SHELBYVILLE, IL. — The Shelbyville Ram wrestling team wrote another chapter in their historic season on Saturday when they won the Okaw Duals, running the table against the other five teams, including standout wins over other top contenders Argenta and Monticello.
Shelbyville had their sights set on Argenta and Monticello. Warrensburg and Tolono were not at full strength and the match-ups against Clinton seemed to clearly favor the Rams, on paper.
Shelbyville started off the Okaw Duals head-to-head vs. Argenta. Both teams won seven matches, but the Rams scored higher points for the win.
Elliott Smithson (220) started off the Argenta match with a take down, then pinning Hayes in just a minute and six seconds. Andrew Mudgette (285) did an excellent job holding off McBride and losing just 1-0 after 6:00 of grapplng. Shelbyville led 6-3.
Zach Stirrett (106) scored another big win against Monney. He got the first take down, then got a near fall in the 2nd. They traded reverses and Stirrett ended the 2nd with a 10-8 lead. In the 3rd Stirrett got back points and then a near fall to win 15-8. Shelby led 9-3.
Freshman phenom Garrett Brachbill (113) had four take downs an escape and a near fall in the first two periods to build an 11-2 lead. Another take down earned Brachbill a major decision, 13-3. Shelby led 13-3. Matt Tinsman (120) was over-matched by Whitsel and lost a tech fall. Shelby still led 13-8.
Sophomores Jared Finley (132) and Wyatt Fox (138) extended the Ram lead. Finley got the first take down. He was down to start the 2nd and worked a reverse and got near fall points, 7-0. Finley then beat the clock by pinning O’Neill with just two seconds remaining in the period (3:58). Shelby led 19-8.
The Rams gave up a forfeit and six points at 132.
Fox then went to work against Bowman. He got the first take down, then escaped in the 2nd for a 3-0 lead. In the 3rd, Fox got another take down and won 5-2. Shelby led 22-14.
Adam Hudson, suffering from the flu, battled, but lost to Lane, losing an 11-4 decision. Shelby still led 22-17. Jordan Johnston (152) also lost a decision, 6-1, as Argenta trimmed the Ram lead to 22-20. Both wrestlers kept Argenta from getting extra point from a major decision a tech fall or a pin and held on to the Ram lead.
Sophomore Lucas Duckett (160) then schooled Neal with a tech fall and gave the Rams a cushion. Duckett scored ten take downs in 6:00. He led 8-3 after the 1st. He started the 2nd down and got a reverse, plus three take downs and led 16-6. In the 3rd, he got another reverse and three take downs to compete the tech fall with 37 seconds left and earn five points. Shelby led 27-20.
Senior Josh Hicks (170), no stranger to close matches, dropped a 3-2 decision to Knittle, but AO only picked up three points again, still trailing, 27-23, with just two matches remaining.
Senior Mitchell Barna (182) then clinched the deal. Argenta could still beat the Rams with two pins. Barna blew that out of the water. He went to the mat and got a take down and never let Snow off the mat, sticking him in just 21 seconds. That gave Shelbyville the sure win up 33-17 with one match to go.
First-year wrestler, freshman Caleb Cloe lost the final match by pin (2:44), but it didn’t matter. Shelby had knocked off Argenta, 33-29.