Rantoul head wrestling coach Ryan Gream will be in the State Farm Arena on the campus of University of Illinois.
But, he will not be there as a head coach or even scouting future opponents of the Rantoul Eagles. He will be there as a proud papa. His son, Kaden Gream, a Fisher native and part of the combined Gibson City-Melvin Sibley/Fisher team, did advance to state from the Stanford-Olympia Class 1A Sectional on Saturday.
“I am beyond proud,” said Ryan Gream of his son. “He has faced many road blocks during his freshman and sophomore years, but he has moved beyond them and has really stepped up his work ethic and dedication to achieve his goals. I am not only proud of his wrestling accomplishments, but even more proud of the man he is becoming both on and off the mat.”
Gream wrestled Beardstown’s Alexis Gil in the third place match. The final score was 20-4, which is a tech fall. The end of the match and the subsequent calling of the match for a tech fall occurred at the same time. Gream posted a record of 2-2 en route to finishing fourth at 152 pounds to earn a trip to the state finals.
“My father taught me to always work to get better on the mat and let people underestimate me,” said Gream. “In the state finals, I am going to wrestle the best I can. It would be really cool to place in the finals.”
Gream is not the only athlete from Gibson City/Melvin Sibley-Fisher to make it to the state finals. Two of his teammates will be joining him and all three roam the halls at Fisher High School.
Cale Horsch will be returning to the state finals after not being able to wrestle last year due to an injury. Two years ago, as a freshman, he earned second place in the 106 pound weight class. Now a junior and recovered from a broken hand, here is hoping to add to his medal collection as he competes at 126 pounds. Horsch, like Gream, finished fourth in his weight class, losing a tough 8-5 decision to Dwight’s Dillon Sarff.
“I feel like that match really prepared me for how the state matches will be,” said Horsch. “It was a learning experience. It showed me things that I need to work on and improve on before the state championships.”
Calen Ragle won his final match of the sectional. His only loss of the day was to the eventual champion, Hoopston Area’s Able Colunga. After that loss, Ragle rebounded and pinned Westville’s Riley Edwards at the 3:09 mark to take the bronze medal at the sectional.
“Coach (Cody) Moody talked to me right after the loss, giving me one of two options,” said Ragle. “He told me that I could give up and go home or I could go out there and win. I did not do anything special in the third place match. I controlled what I could and put in hard minutes until the pinfall.”
Unfortunately, the Rantoul Eagles did not get either competitor to the state finals. Kendrick Terhune won his opening round match at 152 pounds by pinfall, beating Monmouth’s Kevin Bikopo at the 1:31 mark of the match.
“I wrestled well in the first match,” said Terhune. “I want to get into a position to place at state next year. With a little extra effort, it is possible. I don’t think I will be a 152-pounder though. I plan on hitting the weights and putting on some muscle for football.”
After winning the opening round match, he was topped by Gil by pinfall at 3:50. He was then eliminated by Porta’s Jake Sinclair by pinfall at 2:19. Terhune finished the year with a 29-14 record.
“”Kendrick has the skill and ability to be in the state tournament,’ said Ryan Bream. “I have no doubt he will be taking a trip to State Farm Center next year for the state championships. Everyone discounted Kendrick this year, but he came back from injury and placed at Pontiac, Lincoln and Leroy.”
At 195 pounds, Colby Cornwell earned a buy in the second round of the consolation bracket, but lost his first round match and the consolation second round.
“Even though I lost those two matches, I am proud of the way I wrestled and proud I made it as far as I could,” said the future Marine. “My wrestling career at Rantoul was tremendous and rewarding. My plan is to wrestle in the Marines, while I am serving our country,”
Cornwell was initially topped by Beardstown’s Owen O’Hara 8-3 in the opening round of the sectional. After earning a bye in the first round of the consolation bracket, he was topped by Farmington’s Travis Sutherland by pinfall at 2:38. With the pair of losses, Cornwell finished the year with a 14-17 record.
“Colby entered the sectional as an underdog,” said Ryan Gream. “He has a unique style and can turn bad situations into good ones. I loved coaching him. He has the attitude and work ethic coaches love. He was a good leader and captain this year. We will miss him next year.”