BETHALTO — The wait is over for Civic Memorial wrestling coach Chad Young and the Eagles.
Sophomore Christian Schaub won the 113-pound weight class and two Eagles teammates also captured championships Saturday, as Civic Memorial nipped Highland to win the team title at the 34th annual Civic Memorial Holiday Wrestling Tournament.
"It's been a while,'' Young said when asked when the Eagles last won their own tournament. "I've been here 12 years and I know we haven't won it since than. I think it's been since the late 1990s.
"We just have a group of seniors who have come in and worked hard. This is a good way to start the season.''
Freshman Drake Boverie (120) and senior Dylan Mueller also won championships for the Eagles, who finished with 176 points. Highland placed second with 166 1/2 points, while defending champion Mattoon was third with 165 1/2.
Highland was led by two of the top Class 2A wrestlers in the state in sophomore Nick Czar (220) and junior Tanner Farmer (285).
Farmer pinned Mattoon's Ryan Paige in 2 minutes 56 seconds, while Czar pinned Brad Carr in 1:49 of their title bout.
But the day belonged to the Eagles, who used their strength in the lower weights to build an early lead and then survived a late scare from Highland.
Civic Memorial had five wrestlers in the finals, all of them competing at 152 or higher.
"Traditionally we're stronger in the lower weight classes,'' Young said. "Once again we're pretty well stacked. But those kids put in the work.''
Jerseyville (163 points) and Herrin (153) rounded out the top five teams. East St. Louis, bouncing back from a tough opening-night loss to Alton, placed eighth with 127 1/2 points.
Looking to build on a solid 2011-12 season, East St. Louis had five wrestlers finish in the top five.
Don Cavitt (126) and SirRomeo Howard (145) led the way for coach Paul Wright's team with third-place efforts. Jerrick Spencer (113) and Marquez Roberson (120) both placed fourth.
"What a difference three days can make. We looked terrible against Alton the other night, but then we came out today and wrestled better," Flyers coach Paul Wright said. "And we're still without several members of our team who are out for various reasons.
"Our program is definitely headed in the right direction. Having a junior program now, which in turn provides us with a feeder system, is a big boost. But the kids are coming in and working hard. That' s great to see.''
Carlyle (106 1/2 points) and Waterloo (94) placed 10th and 11th, respectively.
Carlyle got a title from Kevin Roper at 195 while Zach Zvonar (126) placed second. Waterloo's bright spot came at 182, where junior Pat Bieber won the title.