PORT BYRON -- Alleman junior Connor Doak wrestled in his first high school tournament|
Overcoming injuries and obstacles seemed to be a common theme for teams at the 2012 Jim
Boyd Riverdale Invitational.
The invitational, won by Rock Falls with 173 points, included a number of wrestlers and teamswith various adverse conditions. Perhaps the most compelling, though, belonged to Doak.
He missed the last two wrestling seasons with ACL tears, and was anxious to shake off all the
"The first time it was kind of, 'wow, that's just unlucky,'" Doak said of his injuries. "But the
second time is more like 'why is this happening?'"
Although the 182-pounder fell in a hard-fought championship match, taking home secondplace is a strong sign of his progress and hard work since the tears.
In addition to Doak, Pioneers Sean Wetherell and Ben West advanced to the finals. The
three were all members of Alleman's football team, which fell in the IHSA Class 4A state
championship game last month. As a team, Alleman finished ninth with 77 points.
Wetherell took first at 170 with a 7-4 decision over Riverdale's T.J. Lowe.
"Losing weight was a tough thing," Wetherell said of the ongoing transition from football to
wrestling shape. "The difference is night and day. (Wrestling) goes six minutes, but it's six
minutes all-out, using every muscle in your body."
None of the trio, according to Alleman coach James Ealy, are "really in wrestling shape yet."
"To come out here in this tournament and do as well as they did," Ealy said, "I think says a lot
about their ability and the things they've got going for them this season."
Sherrard coach Jeff Garrett shared similar thoughts to Ealy's regarding his own squad. The
Tigers finished thirdin the tournament, totaling 146 points, despite forfeiting two weight
"I'm very pleased, because we're a very young team," he said. "I was hoping to finish top five,
and third is great."
Sherrard's Ben Corlett won the title at 285 pounds with a 6-3 decision and the Tigers hadthree second-place finishers - Hunter Spengler (106), Chance Teel (113) and Dylan Mizaur(160).
The placing should provide Sherrard with a gauge to its potential, and Garrett views the finishes as stepping stones that can build a foundation for the season.
"Three of our kids that lost today, lost to highly-rated kids from Iowa," he said. "I'm very, very
proud of them."
Erie-Prophetstown sophomore Jared Cole overcame his own set of odds to win a tough and
crafty 9-7 decision in overtime of the 138 pound finals. He is trying to get untracked after a freshman season last year did not go as he had planned.
"I broke my thumb and had what they call a gamekeeper's thumb," Cole said, "which is where
the UCL breaks and takes the bone with it."
Cole said it took long hours of hard work and practice to get back to where he was before he
broke his thumb, but his confidence and persistence allowed him to win on Saturday.
"I wanted to have a win to come back in my first meet for high school, as a sophomore, because I couldn't wrestle last year," he said.
Erie-Prophetstown finished fifth with 126 points.
Hosting Riverdale totaled 114 points for a seventh-place finish. Seniors Lowe and Logan
Sherman both fell in the championship of their weight classes, 170 and 220, respectively.
Sherman lost a 4-3 decision to Alleman's West.
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