First round state bodes well for 11 of 21 area wrestlers

Eleven area wrestlers won during the first round of the IHSA Class 1A finals.

Coal City had eight of 14 state qualifiers win their preliminary match on Thursday, advancing to the quarterfinals on Friday. Winning were Brody Widlowski (113), Aiden Kenney (120), Jake Piatak (132), Buddy Widlowski (138), Mataeo Blessing (145), Derek Carlson (170), Braiden Young (182) and Joey Breneman (195).

Coalers entering the wrestlebacks with a shot at battling back for third place include Culan Linemuth (106), Brock Finch (126), Landin Benson (152), Jack Poyner (160), Drake Dearth (220) and Michael Gonzalez.

Reed-Custer has three wrestling still in the first place running. Red Pfeifer (170), Kody Marschner (220) and Gunnar Berg (285) all won their prelim matches. Comets Sam Begler (132) and Jeremy Eggleston (138) suffered opening losses and will try climbing in the consolation bracket.

Wilmington's Landon Dooley (113) and Hunter Hayes (195) both lost their first round matches.

The tournament continues Friday and will wrap up Saturday at 6 p.m. with the championships inside Assembly Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign, IL