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Granite City Regional is next challenge for Collinsville

January 31, 2013
Collinsville High School

Scott Marion STLhighschoolsports.comstltoday.com  Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2013 11:00 am


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."

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