SENECA – The Seneca wrestling team hoped for a better turnout of competition when it faced Somonauk and Putnam County during a triangular match Wednesday evening at Seneca Gymnasium.
But Somonauk could bring only two competitors to the event, while Putnam County mustered up a mere four.
The results were five quick and easy triumphs for the Fighting Irish, currently rated 24th in Class 1A by Illinois Matmen’s most recent team rankings. Somonauk posted one victory of the six contested matches.
Seneca 78, Somonauk 6
The Irish received 12 forfeit victories against the Bobcats. Somonauk senior Aiden Rowan (21-2) – who is a current honorable mention pick at 126 pounds in Class 1A – earned the first win of the night when he pinned Seneca’s Nate Sprinkle at 1:35 of the first period.
“I did a double-leg to start off with, and then rode him out for about a minute before I pinned him with a half at the end,” Rowan said. “I like this gym, because I won the Seneca Invite here earlier in the season, so to get another one on these mats was nice even though we only brought two wrestlers tonight to compete.”
Seneca sophomore Nick Grant (23-15) followed, giving the Irish their first win of the evening when he quickly pinned Somonauk’s Rylie Donahue at 132 pounds 42 seconds into the match.
“I wasn’t trying to pin her and wanted to score up 15 for a technical fall,” Grant said. “But it worked out that I got the pin.”
Seneca 84, Putnam County 0
Irish junior Asher Hamby (27-3), the sixth-ranked Class 1A wrestler in the state at 160 pounds, according to Illinois Matmen, took some time and piled up the points before pinning Putnam County female wrestler Bailey Herr at 2:20 of the match.
“I thought I’d get the tech fall early, but I only got 14 points, and from there I wanted to go for the pin,” Hamby said. “I got it, and now I want to work on things that hopefully will get me to state.”
Hamby’s classmate Chris Peura (37-5), the eighth-ranked 1A wrestler at 195 pounds, earned his 100th career win Tuesday at Seneca before adding to his total Wednesday when he pinned the Panthers’ Carlos Aranda at 1:34.
“It was nice to get my 100th win at Seneca, being only a junior, so that was pretty special for me last night,” Peura said. “Tonight I just wanted to focus on working on technique and getting set for regionals. I think I’ve got a great chance of getting to state and hopefully place.”
Sophomore Sullivan Feldt (17-14) recorded Seneca’s fourth pinfall when he stuck PC’s Kaleb Gualandi at 1:32 of the first period in the 220-pound weight class.
“I’m happy with my effort, but they only had four wrestlers, so I knew I had to go out there and do my job,” Feldt said. “I went in early and took a shot and eventually got an underhook in, knee-tapped him and pinned him. I want to go out with a winning record this season, and to get a victory like this is key to that.”
Irish senior Aiden Wood (12-10), who just started wrestling at 285 pounds a month ago, posted Seneca’s final victory of the night when he reversed the Panthers’ James Irwin midway through a scoreless second period and recorded a pin soon thereafter at the 3:36 mark, helping the Irish improve their season team record to 21-10.
“I started late this year at Christmas or so, and I think I’m doing pretty well not having wrestled since I was younger,” Wood said. “I just want to keep being successful and help my team. If I end up with a winning record at the end of the season, that would be great, but the end goal for me is to have fun my senior season with some of the guys I’ve made friends with over the years.”