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By ANDREW ROSTEN
HEYWORTH – The GCMS/Fisher wrestling team ran into a big roadblock in its hope to get to its first trip to a state dual team meet since 2010.
The Falcons faced the defending Class 1A state champion in LeRoy in Tuesday’s Heyworth Dual Team Sectional. Sure enough, GCMS/Fisher lost to the Panthers 45-18.
“We came up short on that one,” GCMS/Fisher head coach Josh Carter said. “All in all, though, we had a pretty good year.”
Three days after winning a fourth-place medal at the state individual meet in Champaign, Chet McClure ended his wrestling career with the Falcons on a winning note.
He achieved a pin in the 138-pound division against Peyton Roop.
The victory was McClure’s 150th for his career.
“That was a nice little milestone for him,” Carter said. “The kid from LeRoy was a pretty tough kid. We are going to miss our seniors.”
The 106- and 113-pound matches both went into overtime.
In the 106-pound bout, Hunter Lowry defeated Alex Matlock via 7-6 decision, which Carter called “a bit of an upset.”
Things did not go the Falcons’ way in the 113-pound division, as LeRoy’s Tate Ruffner won a 2-1 decision over state individual qualifier Cameron Schwing.
“That was a tough loss for Cameron,” Carter said. “That other kid from LeRoy was pretty tough. Sometimes, things go your way, and sometimes they don’t.”
Josh Wallick, the 285-pound state champion, won his match via forfeit. Another state qualifier, Dylan Donner, defeated Tyler Walsh in the 126-pound division via 7-3 decision.
Wallick’s victory followed a losing streak of seven straight LeRoy wins.
Despite the loss, Carter said he was proud of his wrestlers for how they performed through the season.
“I felt like we definitely took some steps forward,” Carter said. “We built off what this program has done in previous years and have laid a good foundation for next year. I’m proud of the way our kids did this season. It has been a long and grueling season, and our guys were able to stick with it and finished it out. I look forward to coming back for next year.”
With key wrestlers such as Wallick and Schwing coming back for their senior seasons, Carter said the future looks bright for GCMS/Fisher wrestling.
“Obviously, we have Josh and Cameron coming back, and we have a good group of freshman and sophomore classes coming back as well,” Carter said. “Some of the freshmen and sophomores have some varsity experience under their belt, so that will be good for them going forward.” firstname.lastname@example.org