GRANITE CITY – Three area teams took part in last week's 57th annual William “Red” Schmitt Holiday Wrestling Tournament at Granite City's Memorial Gym and Memorial Gym Annex.
Alton finished in 17th place in the 30-team tournament with 132 points, ahead of the host Warriors, who had 128 points. Triad finished in 20th place at 80.5 points; Neosho, Mo., took the team title with 356.5 points, with Staley of Kansas City finishing second at 344.5 points, CBC of St. Louis third with 343 points, Christian Brothers High School of Memphis, Tenn., fourth with 322 points and Lafayette of St. Louis County fifth at 297.5 points.
“This is two days, this is a tough two days," Redbirds coach Eric Roberson said. "They can wrestle four or five matches each day and there’s no elimination. Win or lose you’re going to wrestle another match. Win or lose you’re going to go right back out there. We’re just kind of finding out what each of our kids are made of, what kind of mental toughness they have. I think for the most part they’ve responded pretty well.”
For the Redbirds, Courteney Wilson had their best finish of the tournament, taking third place at 152; Wilson got to the championship quarterfinals in his class before being defeated 8-0 by Jake Kendall of Plainfield South, but went through the consolation rounds to defeat Caleb Knobel of Fort Zumwalt South 10-4 in the third-place bout. Other top Redbird finishes came from Pierre Evans at 145, finishing fourth after Bloomington's Chanse Ridgeway pinned Evans at 46 seconds of the third-place bout; Garrett Sims took ninth at 126 with a 11-6 decision over Lafayette's Evan Boren; and Nolan Wosczcynski finished ninth at 182 with a 1:38 pin of Mason Sargent of New Lenox Lincoln-Way Central.
For the Warriors, the top finish of the tournament came from Chase Nelson at 195, who finished fifth in his class with 8-3 decision in the fifth-place bout over Staley JVs' Marwan Kirkwood; Chris Santiago took sixth at 106 with 10-0 loss to Collinsville's Jalen May in the fifth-place bout; Jared Skaggs was sixth at 152 as he was decisioned 10-4 in the fifth-place bout; Nathan Nelson was seventh at 103 as he defeated Christian Brothers' Dayne Dalrymple 2-1 in the seventh-place bout; and Josh Harsh was seventh at 132 after an injury default from Francis Howell Central's Andrew Godier.
Triad's best finish came from Garrett Bakarich, who was fourth at 138 after being pinned in 3:38 by Neosho's Braxton Barnes; Will Hilliard was eighth at 126 after a 5:19 fall by Christian Brothers' Evan Anthony in the seventh-place bout; Kaleb Port took 10th at 195 following a 2:51 pin from Collinsville's Juan Garth in the ninth-place bout; and Kaleb Wolverton was 10th at 220 after being pinned in three minutes by Francis Howell's Nathan Odonohue.
Feeney, 56, is a native of Granite City and graduated from Granite City South in 1978. He was a part-time writer for the old Granite City Journal from 1979-84 before attending Eastern Illinois University in Charleston,
from which he earned his BA in journalism in 1988. He has worked for newspapers in Sikeston, Mo., Rocky Mount, N.C., Seneca, S.C. and in Charleston-Mattoon. He also worked for the old St. Clair County Suburban