CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Fulton junior Tyler Fleetwood already is a state wrestling champion. This year, his twin brother Taylor has a chance to join him on top of the podium.
Tyler, who won an Illinois Class 1A state title at 106 pounds a year ago, advanced to the 120-pound final Friday night in Champaign with a 4-2 semifinal victory over Andrew VanKampen of West Carroll. Taylor, who placed fourth at 220 a year ago, defeated LeRoy's Alex Lamont by a 2-0 decision in the final Friday.
“I wanted to be in with my brother, that was the biggest thing,” said Taylor after he put his opponent in a head lock to get the two points.
Both Tyler and Taylor will be facing the top-ranked wrestlers in their weight class in the final. Taylor, ranked eighth, will face top-ranked and unbeaten Zach Muller of Westmont. Tyler, ranked second, will face No. 1 Noah Villarreal, a freshman from Aurora Christian.
“I am very excited for that match," Tyler said. "Tough kid, it’s going to be a battle tomorrow. It’s going to be fun, probably a lot of points scored.”
The Fleetwoods will be joined by three other Quad-City area wrestlers in the 1A finals.
Morrison's Joe Eads, ranked fifth, will wrestle for a state title at 138 pounds after the senior won an 8-5 decision over top-ranked Ryan Chambers of Murphysboro. Eads had Chambers on his back in a neck wrench and nearly got the pin.
"I’ve got these long arms and everyone calls me spaghetti arms," Eads said. "I can wrap them around and get it done.”
Kewanee's fourth-ranked Lewis Robinson will wrestle for a 145-pound title after defeating Orion's third-ranked James Schnerre by a 6-5 decision. Robinson was 0-2 against Schnerre this season entering state.
"When you work really hard, I guess you can do a lot of things," Robinson said. "I am just super proud of myself. Everyone at home believed in me.”
Orion's Logan Lee pinned top-seeded and second-ranked Keaton Fogler of Stanford Olympia in 3:36 in his quarterfinal bout and then pinned Victor Vargas in 1:46 to advance to the final at 220.
Losing semifinal bouts were: Mercer County's Stone Engle at 126, Orion's James Schnerre at 145, Morrison’s Dylan Keller at 160, Sherrard's Tyler Roling at 170 and Geneseo's Sam Thomas at 285.
Rock Island senior Alex Andrews lost his 3A quarterfinal bout to top-ranked and unbeaten Diata Drayton of Chicago Marist by an 8-3 decision.
Andrews responded with a 6-4 win over 10th-ranked Zach Yfantis of Wheeling in the consolation bracket. Andrews will wrestle 10th-ranked Christian Nussbaum today to earn a medal.
— Justin Rust contributed to this report