Prairie Central's Hoselton brothers win state titles

Prairie Central's Hoselton brothers win state titles

CHAMPAIGN — Looking at the Prairie Central wrestling record book, there's one last name in the state champions column — but three athletes.

Andy Hoselton is the first, at 160 pounds in Class 1A in 2011.

Now, his cousins have joined the fray.

On Saturday night, senior Drew Hoselton was victorious at 1A 170, and Brandon, a freshman, closed out the title match at 195 not long after.In fact, Drew was atop the podium directly across from where Brandon was prepping for his bout. To counter, Brandon earned a second-round fall just as Drew was wrapping up media obligations.

"I'm close to him on the team, obviously, and we're close to the same weight," Drew said. "So we were partners the whole year. It helped out a lot."

Drew took down Lena-Winslow senior Rahveon Valentine by a 1-0 decision, continually halting Valentine's takedown bids and escape tries for six minutes of tightly contested action. This came after Drew dealt with an illness earlier in the week.

"I just pushed it all aside," Drew said. "I'm like, 'All right, last match for me.' I had to give it my all. That's it."

Brandon's fall against Clifton Central/Iroquois West senior Justin Coggins were preceded by lesser finishes in the regional and sectional rounds. Brandon said he wasn't in good enough physical shape, but quickly turned around his act before getting to State Farm Center.

"I've been training for a long time for this and running the treadmill almost every day," Brandon said. "I was just so excited. That's probably the happiest I've been in my life."

***

David Griffet fought back tears Saturday night.

The Mahomet-Seymour senior's individual prep wrestling career had ended moments prior with a 9-6 loss in the Class 2A 285-pound state final against Washington junior Jace Punke.

Griffet still has team state to look forward to. But in that moment, the reality of his future set in. Griffet wasn't so much sad he'd lost — he was sad four years had elapsed.

"I'm kind of crying right now because I'm never going to wrestle with (my teammates) again, except for team state," Griffet said. "It's just an emotional day for me. It's just hard."

Griffet struggled to handle the three-time state qualifier Punke, who gave up several inches in height to Griffet.

"I just didn't wrestle my best," Griffet said. "I just kind of kept getting defensive, and it didn't come out the way I wanted."

In the match until the end, with Punke giving up the final two points on an unsportsmanlike penalty, Griffet said the final 30 seconds gave him a first rush of emotion.

Even as similar thoughts welled up in him, with peers celebrating their titles around him, Griffet was glad to consider his time as a Bulldog.

"It's definitely been a really tough and nice four years," he said. "I've had the greatest coaching staff I could ever ask for. The best team. The best friends."

***

A.J. Fox's first and only trip to the state finals didn't end as he'd hoped, with the Urbana senior suffering a 9-3 defeat against Morris senior Cody Baldridge in the Class 2A 182-pound bout.

Fox shook his head as the clock struck triple zeroes, knowing a chance at high school grappling immortality had gone by the wayside.

"In the second period, I was just giving up bad technique, bad points," Fox said, "which I could've saved myself from giving up those points, and I could've been in better shape for the third period. It just didn't work out in my favor."

Fox credited Baldridge for displaying strong defensive moves, including a great downblock.

"There were a couple of things I wasn't prepared for," Fox said. "So I'll give him that. He's a great wrestler."

***

Cody Miller earned runner-up status in the Class 1A 220-pound bracket for the second straight year Saturday, with the Bismarck-Henning/Rossville-Alvin senior falling to Dakota senior Maverick McPeek by a 3-2 decision.

Miller suffered a foot injury in his semifinal bout on Friday night, but said the ailment did not negatively affect him in the championship match.

All in all, Miller's last prep result left him disappointed but motivated for the future.

"I haven't really looked at my medal from last year. I wasn't really proud of it," Miller said. "I think two-time runner-up is a mediocre high school career, and I hope to improve upon it (at Coe (Iowa) College)."

***

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley/Fisher freshman Cale Horsch was turned aside by a second-round fall in the Class 1A 106-pound title bout against El Paso-Gridley junior Monte Gregory.

"I was shocked because I was wrestling so well at that point," Horsch said. "But just when it was over, I was like, 'All right, it's over, got to move on to next year.'"

Horsch said he was proud to bring more hardware back to the school that features a two-time state champion Josh Wallick in 2013 and 2014.

"It's a small school. We don't get a lot of credit for all the stuff (we accomplish)," Horsch said. "So it feels very cool bringing it home for our school and just making my town proud."Colin Likas

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