By MIKE NESTER
West Carroll's Ethen Doty capped off a 45-0 season with the 126-pound IHSA Class 1A state wrestling title on Saturday night, Feb. 16, at the State Farm Center on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.
Doty won the state championship by injury default after Aurora Christian's Cameron Johnson hurt his shoulder and was unable to continue after Doty took him down 27 seconds into the title match.
A fifth place finisher a year ago at 120 pounds, Doty opened the state tournament with a convincing 15-0 technical fall over Tolono Unity's Ben Gravel (35-19) on Thursday afternoon, Feb. 14.
Doty advanced to the semifinals on Thursday night with a first-period pin over Wilmington's Jack Narine (37-13) in 1:03.
The sophomore from Eastland punched his ticket to the finals with a 7-0 decision over Cumberland's Rayce Zike on Friday night, Feb. 15. Doty took a 2-0 lead with a first period takedown and added takedowns in the second and third periods for the win.
The final was a rematch of last weekend's sectional finals against Johnson, a two-time defending state champ who pinned Doty last year in the state tournament. He didn't give up any points during the state tournament.
Doty is the first student-athlete representing West Carroll to win a state title and the first for the wrestling program since Ryan Castro went undefeated and captured the 145-pound crown in 1997.
West Carroll’s Briar Nevills dropped both of his matches at 113 pounds in his first trip to state. The sophomore lost his opening bout, falling 4-2 to Blain Christie (36-8) of Bishop McNamara on Thursday afternoon. In the wrestlebacks on Friday morning, Nevills (33-11) saw his season come to an end as he was pinned by Shawn Minick (37-6) of Belleville Althoff in the first period (:52).
Dakota sophomore Andrew Wenzel won the state title at 170 pounds. Other NUIC wrestlers placing at state were Ian Kuehl, Le-Win, 285, third; Jason Herman, Le-Win, 145, 4th; Case Harmston, Le-Win, 160, 4th; and Caleb Alber, Dakota, 138, 5th.
West Carroll State
Wrestling Honor Roll
•2019—Ethen Doty (126) 1st; Briar Nevills (113).
•2018—Ethen Doty (120), 5th.
•2017—Nate Schultz (182), 3rd; Andrew VanKampen (120) 5th; Josh Anderson (285) 5th.
2013—Zach Hartman (132), Jacob Klein (182).
2012—Jeff Casey (120).
2008—Scott Hubble (215).
2006—Elliott Mills (140).