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Wilmington set a school record with its 32nd dual match victory of the season after downing Coal City 33-27 Wednesday in a clash of premier Class A teams.
The Interstate-8 rivals battled to a 27-27 stalemate heading into the final contest, but Andy Rodawald (38-2), Wilmington’s returning state finalist, owned the closing contest with a first round fall at 126 pounds.
“It’s a credit to the kids,” Wilmington coach Rob Murphy said of the record. “I’m going to get them out of practice early the next few days. I told them the 32nd win that set the school record, we’d get out an hour early and give them a little break and a chance to heal up before regionals.”
Rodawald was one of four I-8 champions Wilmington (32-4, 11-0) had on display. Sean Liaromatis (170 pounds) and Dexter Fierro (182) secured falls while heavyweight Derrick Romano won by forfeit.
“You don’t want to see any letdowns in a match like this,” Murphy said. “We just wrestled them Saturday, but we’re going to see them again at regionals. If they had won, they would of had a share of the conference title.”
For Coal City's standouts, Cody Minnick (37-0) notched a fall at 106, Casey Jurzak (34-3) won a decision at 113 and Casey Brown (36-3) triumphed at 120 in an I-8 finals rematch over Austin Headrick.
“Those three are tough as nails,” Coal City coach Mark Masters said. “When we show up and get those three guys coming up, it’s tough to get off to a good start against us.”
Minnick and Brown are returning state-placers and each of the three captured I-8 crowns on Saturday.
“They’re good practice partners,” Brown said. “Cody is a tough matchup for me. When we go at it in practice, we go all out.”
Senior Mike Czaja, fourth all-time in Coal City pins, added a decision over Austin Alexander.