Granite City Regional is next challenge for Collinsville
January 31, 2013Collinsville High School
After finishing the regular season on a positive note, it's on to the regional for the Collinsville wrestling team.
The Kahoks, who were 15-6 in dual meets, are one of nine teams in the Class 3A Granite City Regional on Saturday.
"We were 13-8 last year, so we did a little better," Collinsville coach Tom Blaha said. "I would have liked to have won a couple more, but with our lineup being different for almost every match, I'll take 15-6. It's been a weird year for injuries."
In tournaments, the Kahoks placed second at Chatham Glenwood and fifth at Mascoutah. They finished 11th and eighth, respectively, in 25-team events at Lincoln and Quincy.
"We did a lot of that without (heavyweight) Drew Pikey, who had (shoulder) surgery on Dec. 28, and (120-pounder) Colton Miller, who had a concussion on Dec. 9," Blaha said.
Senior Devontae Smith (113 pounds) and junior Dylan Johnson (160) joined Collinsville's 70-win club this season.
"As three-year varsity starters, you can pretty much count on them to do well," Blaha said. "Devontae has 85 wins now and he's 15th on our all-time list, which is pretty good for a program that's been around since 1970.
"Cody Pope (a 106-pound junior) has won 29 matches, which is really good for his first varsity season. Zach Schaefer filled in for Colton Miller at 120 and he's won eight matches. Zach Stephenson (132) stepped in for Jordan May (back injury) and he's won 16 matches.
"Our depth is pretty good. I'm not afraid to stick different guys in there."
Collinsville's senior class was productive.
"Kenny Sims (138) and Charlie Hunter (152) have been pretty solid for us," Blaha said. "Cesar Contreras (220) has won 23 matches. This is his first varsity season because he hurt his arm last year."
Collinsville faces a tough task at the regional, with the top three finishers in each weight class advancing to the Moline Sectional on Feb. 9.
"There are at least four or five tough kids in every weight, so getting out is not guaranteed for anybody," Blaha said. "We finished seventh out of eight teams last year, so we'd like to move up. We had two kids qualify for the sectional, so we'd like to get a few more."