BYRON — St. Bede’s John Barnes made the most of his second-chance opportunity at the Byron Sectional.
A late-minute entry as an alternate, the St. Bede sophomore was the lone area wrestler to win two matches during the weekend.
He pinned Oregon’s David Labash at 5:00 in his first match at 285 pounds before falling to No. 2 ranked and sectional champ Ben Corlett by fall at 1:06. Barnes bounced back with a 3:05 fall over Genoa’s Nick Colham, but then lost by a 1:41 to West Carroll’s Brandon Anderson.
“I’m very proud of John. For a 15-year-old to step up like that and go out in battle with some of the top-ranked wrestlers in the state of Illinois, you know he’ll be back,” St. Bede coach Sean Hobson said.
Princeton freshmen Austin Wetsel opened at 120 with a 4:52 over North Boone’s Alex Manriquez. He lost by a 0:31 fall to top-seeded Jacob Hast of Sherrard. In wrestlebacks, Wetsel beat Riverdale’s John Stickler 6-2, but lost by a 3:24 fall to Stillman Valley’s Mason Tomash.
Princeton’s Casey Pierre won his first match in wrestlebacks, pinning Polo’s Jeff Kimmel at 1:39. He lost by a 5:09 fall to Sherrard’s Jon Stoops to finish 1-2.
“We wrestled well and fought had. We just came up short in the matches we needed to move on,” PHS coach Steve Amy said.
St. Bede senior James Peacock pinned Jeffrey Leigh of Mooseheart at 0:48 in his first match at 132. He then lost to three-time defending state champ Josh Alber by fall at 1:05 and lost in wrestlebacks to Sherrard’s Alex Monley by fall at 1:49.
Teammates Tyler Wood (106) and Luke Marselle (113) both lost their first two matches. Wood lost by fall to Mercer County’s Drake Stim (1:21) and Stillman Valley’s Blake Kitteson (1:17). Marselle’s matches were also decided by fall, 3:24 to Trenten Murphy of Mercer County and 0:39 to Hunter Spengler of Sherrard.
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