CHAMPAIGN — Bismarck-Henning junior wrestler Jarod Noel has had a lot of success this season on the mat for the Blue Devils.
From getting his 100th win in regional competition, which he eventually won at the 170-pound class, ultimately led to qualifying for sectional and state this season as well.
But the most heralded accomplishment for Noel came on Saturday at the IHSA State Wrestling Tournament at the State Farm Center in Champaign, where he broke the school record for wins in a season at 41.
“I’m really excited for Jarod, and I think he’s done a really good job here this weekend,” Bismarck-Henning wrestling coach Andy Head said. “Jarod has beaten a couple of kids that he has lost to in the past, so that is always satisfying.”
Noel was the only wrestler from the area to advance into Saturday competition, as fellow Blue Devil Whalen Rockwell (182) lost his first round match on Thursday and failed to advance to the wrestle backs. Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac junior Antonio Alvarez (132) also lost in the preliminary round, but did advance to the wrestle back round, where he was defeated in a fall at 1:50 on Friday.
In Class 2A, both Javonte Crider of Danville (120) and Tyler Dicken of Westville (195) lost their opening matches, and also did not advance to the wrestleback round.
So much goes into preparing to wrestle several matches in a two or three day period, and according to Noel, it is pretty simple how he goes about it.
“Most people warm up, but I just sit there and stare at them,” Noel said. “It really goes to show who the good wrestlers are when you are wrestling two and three times in a day”.
Noel’s Saturday journey began with a win over Lucas Duckett from Shelbyville, and that victory was the single season record setter.
“Jared has a lot to shoot for next season, namely the all-time wins at Bismarck-Henning, as well as a state title,” Head remarked.
Noel next faced Hunter Saint Amour from El Paso-Gridley, and was defeated by a 6-2 decision. That set up Noel’s final match, which was for fifth place against Nick Williams of Erie-Prophetstown Coop.
“I got down early to him, and never was able to quite get back even with him,” Noel said of his consolation semifinal loss.
It is worth noting that Noel also lost to Saint Amour in the sectional as well, so revenge was on his mind during the match.
In the fifth place match, Noel was able to outlast his opponent after getting out to an early 2-0 lead in the first period. Noel extended that advantage to 4-0, and ended up winning the match 9-6 to take home fifth place in the state at 170 pounds.
“I just wanted to leave it all on the mat, since it was my last match of the season, and basically go out a winner, which is what happened”. Noel said after the match.
Noel appeared to have injured himself after the match, but nobody can take what he accomplished away from him.
Noel finishes the season with a record of 42-9, and now has his sights set on bigger and better goals in his senior season at Bismarck-Henning.
Jim Cotter is a freelance writer for the Commercial-News, and can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org