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Coach Eric RobersonALTON - Alton Head Wrestling Coach Eric Roberson has a young, but a varsity team that continues to improve as the season edges forward.

Wednesday night, the Redbirds captured 10 of 14 matches in a Southwestern Conference dual meet against Belleville East. The Redbird wrestlers show significant potential under Coach Roberson's direction.

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The Redbirds battle Roxana in a dual meet Thursday at home and will wrestle in the Kyle Thatcher Memorial Tournament Saturday. The IHSA regional will be held Feb. 8, then followed by the sectional and IHSA State Meet starting Feb. 20.

“I think we are right on track,” Roberson said of his AHS wrestlers. “We are very young. I have a lot of freshmen. I have a fair amount of kids going both ways JV and varsity, bouncing back and forth, because of lack of numbers. Sometimes it wears on them a little bit, but they have been stepping up to the challenge. We have been pretty competitive. The kids just need more experience and a more year-round type of training. When we wrestle with Edwardsville, they are always one of the best teams in the state. It is a good experience for our younger guys to wrestle against that kind of competition."

Winners for the Redbirds against Belleville East were Deontae Forest at 120 pounds, Bryant Minton at 126 pounds, Antonia Phillips at 132 pounds, Maurice Lee at 138 pounds, Lawson Bruce at 160 pounds, Damien Jones at 170 pounds, Michael Bridgeman at 182 pounds, Joab Tobin at 195 pounds, 220 pounds forfeit, and Kyle Hughes at 285 pounds.

Coach Roberson was an All-State wrestler in his senior year at Roxana. He wrestled for legendary coach Larry Milazzo at Roxana. He also was a successful wrestler in college at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville and participated at the NCAA nationals during his college career. Roberson has had significant success as the Redbirds over the years. He was recognized in 2016 when he topped the 300-career win mark. He was then in his 20th season when he topped 300 wins.

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