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Blue Devil Keane Heads to State

In the 113-pound championship of the 1A Stanford-Olympia Sectional on February 10, Peotone’s Paul Keane squared with Heyworth’s Levi Neulieb. The match featured two wrestlers, who each had one loss on their ledge.

However, the Peotone sophomore pinned Neulieb at 1:08. Keane improves to 34-1. He will represent the Blue Devils in the 1A state finals starting February 15 at the University of Illinois’ State Farm Center.

After a bye, Keane won by a technical fall, 17-2, against Austin Weaver of Stanford-Olympia. In the semifinals, Keane pinned Illini Bluffs’ Connor Speck in 2:54.

A trio of Peotone grapplers were just one win away from joining Keane downstate.

Chandler Gartner, who won the regional at 182, received a bye, and in the quarterfinals, Gartner won a 7-6 decision over Micah Downs of Clinton. Gartner lost 6-3 in the semifinals to Brady O’Hara of Beardstown. In the wrestlebacks, Peotone lost to Hoopeston’s Eliseo Zamora 7-5. Gartner finished the season 22-2.

Maxwell Lonard also worked in the semifinals of 170. Lonard pinned Tremont’s Caiden Buster in 3:56 and enjoyed a major decision over Joe Musick 16-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, the Peotone senior lost 6-0 to Joe Shobe of Clinton. In the wrestlebacks, Buster downed Lonard 9-4. He ended with a 25-9 slate.

In 152, Nathan Battiato lost his first match to the hosts Lane Miller, 9-4. In the wrestleback, Battiato won 3-1 over Caleb Fritz of Illinois Valley Central. Then Battiato lost a heartbreaking 2-1 decision to Wes Girardi of Deer Creek-Mackinaw. The junior concluded the season with a 21-11 record.

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