Shelbyville wrestling went to the proving ground that is the Thomas More New Year’s Challenge or “Super Duals” on Friday and Saturday. The Rams finished in 8th place in the 40 team tournament, that included 17 of the top 20 ranked teams in the state.
Last year the Rams surprised the Super Duals by placing 4th. They went 4-0 in their pool, then won two matches on championship day, before dropping a semifinal match and the 3rd place match.
This year the Rams went 3-1 in their pool, with their only loss to Coal City by one point. They won two matches on championship day, before losing to Petersburg PORTA in the quarterfinals by just six points due to a devastating injury in one of the matches.
“Lyle Jefson was doing well and was ahead in the match and he would have gotten us at least three points,” said Ram coach Greg Harkins. “Then he tore a muscle and couldn’t continue. That gave us a default forfeit and it gave them six points.”
Jefson is just a 1st-year wrestler and his injury proved to much more sever than initially thought. He is out for the season and will take some time to rehab before he can have surgery.
It was a 9-point swing due to Jefson’s injury in a 6-point loss. Had Shelby defeated PORTA they would have been assured of at least 4th place once again. The loss of Jefson and the severity of his injury is of far greater concern than the loss to PORTA.
Through their first seven matches Shelby was 5-2. Their two losses were by a combined seven points. Their wins were by an average of 40 points.
After losing in the quarterfinals, they dropped the next two matches to Sherrard and Coal City, again.
“After we lost to PORTA, the kids were discouraged and lost to Sherrard,” Harkins said. “Then we lost to Coal City, again, by like four points.”