By DAN CHAMNESS
Rantoul Press correspondent
Nolan Roseman is headed to the Illinois High School Association Class 2A Sectional with regional gold in his pocket.
The 152-pound athlete, a Rantoul senior, wrestling for the combined Rantoul/Paxton-Buckley-Loda wrestling team, won the IHSA Class 2A Regional on Saturday, earning three victories.
The junior won his matches three different ways, winning the title match by decision as he beat Mahomet-Seymour grappler Gage Granadino, who has also won 30 matches this year, 10-4.
"I knew that my most challenging match of the day was going to be in the championship match," said Roseman. "I tried to use the semifinals to mentally get ready for the championship match."
With the title win, Roseman improved to 38-2 on the year. In the semifinal, he made short work of Champaign Central’s Allen Potenberg, pinning him at the 44 second mark of their match. His match against Potenberg was the first match of the day for the senior, who earned first round bye.
"I just try to stay focused on the next match," said Roseman, who has won four consecutive regional titles.
Three other Rantoul/PBL wrestlers will make the trip to Mahomet Seymour as well.
Peter McCusker, who advance to the championship match as well, was topped by Danville’s Anthony Turner, who was fourth at 132 pounds in Class 2A one year ago.
McCusker was the fourth place competitor at 145 pounds.
McCusker lost an 8-5 battle to Turner.
"I was pretty aware of Anthony as I had wrestled him before and had a pretty good idea of how he was going to wrestle," said Peter McCusker. "I would not be shocked to be in the championship match with Anthony at the sectional. I know for certain that I have the conditioning to go the distance in a close match. I also know I will have to push the tempo of the match to accomplish what I need to do."
To earn the right to face Turner for the championship at 145 pounds, he pinned his previous two opponents. In the semifinals, he downed Decatur MacArthur’s Billy Tucker, beating him by pinfall at the 1:16 mark. In the quarterfinals, he downed Chase Vickers in 1:35.
Rashon Allen, Rantoul/PBL’s 132 pound wrestler, also finished second in the regional to earn a bid to the sectionals. In the title match, he was bested by Danville’s Tyreese Smith. Like Roseman, he only had to wrestle one match prior to Smith. He downed Mahomet-Seymour’s Peyton Myers by pinfall in the semifinal. He had a bye in the quarterfinal round.
"One of my goals this season was to make it to the sectional," said Allen. "At sectional, I just want to go out and wrestle hard. Other than that, I just want to wrestle one match at a time and not look beyond anyone."
The fourth and final member of the Eagle wrestling team to advance to the sectional finals is Keddrick Terhune. Terhune had to wrestle four matches at 138 pounds, two against the same athlete. He topped Champaign Central’s Laban Ntumba 13-5, which is a major decision, in the third place match.
"This is a great learning experience for me," said Terhune, the younger brother of former Rantoul great Demarius Smith, now wrestling for the University of Illinois. "I just want to make it as far as I can. Demarius has given me a ton of advice and helped me during my career."
Terhune started the regional the same way he ended it: with a victory over Ntumba. He opened with an 8-7 victory over the Champaign Central grappler. He lost a semifinal match to Danville’s Eliseo Perez, who pinned the freshman at the 1:46 mark. In the consolation semifinal, he pinned Argenta-Oreana’s Ruslan Turner in 3:06.
The Rantoul/PBL combined team finished fifth with 81 points. Mahomet-Seymour took first with 170 points.
"We would have liked to win more championships," said Mark McCusker, the head coach of the Eagles. "I am happy that we have two freshmen and two seniors moving on. We learned today, especially from the losses. We will go back and watch the film and see what risks we needed to take that we did not and what risks we should not have taken."