CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Quincy High School wrestling coach Phil Neally knows what lies ahead for Hunter Yohn and Thomas Culp, and nothing about it will be easy.
He believes that is what will drive them.
"Stay positive and stay after it," Neally said after Yohn and Culp advanced to the second round of the Class 3A state tournament Thursday with victories at State Farm Center. "They seemed to be on top of their game and wrestling with a purpose. That needs to continue."
Yohn and Culp, who are guaranteed at least two matches Friday, will face two of the state's best wrestlers in their respective weight classes in the winner's bracket.
Yohn, a senior at 160 pounds with a 42-3 record, pinned Naperville North senior Drake Macintyre in 2:57 and will face Deerfield senior Brock Emmerich (47-2) in the next round. Emmerich, ranked fourth in the state according to IllinoisMatmen.com, advanced with a 13-6 decision over St. Charles' Tommy Schroeder.
"Hunter had a pretty dominating performance," Neally said. "It was pretty flawless."
Culp advanced in the 182-pound class with a 6-1 victory over Machesney Park Harlem's Cadence Hecox. Culp, a sophomore with a 44-3 record, will face ?Glenbrook North's Abe Assad in the quarterfinals. Assad, ranked No. 1 with a 42-1 record, pinned Chicago Mount Carmel's Dan Benoit in 3:38.
"Culp had a couple of moments when things weren't going his way, but he handled the adversity well," Neally said. "He took that internal drive and picked it back up and made the most of his opportunity."
He wasn't the only one. In the Class 1A state tournament, Central had two of its three wrestlers win opening matches, while Pittsfield had one of its two remaining wrestlers move forward.
At 138 pounds, Central's Chayse Houston scored a 13-3 major decision over Kankakee Bishop McNamara's Jacob Ramirez. Houston (21-4) lost a 14-5 major decision to Hoopeston's Ezra Elliott (39-0) in the second round.
At 152, the Panthers' Clayton Boehler opened with a pin of Chicago Mount Carmel's Nate Chritchfield in 5:51. Boehler (34-6) then was pinned by Sterling Newman Central Catholic's Brody Ivey in 2:39.
Houston and Boehler remain alive in the second round of wrestlebacks.
Central sophomore Zach Foote (38-4) lost his opening match at 113, suffering a 3-0 loss to Oakwood's Gage Reed. He will face Herscher's Austin Grise in the wrestlebacks.
At 195, Pittsfield's Elliott Fox (35-12) scored an 8-4 decision over Amboy's Avery Shaw before losing 6-3 to Vandalia's Gavin Mouser. At 220, the Saukees' Nate Hoover (38-9) was pinned in 5:07 Hoopeston's Anthony Colunga.