QUINCY -- Phil Neally was proud of the sport of wrestling on Tuesday night.
Sure, he was glad to see the Quincy High School team that he coaches win two matches, defeating Pittsfield 51-17 and Quincy Notre Dame 37-33.
But he was just as thrilled to see a near-capacity crowd at the Pit. Many were there to see the varsity matches, but matches involving the youth feeder programs for each school brought several dozen wrestlers and their parents.
Neally didn't stop coaching his own varsity wrestlers, but he admitted he snuck a peek or two at the mat on the west side of the gym.
"It's nice to see," he said. "It's good to have the community behind the sport.
"To me, it's the world's oldest and greatest sport. I get choked up talking about it. It makes me emotional. It takes a different breed to be a wrestler. Hopefully, these kids see the hard work and the commitment. Out here, it's one on one. No one gets to hide. I just have a passion for this, so to see all these people here, no matter who they're cheering for, I'm really glad to see."
QND coach Adam Steinkamp also was thrilled to see such a big crowd.
"It's almost like a basketball game broke out, and a crowd showed up," he said. "It's slowly growing around here. We're getting kids who may not play some other sport in the winter, and they're getting excited about being a part of the sports. They watch the big kids, and the big kids watch the little kids.
"Who doesn't want to perform in an atmosphere like that?"
The Champions club and the Cyclones club both have around 40-45 wrestlers of varying ages. Neally also said he was happy to see 17 eighth-graders in the gym as part of the Quincy Junior High School program.
"Kirby Rogers (one of the officials for the matches) told me tonight, ‘I can't remember the last time I've seen this many people attend an event like this,'" Steinkamp said.
Forfeits prevented Pittsfield from having a chance to win either match, but three Saukees -- Elliott Fox, Nate Hoover and Kaleb Harris -- all won two matches. Hoover's come-from-behind victory over Quincy's Blake Poling at 195 was one of the night's most exciting matches, with Hoover getting a two-point reversal with two seconds left in the third period for the deciding points.
Hunter Carter was the only Blue Devil to win twice on the mat, decisioning Pittsfield's Noah Booth 2-0 and pinning QND's Zain Stephens in 1:26. Jack Deters picked up a couple of pins for the Raiders.
QHS 51, Pittsfield 17
106--Blake Peter (Q) won by forfeit
113--Ethan Sibbing (Q) won by forfeit
120--Hunter Carter (Q) d. Noah Booth 2-0
126--Kaleb Harris (P) p. Nick Pohla 3:55
138--Matthew Peters (Q) p. Logan Howland 0:44
145--Thomas Culp (Q) won by forfeit
152--Kaleb Vahle (Q) won by forfeit
160--Hunter Yohn (Q) won by forfeit
170--Blaine Dell (P) d. Gavin Wendling 4-1
182--Elliott Fox (P) p. Logan Cain 1:42
195--Nate Hoover (P) d. Blake Poling 10-8
220--Lucas Bodi (Q) won by forfeit
285--A.J. Miller (Q) won by forfeit
QHS 37, QND 33
106--Blake Peters (Q) p. Catherine Steinkamp 2:50
113--Hunter Carter (Q) p. Zain Stephens 1:26
120--Zach Finley (QND) d. Ethan Sibbing 4-3 OT
126--Zach Arnold (QND) won by forfeit
132--Caleb Hoffman (QND) won by forfeit
138--Matthew Peters (Q) won by forfeit
145--Zach Haley (QND) d. Thomas Culp 7-3
152--Kaleb Vahle (Q) d. John Finley 7-2
160--Sam Schlegl (QND) d. Neil Kozlowski 3-2
170--Hunter Yohn (Q) won by forfeit
182--Jack Deters (QND) p. Logan Cain
195--Blake Poling (Q) d. Aaron Hea 7-3
220--Tyler Bertram (QND) p. Lucas Bodi 2:49
285--A.J. Miller (Q) won by forfeit
QND 42, Pittsfield 30
106--Catherine Steinkamp (QND) won by forfeit
113--Zain Stephens (QND) won by forfeit
120--Noah Booth (P) p. Zach Finley 0:58
126--Kaleb Harris (P) p. Zach Arnold 1:09
138--Logan Howland (P) p. Caleb Hoffman 1:59
145--Zach Haley (QND) won by forfeit
152--John Finley (QND) won by forfeit
160--Sam Schlegl (QND) won by forfeit
170--Jack Deters (QND) p. Blaine Dell
195--Elliott Fox (P) p. Aaron Hea 1:27
220--Nate Hoover (P) p. Tyler Bertram 2:46
285--Sam Hea (QND) won by forfeit