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Coal City wrestlers roll past Dwight, Reed-Custer

COAL CITY – On a night where team scores for the Coal City wrestling team proved to be of little consequence, the Coalers rolled to a pair of Interstate Eight Conference victories on Thursday night. With a steady diet of forfeits handed to the hosts, the locals scored a 60-15 win over Dwight and a 72-6 win over Reed-Custer.

“The motivation part is to get better every day in the room,” Coal City coach Mark Masters said. “There are some days where you go in and there’s a lot of competition in the room and you have to work really hard to survive sometimes. But their motivation comes from saying to themselves, ‘Hey, I can’t take that beating I took the other day and I don’t want that to happen again.’ ”

Cody Minnick said it’s all in having fun.

“We just like to go out and have fun. We do like to work hard, it’s just a matter of getting after it,” he said. “It can be difficult if you are cutting down weight and you don’t know if you are going to have a match or not. That can be difficult, but then you just have to come out, get a good warmup in and be ready to go.”

Dwight actually won the bouts wrestled 3-2 but the forfeits made the score as lopsided as it was. Against Reed-Custer, the Coalers won seven of the eight contested bouts.

“I know it’s frustrating for some of the kids. Kids who made weight for the first time and guys like Corey [Jurzak] back in the lineup for the first time tonight, and he gets no matches,” Masters said.  

Jurzak won both of his 126-pound matches by forfeit. On the other side of that coin, there was sophomore Riley Kauzlaric, who made weight for the first time and ran into state qualifier Brandon Allen of Dwight, who beat him by fall in 1:07.

“[Thursday night] was Riley’s first time down where he had to cut weight – ever in his life,” Masters said. “You look at the guys who are around and know what’s going on and you know that you have to get through it. Allen is a nice kid for them and I really think that things will change for Riley. It’s a maturity thing.”

Kauzlaric bounced back to beat Reed-Custer’s Jon Costain by injury default.

“You always want mat time. Even though I lost, it’s always good to get the matches. I’m only a sophomore and I like to get as many in as I can,” Kauzlaric said. “I had never wrestled [Allen] before. He went to state last year and is really good. I also cut to 70 for the first time today. I hate to make excuses, but it happens.”

Double winners on the night came from Joey Rivera (two forfeits) at 106; Jurzak at 126; Casey Brown at 132 (forfeit and fall 2:54); Nate Buck at 138 (fall 3:30 and forfeit); Alex Medina at 152 (two forfeits); Bryan Stapka at 160 (9-8 decision and forfeit); Alec Leasure at 182 (fall :31 and forfeit) and Brian Harris at 220 (two forfeits).

“We don’t have the numbers we had last year, but we still have a pretty solid team,” Minnick said. “Without forfeits, I feel that we do pretty decent. It’s about going out and wrestling a hard-nosed bout, that’s all.”

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