Morris wrestlers Kenny Baldridge and Nik Countryman will be making a return trip to Assembly Hall at the campus of the University of Illinois starting this Thursday at 4:30 p.m. in the 2A Individual state wrestling tournament. Both advanced out of the Rochelle sectional.
Over in Moline at the 3A Sectional, Minooka's Corbett Oughton and Carson Oughton made the cut. Corbett is also a returning state placer from a year ago.
Rochelle Class 2A Sectional
"It was a meat grinder," Morris coach Jon Lanning said. "Many of the top teams in the state, including many from the NIB XII, battled for a spot in the individual tournament. Once again this year the NIBXII will be well represented and many of its wrestlers will have medals around their necks at the end of next weekend."
Last year both Baldridge (120 pounds) and Countryman (182 pounds) made All-State status by finishing sixth
"This year the goal is to be higher on that podium at the end of the weekend," Lanning said. "Nik and Kenny have put there time into the sport and have earned there place at the tournament this weekend."
In route to his sectional championship Baldridge defeated Joey Bertolino of Rockford Boylan 4-0,B.J. Maghee of Rock Island 3-1 in overtime, and Hunter Grau of Geneseo in the finals by Technical Fall 17-2.
Countryman in route to a second place finish at 182 defeated Christian Gonzalez of Peoria 3-2, Christophe Malone of Sycamore by fall in 4:29, Mitch Miller of Geneseo 11-9, and was defeated by Bobby Schillinger of Yorkville 10-4 in finals to finish in second place.
Also competing at the sectional was 132 pounder Justin Barkley who fell one match short of making a return trip to Champaign.
"Justin has put his time into this sport and he will be missed next year. Justin is a very dangerous wrestler and no matter what the score of the match he is never completely out of a match," Lanning said. "If he decides to wrestle in college he will only get better and would provide any team with a strong wrestler especially in the top and bottom positions."
Barkley defeated Pedro Garcia of Peoria by fall in 5:32, lost to eventual champion Chase Wiggins of Rock Island 9-3, defeated Trent Brinkmier of Dixon by fall in 5:16, defeated Isaiah Stedwell of Peoria Notre Dame by major decision 13-2, and lost to Randy Meneweather of Washington 16-6
The other representative for Morris was Trevor Allbert. He was defeated by Austin Armstrong of Sycamore by a score of 4-3 and Friedman of Pontiac 12-6 in the wrestleback round.
Moline Class 3A Sectional
Carson Oughton was a champion at the 145-pound weight class. He won the title by defeating James Mosher of Edwardsville 2-0 in overtime. Corbett Oughton was second at the 152-pound class, dropping the title bout to Kyle Langenderfer of Lincoln-Way East 15-4.
Carson opened with a win by injury default against Nick Foster of Belleville West and in the semifinals he beat Connor Bandy of Homewood Floormoor 11-0.
Corbett started with a 3-1 overtime win over Tyler Schneider of Lincoln-Way Central and in the semifinals he defeated Nate Higgins of Belleville West 8-2.
Also wrestling for Minooka were K.J. Minor at 106, Mike McNulty at 138,Danny Ruettiger at 132, Jeff Klank at 160, Nathan Gunn at 182, Josh Bouie at 195 and Eric Velasquez at 220. Minor went 1-2, McNulty 1-2, Ruettiger 3-2, Klank 1-2, Gunn 2-2, Bouie 0-2 and Velasquez 0-2.