Prairie Central wrestlers headed to state
Brandon Hoselton has a big target, and Logan Deacetis will have the burden of expectation as the Prairie Central sophomores lead four other Hawks to the Class 1A individual state wrestling finals meet at the State Farm Center at the University of Illinois.
The meet runs today, Friday and Saturday.
Hoselton is the big target because the 195-pounder battled his way to a state championship at that weight last year. He has gone 45-0 this season and is the top-ranked 195-pounder in Class 1A.
“Most of the (wrestling) family is saying things like, ‘You can do it,’ which is helping me out,” Hoselton said.
“I just like to take one match a time and see how it works. With the training I’ve had, well …,” Hoselton said. “First round will be pretty easy and then I’ll work my way up. They’ve all been trying to beat me the whole year.”
Hoselton will take on Connor Eastin of Tolono (Unity) in the first round. The big thing for the opponents of Hoselton will be how long will they contend because most find themselves on their back in the first period.
Deacetis is a returning state qualifier, having made it as a freshman. He returns bigger, stronger and with an unbeaten record of 47-0. He is one of two unbeatens at 160 pounds.
“It’s pretty different because last year I had a freshman perspective, I was pretty nervous,” Deacetis said. “This year, I know I’m going to be better than most kids, I can go out and win and actually do something there.
“With nationals and being there last year, I know what to expect. It won’t be much of a shock.”
Deacetis will open his march to the possible state title against Chris Medina of Macomb.
“I think I got a good draw, I think I can get to the finals pretty easy, I just have to wrestle to my level and not slow down,” Deacetis said.
Jake Woodrey is making his first trip to state in his final year. The senior 182-pounder missed all of last season with an ACL injury.
He said earlier this week that he felt he began the year a bit behind because of the injury, but an early achievement was winning the Pontiac Invitational 220-pound title despite giving up 40 pounds.
“Wrestling heavier guys means you can’t be sloppy, you have to take smart shots,” Woodrey said. “The biggest thing is wrestling a lot smarter. That’s what I’ve been doing, staying in good position.”
Helping Woodrey prepare has been wrestling Hoselton and younger brother Josh in practice on a daily basis.
“Working with Josh and Brandon every day in practice helped me get better and to where I am now,’ Jake Woodrey said.
The elder Woodrey said he likes his draw and feels prepared to meet the challenge. But he is aware if pitfalls. Woodrey (46-3) opens with Seth Menacher of Monticello.
Josh Woodrey is also a state qualifier, making as a regional and sectional champion at 220 pounds. The sophomore finds matching his older brother can be a good thing.
“He is an obstacle and a rock to push from,” Josh Woodrey said. “We do push each other.”
Like Hoselton a year ago, Woodrey (45-2) finds himself in a situation where the typical state qualifier at his weight class — 220 pounds — in an upperclassmen. He will open his tournament against Peyton Lind of Byron.
“I feel it’s honor just to make it to state as a sophomore in a weight class that you typically see upperclassmen,” Woodrey said. “I still expect to do more at state.”
Corbin Moser made it to state with regional and sectional wins over Dwight’s Daniel Gutierrez in those championship matches. The deceptively strong and rather quick 145-pounder is beaming with confidence and is enjoying the ride he’s taking as a key contributor to the PC cause.
“My wrestling has improved so much, it showed from the first time I wrestled him (Gutierrez) to the last time,” Moser said. “It was a big difference. It showed it’s time for state.”
There might be some trepidation as he walks onto the State Farm Center floor for the first time, but his confidence might be a deciding factor in a tough draw. Moser (45-6) will open against Jason Herman of Lena-Winslow.
“I think I have a tough first round, but I win that I think I can get into the semis,” Moser said. “He’s pretty good, he had a tough sectional. It’s all a mental game now.
“It’s still just a wrestling match (but) it’s still a big help to have that experience there.”
The dark horse to make it is Richard Hill, who felt his recognition wasn’t to the level of the others. But with his journey still taking place, the 170-pound junior still feels he’s got something to show.
“It means proving everyone who thought I couldn’t do it wrong, that I’m doing something good,” Hill said. “I’ve driven myself harder this season than I ever have. I’m thinking this season will be a big step up for next year.”
Hill (22-6) will open his tournament against Colin Dvorak of Lena-Winslow.
Between Prairie Central, Pontiac and Dwight, there are 14 wrestlers taking part in the wrestling at state. The Trojans making the trip are freshman Dillon Sarff at 113 pounds, juniors Daniel Gutierrez at 145 and Cade Enerson at 152 and senior Cameron Klingler, who is 34-3 and shooting for a 170-pound title.