Injuries on both sides slowed the wrestling competition, but it didn't stop Rock Island from winning its 16th straight Western Big 6 Conference dual meet.|
Rock Island defeated the Pioneers 66-7 on Thursday's senior night at the Rock Island Fieldhouse, benefiting from six Alleman forfeits in the 14 matches.
"It's definitely something we're proud of," said Rock Island coach Joel Stockwell of the 16 straight WB6 dual victories. "We've got it going and had success. We've been lucky enough to keep guys healthy and keep going strong."
Rock Island displayed dominance in the eight matches that weren't won by forfeit.
Senior BJ McGhee (120) won his final match at the Rock Garden, pinning Taven LeBlond in 1:02. McGhee was quick to point out the junior varsity guys who stepped up to make 16 straight possible.
"We did what we had to do as a team to win," McGhee said. "Tyree (Overton) did pretty good, he wrestled his butt off. Daveonta (Jackson) wrestled pretty tough against their heavyweight."
Overton (160) won by decision, 11-4. Jackson battled Alleman senior heavyweight Max Rocha before coming up short in a 16-10 decision.
Rocha admitted that his match was tough, but he pushed through for a special friend.
"It was tough, that kid was much stronger than me," Rocha said. "This is one of the greatest feelings I've had and I did it for my friend, Jordan (Schmidt, a school-mate who died last weekend). I had to step up with some of our guys going down (with injuries) and be a leader."
Alleman's other victory came out of the only other active senior. Sean Wetherell (170) earned a 13-0 major decision.
"We did pretty well," Alleman coach James Ealy said. "We won the matches I thought we had a chance to win and matches I thought we were out-gunned a bit, we wrestled tough."
With four guys of its own out because of injuries, Rock Island responded in a big way.
"Two JV guys got wins for us and some took forfeits," Stockwell said. "This streak is a testament to how hard our guys work and how focused we are. Our major goals are win conference, regional and advance in the postseason. The fact that we're able to be competitive at those goals is a testament to how hard we work."
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