Prep Wrestling

Yohn, Culp to represent Blue Devils at state tourney

Hunter Yohn
By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
Posted: Feb. 9, 2019 10:30 pm Updated: Feb. 9, 2019 11:48 pm

JOLIET, Ill. -- Thomas Culp showed character.

Hunter Yohn reaffirmed he belonged.

Now both of the Quincy High School wrestlers get to compete on the state's biggest stage.

Yohn, a senior wrestling at 160 pounds, reached the finals of the Class 3A Joliet Central Sectional and put up a fight against the state's No. 1-ranked wrestler in the championship match before getting pinned and bringing home a second-place medal.

Meanwhile, at 182 pounds, Culp suffered his first loss since December and only the second of the season in the championship semifinals. He rebounded with a pin in the wrestleback semifinals to ensure his fourth-place finish and state berth.

"It's a great opportunity for both of them," said QHS coach Phil Neally, who will take them to the state tournament next week at State Farm Center in Champaign. "It starts out with the way they've handled themselves over the last couple of weeks with the cancellation of so many things. They were able to pull things together and stay focused. They did a lot of great things this weekend."

Yohn advanced to the championship match by pinning Planfield South's Jake Kendall in 4:42 in the semifinals, setting up a showdown with top-seeded and top-ranked Baylor Fernandes of Lockport.

Fernandes scored a takedown and a three-point nearfall for a 5-0 lead after the first period. Starting the second period in the down position, Fernandes got a reversal and the pin in 2:24.

"Actually, Hunter almost caught him on his back in the first period," Neally said. "But that kid's tough."

Yohn will take a 41-3 record to the state tournament.

"Hopefully he can get a medal next week," Neally said.

Culp has designs on the same thing as he becomes the first QHS sophomore to advance to state in the last two decades.

Culp suffered just his second loss this season in the semifinals as Lincoln-Way West's Jacob Cronk scored a 12-2 decision. He bounced back to stick Plainfield East's Jarvis Wardlow in 1:39 in the wrestleback semifinals. In the third-place match, Lincoln-Way East's Nick Mihajlovich scored a 6-3 decision, sending Culp to state with a 43-3 record.

"It will help his confidence going through all of that and being able to work through that," Neally said.

None of the other QHS wrestlers advanced.

At 113, Quincy junior Blake Peter won his first two matches in the wrestlebacks, scoring a 15-0 technical fall over Oswego's Logan Guerrero and pinning Neuqua Valley's Giovanni Spatafora in 1:34. Peter lost a 5-0 decision to Bradley Bourbonnais's Austin Spacht and was one match away from wrestling for third place.

Four other Quincy wrestlers lost their first wrestleback.

At 120, senior Hunter Carter was pinned with eight seconds left in match by Providence New Lenox's Nick Matthias. At 138, senior Matthew Peters suffered an 8-5 loss to Oswego's Sam Saravia. At 152, the Blue Devils' Kaleb Vahle was pinned in 3:41 by Joliet West's Jeremy Pullen. At 220, Lucas Bodi was pinned in 1:44 by Edwardsville's Josh Anderson.