Boys wrestling: Morris’ Sater, Streator’s Pollett, Dixon’s Ragan earn state trips

Morris wrestler Owen sater, right, wrestles in the 106 weight class against Morton Noah Harris during the 2A sectional meet held at Sycamore High School on Saturday Feb. 10, 2024.

SYCAMORE – Morris coach Lenny Tryner said he was a little worried about Owen Sater’s title match at 106 pounds against Streator senior Nicholas Pollett.

But the Morris sophomore got two first-period takedowns and punched his ticket to state, the lone Morris wrestler to advance out of the Class 2A Sycamore Sectional on Saturday.

“There’s a lot of emotions going through my head right now but I feel pretty good,” Sater said. “It’s a lot of tough competition next week and it’s going to be a good benefit to sit out Tuesday and just see how everyone else wrestles in my bracket.”

The top four wrestlers in each weight class advanced to the state tournament next week in Champaign. Pollett was the lone Streator wrestler to qualify for state. Dixon had one qualifier, with Jack Ragan taking third at 106.

Tryner said Sater’s strength is working the legs, but knew Pollett was good at defending that. But after the fast start, the Morris sophomore ended up with the 6-1 win and his first trip to state.

“It’s a huge advantage going in as a No. 1 seed over everything else,” Tryner said. “It’s a huge confidence boost too.”

Streator wrestler Nicholas Pollett, rear, wrestles Jackson Marlett of Burlington Central in the 106 weight class during the 2A sectional meet held at Sycamore high School on Saturday Feb. 10, 2024.

Pollett will also be making his first trip to Champaign. He’s bringing his 40-4 record with him, as well as a pair of single-season school records he’s set. He holds the pin records, set last week and improved to 28 at the sectional. And he’s won more matches in a season than any other Bulldog.

After not getting out of his regional last year, Pollett said he was determined to make to state this year.

“My end goal for high school was to make state, and I did it in my senior year,” Pollett said. “At practice every day I went as hard as I possibly can, sweat as much as I can, make weight, lose weight, try everything I can to do the best I can.”

Streator coach Kyle Lowman said everything is coming together at the right time for Pollett.

“Senior year, he’s putting it together,” Lowman said. “He’s putting in the work during the offseason and won several tournaments coming into this. We had high hopes for him and he really exceeded that for us.

Ragan was third at 106, losing in the quarterfinals to Morton’s Noah Harris in overtime. But he avenged that loss in the third-place match, getting a third-period pin.

“It feels great going to state as a freshman,” Ragan said. “I’m the only one who could make it from my team sadly, but I got it done.

“I wanted revenge,” he said. “He beat me in overtime. ... I decided to come after him pretty hard.”

The Dukes had eight wrestlers compete in the sectional. Senior Jayce Kastner was a win away from qualifying but lost in the consolation semifinal at 165, 3-0 to Rochelle’s Grant Gensler.

“It’s tough to see their careers end,” Dixon coach Micah Hey said. “When they come off the mat I tell them how proud of them I am and they gave it all they had and that’s all you can ask for.”

Sterling had four entries and three reach the consolation semifinals but fell short of the last win they needed. At 120, Zyan Westbrook lost a sudden victory to Washington’s Noah Woods. Oswaldo Navarro and Isaiah Mendoza also lost blood-round matches.

Ottawa’s Ivan Munoz also reached the consolation semifinals but fell a win short, losing 7-3 to Yorkville Christian’s Aiden Larsen.