09 in the semifinals.

"I was wanting to get off the mat quick there," Countryman said of the semifinal bout. "I'd get a takedown and he'd escape before I finally held him down with an arm-bar, turned him on his back and pinned him."

Countryman, a senior, is now 30-5 on the season.

"Nik just has to keep working," Lanning said. "We're going to have to figure out a way to beat him (Schillinger) this year."

Third Place

Trevor Allbert - 160 pounds

Allbert beat Ryan Bresnahan of Streator 2-0 for third place and the right to advance to Rochelle. He got an escape with 10 seconds left in the second period and that stood as the difference-maker.

"It was huge for me to get that right at the end of the period. If I didn't get that, who knows what he would have done from the bottom in the third," Allbert said. "He got caught high and coach always says that when they are high to back up and back out, so I did."

Previously, Allbert opened by beating Nate McGuire of Metamora by fall in 1:41 before losing to Tyler Wilkinson of Yorkville 3-1. He then wrestled back with a win over Andres Martinez of La Salle-Peru (fall 2:24) before getting third.

"Trevor has worked so hard all year. Actually he's been working hard since his freshman year," Lanning said. "He put together a nice day in a tough weight class."

It's the senior's first regional title. He is now 24-11 on the season.

"This feels great. I've been training so hard," Allbert said. "I am so happy and blessed to make it."

Rest of the Redskins

Also competing for Morris on the day were: Ian Bernard (106), Jake Crowther (113), A.J. Vota (126), Emmet Chouinard (138), Drake Dryfhout (145), Andrew Olsen (152), Dalton Ness (220) and Andrew Faught (285).

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