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East Peoria Times-Courier - East Peoria, IL
  • East Peoria edges Byron for Metamora title

  • East Peoria won its first wrestling tournament title in Phil Johns' coaching tenure Dec. 15.

    The Raiders prevailed by 1.5 points over Byron, 178.5-177, atop the 16-team field at the Metamora Holiday Tournament.
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  • East Peoria won its first wrestling tournament title in Phil Johns' coaching tenure Dec. 15.
    The Raiders prevailed by 1.5 points over Byron, 178.5-177, atop the 16-team field at the Metamora Holiday Tournament.
    Casey McWhirter, Drew Foster and Lucas Joseph won individual championships among the nine East Peoria athletes who placed in the top six.
    McWhirter was the first-place recipient in 126 pounds after a 3-0 win over Ricky Stringfellow of Central.
    A pin in the quarterfinals, followed by an 8-3 decision, put McWhirter in the final.
    Foster pinned Metamora's Matt Rettig in just 42 seconds to earn the 152 title.
    Foster's path to the crown began with a second-period pin, then an 8-1 decision in the semifinals.
    Joseph conquered Byron's Ross Sealby with a technical fall at the 5:45 mark in the 220 championship bout.
    He pinned his first two opponents in 1:48 and 2:41, respectively.
    The Raiders' two lightest entrants, Phoenix Stuart and Zach Hogan, were awarded second place.
    Stuart's pivotal 2-0 victory over Byron's Brady Wilsle sent him to the 106 title contest. Prior to that decision, Stuart won twice by pin.
    Hogan also produced two pins in the 113 division before a 15-2 major decision over Drew Burgess of Limestone in the semifinals.
    East Peoria's Austin Harper came back from a semifinal setback in 120 to take third place with a 7-3 triumph against Notre Dame's Alex Sous.
    Kade McDonald ended up fourth for the squad in a 195 bracket that included three wrestlers who were state-ranked.
    Raiders Bryce Sandoval (145) and Sam Hoffman (285) both were sixth.
    East Peoria improved from a sixth-place finish in the 2011 Metamora tournament.
    Tony Hall also had a win for the Raiders.
    Central, Normal West and Morris rounded out this season's top five.
    Fellow Mid-Illini Conference entrants Limestone and Metamora were 10th and 11th, respectively.
    East Peoria moved up five spots Thursday to No. 19 in the Illinois Matmen Class 2A team rankings.
    There also are three Raiders in the individual top 12.
    Joseph continues to hold the No. 1 position in 220, a weight class in which he finished second in the state as a junior.
    McDonald is 10th in 195, while McWhirter is No. 11 in 126.
    Back in action: East Peoria returns to the mat Thursday morning in a five-team gathering at LaSalle-Peru, ending a 12-day break from competition.
    Besides the Raiders and host Cavaliers, Streator, Rockford Boylan and Rochelle also will be present.
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