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THS Wrestlers finish historic season

Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Sports Editor

CHA MPAIGN — The IHSA State Wrestling Finals were held over the past weekend. Starting Thursday, through Friday and concluding Saturday the meet took place at the State Farm Center in Champign. The two wrestlers from Taylorville, Gage Rusher and William Blue, had earned a spot in the State Tournament. Rusher wrestled a total of two times while Blue had three matches of his own.

The State Tournament plays host to the absolute best wrestlers in the state of Illinois. This year, in Champaign, was no exception.

Gage Rusher’s first match of Thursday morning was against Glasford’s Paul Ishikawa who finished first in last years State Final. The senior just about lasted the first round when Ishikawa snuck a takedown and pinned the Tornado. Rusher’s loss meant he was going to Wrestlebacks and would have to fight every last second of this time there or face elimination. His next match was against 2021 State Qualifier Ryan Tribble from Braidwood. Tribble pinned Rusher in the middle of the second round eliminating the THS wrestler in his second match. Gage Rusher did not place in the State Final.

William Blue, the Taylorville junior, first match was on Thursday morning against Cooper Wendling. The Tremont wrestler defeated Blue by a final score of 15-0. Blue faced elimination in his next match on Friday. Match number two was set against Gabe Johnson from Manteno. Blue took down his opponent twice and secured the win with a pin late in the second round. THS junior moved on to his third match of State and the Second Round of Wrestlebacks.

His final match was against Fairbury (Prairie Central) Connor Steidinger. Steidinger pinned William Blue in the middle of the first round. The loss eliminated Blue from the State Tournament.

William Blue did not place.

The two Tornadoes had an impressive 2021-2022 wrestling season. Senior Gage Rusher reached his goal of 100 career wins and junior William Blue became the first Taylorville wrestler to reach multiple State Finals in his third year.

Both should be proud of what they accomplished as individuals and what they have accomplished for the community of Taylorville.

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