Chargers' Wynn, Schott finish historic run
CHAMPAIGN — It was almost the perfect derivation of the win-win scenario.
For Centennial High School, it went Wynn-Win.
There’s special significance to the modified use of the phrase twice.
The Wynn belongs to a 132-pound senior named Darren, who on Saturday became the school’s second-ever wrestling state championship-match participant.
He fell a point short of his goal, dropping a 10-9 title-match decision to Springfield’s Randall Taborn.
Wynn couldn’t hide his disappointment.
“I couldn’t wrestle,” he said. “I don’t know.”
The win part remains in place as a reference to the Chargers having two state medalists in the same meet for the first time in school history. Wynn’s practice partner, senior Austen Schott, secured the fifth-place medal at 126 pounds in the 76th IHSA tournament, which ended Saturday at the UI Assembly Hall.
It was a history-making day that ended in frustration.
“He (Wynn) tried to come back, but he couldn’t dig himself out of the hole (6-3 deficit in the final 21/2 minutes),” Centennial coach Ed Mears said. “It was so close. Another 20 seconds, he might have had it.”
The unranked Taborm said he learned from a previous loss to Wynn, who took a 33-match winning streak into the finals.
“I learned to get up in points before the third period because the last time he stalled out,” Taborn said.
Taborn felt the momentum shift as his lead grew.
“I got up and broke his spirit,” he said. “I was expecting a hard match, and it was.”
Schott scored a takedown with 10 seconds left in his fifth-place match with LaSalle-Peru’s Jacob Weaver to win 3-1.
When he lost in the quarterfinals on Friday, Schott said his first inclination was, “I wanted to give up.”
Upon further reflection, he did a reversal.
“I had to make this season worth something,” said Schott, who won at least 30 matches all four of his varsity seasons. “The whole season has been a bunch of ups and downs, but leaving with a medal is good.”
His state run made him a prominent part of the Chargers’ career record book. He ended with a career-record 131 wins, a career-record-tying 70 pins and a career record for takedowns (290). All were marks he reached this weekend. He had already established the single-season takedown record, which is 140.
Schott started his day Saturday by ending the medal hopes for Mahomet-Seymour senior Tyler Moxley with a 4-2 decision.
Prior to this year, Centennial had two state medalists in its 46-year existence, and the second one (Archie Williams) only occurred in 2012. Wynn is the second athlete from Centennial to wrestle for a state title. The first was Erik Mueller (119 pounds) in 1984.
The turnstile attendance for the three-day event was 42,665.