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EDWARDSVILLE – It's nearly postseason time for Edwardsville's wrestlers.

The Tigers will wrestle Saturday in an individual regional at Granite City, then progress through the ranks to the state tourney.

The Edwardsville High School wrestling team had a very successful Senior Night this past Thursday, as the Tigers defeated Chatham Glenwood 62-8 and East St. Louis 75-3 in a triangular meet at the Jon Davis Wrestling Center.

In between the second and third rounds of wrestling, the Tigers honored their six seniors – Noah Surtin at 126 pounds, Jack Evans at 132, Connor Sotello at 145, Sam Clark at 170, Sam Martin at 182 and Josh Anderson at 220 – along with statistician Payton Flowers, along with their parents.

“It’s a bittersweet night,” said Tigers head coach Jon Wagner. “I’ve got some great seniors, I’ve got six great seniors and stat girl. You know, these seniors would kind of go through a wall for their teammates, their parents have all been big supporters of the program, and I’m so glad some of them have stuck it out and so glad to know that, I think, wrestling’s going to be impactful for them for the rest of their lives, and they’ll remember these four years they spent here at the high school.”

Wagner’s favorite memories of the Class of 2019 are all different, and also have one thing in common: Their hard work and dedication to the team.

“They’re all different,” Wagner said. “First of all, that group was a lot bigger when they were younger, and we had six survivors at all different levels, from Noah Surtin winning a state championship, to Josh and his heroics here in the Jon Davis Center; he does great here. And the Connor Sotellos and the Jack Evans’. Jack Evans continues to stick with it; he’s been behind Noah, he’s getting his opportunities here, he’s making the most of it. Sam Clark has been a battler for us all year, working hard every match, being a great teammate. Josh Anderson’s been just a great leader by example, he’d do anything for his teammates, same thing for his coaches. He’s going to carry that with him in all of his endeavors. And Sam Martin. Sam Martin’s been wrestling with an injury all year long, and showing more guts than anybody else, and just keeps competing, and now dropped a weight class, and I’m just super proud of his efforts.”

As for the wrestling itself, Wagner is very proud of his team’s effort on the evening.

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“Yeah, I thought the wrestled aggressive, I thought they wrestled confident, wrestled really well,” Wagner said. “It’s a good night.”

The Tigers opened against the Titans with pins in four of the first seven bouts. It started at 106 pounds when Grant Matarelli scored a pinfall over Jaeger Ferguson at 2:55 to get Edwardsville off to a 6-0 lead. The Tigers doubled their lead at 113, when Vinnie Boyen pinned Jacob Antonacci at 2:42 to make it 12-0, then Connor Surtin scored a 15-0 technical fall at 2:57 over Isaiah Homeier to give Edwardsville a 17-0 lead.

At 126, Dylan Gvillo got a forfeit win, then Noah Surtin wrestled at 132 and got the first of two pins on the night, taking 2:25 to stick Cade Trautvetter to increase the Tigers’ lead to 29-0 on the team score. Evans then scored the quick pin of the evening by sticking Ashton Wilburn at 138 at 1:15, then Luke Odom won on a forfeit at 145 to increase the Edwardsville lead to 41-0.

Sotello moved up to the 152-pound weight class and won by fall over Jason Webb at 2:29 to up the lead to 47-0, then at 160, Will Zupanci took the decision over Dylan Hughes 11-6 to give the Tigers a 50-0 lead. The Titans won their first bout of the night at 170, when Zach Eiter defeated Clark 5-0 to give Glenwood their first team points of the night to make the team score 50-3. Martin got those three points back at 182 with a 6-0 win over Logan Crumly, but the Titans got their second and final win at 195, when Mitch Hutmacher scored at 16-1 technical fall over Tyler McCracken at 3:48 to cut the lead to 53-8.

Edwardsville took the final two bouts over the Titans, with Anderson taking a 4-2 win in overtime against Conner Miller in the 220-pound bout, then Lloyd Reynolds pinned Zach Fultz at 2:25 of their 285-pound match to make the final score 62-8.

East St. Louis brought only four wrestlers to the meet, and Matarelli started things off well for the Tigers with a pin of Ken Lindsay in the 106-pound bout at 2:22 to give Edwardsville a 6-0 lead. The Flyers halved the lead at 113 when Melvin Rogers defeated Boyen 9-2, but Gvillo got a pin over Eli Wilhite at 2:43 in the 120-pound bout, and Noah Surtin pinned Zion Wilhite at 1:58 in the 126-pound bout to give the Tigers a 15-3 lead. The remaining matches from 132 pounds to 285 pounds were all forfeits to the Tigers to make the final score 75-3.

The Tigers will conclude the regular season on Saturday with the Tigers Duals, which will be a triangular meet with Normal Community West and Belleville East after a pair of St. Louis area schools withdrew. The Tigers then go into the IHSA Class 3A regional Feb. 2 at Granite City.

Wagner is looking ahead to the upcoming competition.

“Yeah, I like it all,” Wagner said. “I like the dual meets, the conference championships, and I like getting the state series going, to see how well the kids did all year, and how far they can take themselves.

“It was a good night,” Wagner continued. “Proud of my seniors, proud of their parents, and my coaching staff continues to do a great job, so it was a nice night.”

Dan Brannan also contributed to this story.

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