BY COLTEN STEELE WEEKLY REPORTER
The O’Fallon wrestling team kept their win streak alive as they defeated Mount Vernon (62-10), Cahokia (57-12), Mascoutah (70-12), and Granite City (34-23).
In their first dual against Mt. Vernon, the Panthers had nine pins out of their thirteen matches. Matches won by pins came from Andrew Nunez (120), Alek Ziegler (126), Alex Fulton (132), Jalen Jones (138), Mike Faulkner (145), Caleb Carriel (152), Jack Bond (160), Kobey Bosworth (195), and Brian Ahle (220).
The Blue and Gold would then stay course as they dominated Cahokia 57-12. Winning matches came from Andrew Nunez (120), Alek Ziegler (126), Jalen Jones (138), Mike Faulkner (145), Jack Bond (160), Jack Delange (170), Mason Hewitt (182), Kobey Bosworth (195), Brian Ahle (220), and Mason Baker (285).
In their last dual, it was the Panthers that came out on top again, against Mascoutah. This was their most dominant dual of the day as they had a total of nine pins out of their fourteen matches. O’Fallon had to forfeit their first two matches at 106, and 113. After that, the Panthers were dominant as they didn’t lose a single match. Winning matches coming from Andrew Nunez (120), Alek Zeigler (126), Alex Fulton (132), Jalen Jones (138), Mike Faulkner (145), Caleb Carriel (152), Jack Bond (160), Jack Delange (170), Mason Hewitt (182), Kobey Bosworth (195), Brian Ahle (220), and Mason Baker (285).
O’Fallon would then have a dual match against Granite City, and would win (34-23) to put themselves at 1-0 in the Southwestern Conference and 7-0 overall.
“It is always a team effort in close matches like this. I thought the key matches in this one were at 138 and 235,” said Head Coach Glenn Exton.
This is the second year in a row that O’Fallon has beaten the perennial powerhouse Granite City. “I think our success has gone unnoticed in the community over the past few years. We have now won 32 of our last 33 duals in the last three years,” Coach Exton said.
The dual started at 138 pounds and the Panthers started the day with a win from Jalen Jones. Jones would win 4-2 after scoring on a takedown in the final seconds of the match. At 160 pounds, it was Jack Bond who took the lead back for the Panthers as he won 14-3.
“This match started off a little scary when Bond was tossed to his back from the neutral position. Bond was shaken up and had to take injury timeout. Jack responded well after that. He immediately took it to him. That’s the mark of a winner. He could have used the injury as an excuse to slow down, but didn’t,” said Coach Exton.
At 182 pounds, it was Mason Hewitt who won by a pin. Hewitt is currently 7-0 on the season.
“Mason has been dominate so far this season. We count on him for big points each match,” Coach Exton said.
Granite City took a lead over O’Fallon (23-22) with just two matches left in the dual. It was Alek Ziegler (126), and Alex Fulton (132) who came to wrestle when the team needed them the most. Ziegler and Fulton each pinned their opponent to give O’Fallon the upper hand.
“Alek has really tough this year. After wrestling his first three years at 106, I was a little concerned of how he would handle moving up two or three weight classes but he looks equally as tough up there,” Coach Exton said.
Alek Ziegler is still unbeaten this season at 7-0.