Wednesday night was senior night for the La Salle-Peru wrestling team and the eight seniors — Zach Plackett, Ayden Sines, Eric Rimmele, Ashton Kellett, Parker Swiskoski, Payton Piriano, Drew Verway and Hunter Karun — did not disappoint as they led the Cavaliers to a dominating 50-20 victory over Rock Falls in a non-conference match.
“All of these guys have been in the varsity starting lineup since they were either freshmen and sophomores and they have really put in a lot of work to grow in the program and to develop into a quality group of guys,” L-P coach Ed Wrobleski said. “The leadership they give us is indispensable and tonight they all came ready to go and wanted to put an exclamation point on their careers and they definitely did that. We have great captains and guys that do things the right way. As a coach you can’t ask for anything more than that.”
The night began with Swiskoski taking the mat first at 160 pounds.
He battled Devon Parker to a scoreless first period before grabbing a 3-0 lead with a takedown on his way to a 9-4 decision that gave L-P a 3-0 lead.
“I wanted to set the tone,” Swiskowski said. “There is a lot of pressure to start when you are a captain and want to lead by example, but I was in a good frame of mind and knew what I wanted to do and was able to execute.
“It’s been a great ride here at L-P and we wanted to go out on top and when I knew I was first out I wanted to set the tone.”
After Dylan Williamson won for Rock Falls at 170, the Cavalier big men took the stage and a pinning contest broke out with Verway getting it started and sticking his foe at 1:32 in the first period and Connor Lorden at the 195 followed suit with a pin at the 1:01 mark.
Next up was Brock Neill at 220, and he continued the wave of Cavalier dominance using only 13 seconds to stick his man.
Piraino wasn’t going to be left out at 285 as he recorded a pin in 21 seconds to extend the Cavs’ lead to 27-3.
“That’s the way our higher weights have been all year. They don’t mess around and go pin hunting from the start and were able to get it done in good shape tonight.” Wrobleski said.
The Rockets tightened the match up a bit with a forfeit win at 106 and a pin by Brady Dowd at 113 to make the score 27-12.
Plackett recorded a pin with just 8.5 seconds left in the first period to put L-P up 33-12.
L-P’s Austin Christmann then dropped a hard fought match to the Rockets’ Jerrill Hill by a 6-2 decision before Sines and Marcus Mendoza took the mat at 132 and put on the match of the night.
Mendoza scored first on a takedown and Sines returned the favor and added another to take a 5-3 lead after one period.
Sines began to kick things into a higher gear and out pointed Hill at every turn, building a 10-5 lead heading to the third period where Sines dominated on his way to earning a 22-7 major decision.
“I knew he was going to be tough,” Sines said. “He is an honorable mention (in the rankings). I just went out and did what I had worked on, followed my plan and got the work done. I wanted to finish strong my senor year and with being a captain, you have to be more supportive of the other guys and I really enjoy that part of it and am hoping we still have a lot of matches ahead of us this year. The goal has always been state and hopefully a medal so there is still a lot of work to be done.”
Following an Adam Meener pin fall for Rock Falls, the Cavs’ Ashton Kellett controled the 145-pound match from the beginning, building up a 19-4 advantage before gaining a third period pin.
Karun finished off the night in style by gaining a pin with only 24.4 seconds left in the opening period.