BY CHAD DARE
There was more than a regional championship on the line for Bismarck-Henning’s Morgan Supergan.
Yes, the Blue Devils senior heavyweight wanted to close out Saturday’s festivities at his school with a title, but this championship match had a little extra incentive.
Unfortunately for Supergan and the Bismarck-Henning faithful, it wasn’t the ending that they were looking for on Saturday.
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley junior Josh Wallick, the No. 1-ranked Class 1A heavyweight wrestler according to the Illinois Matmen rankings, pinned Supergan with just 12 seconds left in the title bout to claim his second straight regional title.
“There were still some mistakes that I need to get corrected,’’ said Supergan, who is ranked No. 2 and he lost to Wallick in last year’s regional championship.
That was one of three meetings between the two a year ago and Wallick won all three.
“I’ve still got two weeks left,’’ said Supergan, noting the sectional tournament is next week at Olympia High School and the state tournament is Feb. 14-16 at the Assembly Hall in Champaign.
“This was the first time this year that I’ve wrestled against another ranked wrestler,’’ said Supergan, who is now 28-1. “That was a big factor in my match. I know I need to keep working on getting better for next week and the week after.’’
Bismarck-Henning coach Andy Head was pleased with Supergan’s performance — both on and off the mat.
“It was a great championship match,’’ Head said. “I thought Morgan did a really good job, he came out on the wrong end.’’
“I was very proud of the way that he composed himself. He kept his head the whole time, which is big.’’
So, what did Supergan learn specifically about facing Wallick?
“I need to get a takedown,’’ he said. “I need to keep my pace up and keep pushing it.’’
In addition to Supergan, the Blue Devils will take four more wrestlers to next week’s sectional tournament at Olympia.
Jarod Noel was second at 170, while Dalton Edwards (106), Davin Huber (120) and Tyler Pasley (145) all won third-place matches to advance.
“We finished with nine kids, so to have five out of the nine advance is pretty good,’’ Head said.
Antonio Alvarez, from Oakwood/Armstrong-Potomac, claimed the only regional title for the Vermilion Valley Conference.
The 126-pound sophomore won by technical fall over Hoopeston Area senior Josh Johnson.
“I got two good matches today and two technical falls,’’ Alvarez said. “Basically, I’ve been training for this part of the year — regionals, sectionals and state.
“I’m focused on qualifying for state again this year.’’
Alvarez, who is 27-7, wants to make amends for a disappointing state tournament.
As a freshman, Alvarez suffered his only loss in the first round as he got pinned Justin Kinney of Monmouth-Roseville.
“You have to stay focused and wrestling like you always do,’’ Alvarez said. “You can’t change anything now.
“This year, I want to place at state.’’
Advancing to next week’s sectional meet with Alvarez are Comet teammates Ashton Haton (120) and Austin Shelton (138).
Haton was pinned in his regional championship match by Dylan Donner of Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley.
“It was a good day and a bad day,’’ Oakwood/A-P coach John Glosser said. “It’s always a good day when you advance guys to next week.
“I would have liked to see more go through, I have high expectations and I will never change those.’’
Oakwood/A-P, which finished fourth in the team competition, had six wrestlers finish fourth on Saturday and just miss qualifying for the sectional tournament.
Also getting three wrestlers to the sectional meet was Hoopeston Area as Johnson (126), Dylan Pate (113) and Gage Foster (132) advanced for the Cornjerkers.
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley won the regional title with Prairie Central taking second and St. Joseph-Ogden was third.