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CLINTON – Tyrone Byrd didn't have any family members to follow into the sport of wrestling. No brother or father who was gung-ho about the sport.
He truly didn't know what to expect when he ventured onto a wrestling mat as a second-grader.
"I came into the sport," Byrd said, "because I was a self-proclaimed tough guy who loved fighting. I joined the sport thinking it would be WWF-style, no-holds-barred type of wrestling."
He discovered otherwise but wasn't discouraged.
CLINTON – Nathan Santhanam has gone from never wrestling before high school to a three-time state qualifier.
The St. Thomas More senior has progressed from not knowing the moves to a person who'll move on to a collegiate career next season at West Point.
On Saturday, he became the school's first two-time Class 1A sectional champion by reversing an outcome from last week's regional finals against LeRoy's Devin Bulington.
What does his success say about the value of youth wrestling?
CHAMPAIGN – In the history of Champaign Central wrestling, no Maroon is more accomplished at the art of the pin than Brandon Ward.
Perhaps too accomplished.
At least that's the view of first-year Central coach Dan Warner, who has urged his state-ranked 171-pounder to purposely extend many of his matches this season.
"He's such an explosive kid, if he wants to end a match, he can end it," Warner said. "He has things in his arsenal that are unbelievable."
MAHOMET – The scorecard shows Champaign Central with five individual regional wrestling winners along with a team of champions.
The Maroons on Saturday ended Mahomet-Seymour's streak of consecutive regional titles at 19 on a day which started out less than ideal for coach Dan Warner's squad.
LeROY – LeRoy entered the postseason as the state's top-ranked team it Class 1A. The Panthers finished regional weekend in the same spot.
The Panters won their second consecutive regional Saturday, claiming five individual titles and pushing 13 of their 14 wrestlers on to the Clinton Sectional.
CHAMPAIGN – Chelsea Cross had 15 points, six rebounds and four steals to lead Centennial to a 58-52 girls' basketball victory against Rich South on Saturday.
Maroons looking forward to another run at state; Urbana's Mammen wins
BLOOMINGTON – Champaign Central fell short of winning a Big 12 wrestling title but didn't come empty-handed.
ARTHUR – Nicholas Lindenmeyer had 12 points and 14 rebounds and Arcola parlayed its advantage at the free throw line to beat Arthur 47-45 on Friday in a semifinal game of the Little Okaw Valley boys' basketball tournament.
The Purple Riders were 22 of 35 at the line. Arthur was 7 of 12. Jesse Daily scored 14 and Bobby Aikman 12 for the Knights.
DECATUR – Lauren Grubb scored seven points during a fourth-quarter rally that carried Unity to a 33-30 victory against Tuscola in the third-place game of the Okaw Valley Conference girls' basketball tournament Thursday. The Rockets trailed 26-15 after three periods. Dani Gooch and Aeriel Fender each contributed four points during Unity's final-quarter comeback.