Highland: Sports

Rakers comes back to grapple to title at Lincoln

Highland sophomore Colton Brown, shown dominating an opponent from Civic Memorial earlier this season, earned sixth place on Friday at the two-day 23-team Lincoln Wrestling Tournament.
Highland sophomore Colton Brown, shown dominating an opponent from Civic Memorial earlier this season, earned sixth place on Friday at the two-day 23-team Lincoln Wrestling Tournament. News Leader

Highland senior wrestler Trent Rakers made his return to the lineup at the halfway point of the season and he looked in mid-season form en route to going 6-0 and winning the 160-pound weight division Friday at the two-day 23-team Lincoln Wrestling Tournament.

Rakers went 42-2 and placed fourth in the state in Class 2A a year ago, but has missed the first half of this season recovering from a leg injury suffered during the football season.

In the championship match, Rakers (6-0) battled hard to prevail for a 9-6 decision and hand Danville senior Porfirio Perez (15-1) his first loss of the season.

Rakers opened on Thursday by dispatching of his three opponents in his pool. He first needed a scant 48 seconds to pin Limestone’s Jose Blanco-Nunez before going on to blank Canton’s Tristan Hammond 5-0, then finishing his pool by scoring a fall over Jerseyville’s Kyzick Bell at the 1:46 mark of the first period.

Next in the quarterfinals, Rakers earned an 8-0 major decision over Harvey Thornton’s Isaac Watkins before taking down Pekin’s Ian Gibbs 8-2 in the semifinals to reach the title bout against Perez.

Also placing in the top eight spots in their respective weight class at the Lincoln tourney for the Bulldogs — who placed ninth as a team out of the 23 competing squads — were senior Jacob Mitchell, who placed second at 132 pounds; sophomore Colton Brown, who placed sixth at 126 pounds; sophomore Devin Wills, who placed sixth at 152 pounds; senior Brett Brown, who placed seventh at 195 pounds; and junior Christian Zuccarelli, who placed eighth at 170 pounds.

At 132 pounds, Mitchell (16-4), a state qualifier at 126 pounds a year ago, was 6-0 with four pins, one major decision and one minor decition heading into the championship match before suffering a technical-fall defeat to East St. Louis’ Tyler Dunn (18-1).

Wills (17-4) went 5-2 with three pins to earn sixth place at 152 pounds.

At 126 pounds, Colton Brown (12-7) got sixth place after going 4-3 with all four victories coming via pin.

And finally 195 pounds, Brett Brown (11-9) needed just 43 ticks of the clock to pin Stephon Mcclain of Springfield.

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