EAST MOLINE — The Moline wrestling team has been a powerhouse all season. Saturday, the Maroons bested the rest of the local Class 3A field at the United Township Regional — except for fifth-ranked Minooka.
The Maroons, with 136.5 points, finished second as a team behind Minooka's 200 points, and advanced seven wrestlers to next weekend's sectional in Alton.
Rock Island qualified one wrestler, Victor Guzman at 132 pounds. The Rocky sophomore won an 11-4 championship-bout decision over Normal Community West's Chad Lawyer.
United Township’s Trevelle Teague lost a major decision to Normal West’s Aaron Shaw 8-0 in the consolation match and is an alternate for sectionals.
Moline was the dominant local team, highlighted by regional titles from Isaiah Tapia at 106 pounds and Hunter Henning at 195.
Henning recorded the only pin of the championship session, taking down Noah Bickett from Plainfield South in 3 minutes, 37 seconds, popping up from the mat afterwards and showing some raw emotion.
“It’s just awesome coming home with a regional title,” Henning said. “And knowing how I dominated that match and that I’ll see that guy next week, I know that will carry over until sectionals.”
Tapia got the Maroons' momentum rolling with the first match of the night session. He turned in a 10-2 major decision over Minooka's Jack McLimon.
“This means that the hard work I’ve put in in the room and in the weight room has paid off after all these years,” Tapia said. “I went out there and wrestled my hardest, and see what I could do and scored points.”
Moline coach Jacob Ruettiger said the key to both titles was his wrestlers were aggressive from the start. He said Henning’s match was the most aggressive he’s seen his charge go all season.
“The kids wrestled well today,” Reuttiger said. “We had a couple of injuries and a couple of things that didn’t go our way, but ultimately our kids wrestled really well and I’m impressed with their performance.”
Moline had to fight to the very end to get its seventh qualifier. Maroons heavyweight Cobie Underwood went triple overtime in his match against Skyler Hufeld from Normal Community West. Underwood won when Hufeld was called for stalling, securing a 6-5 win.
Other Moline qualifiers included Charlie Farmer at 113 pounds, Ellex Williams at 120 pounds, Jayden Terronez at 152 pounds, and Tavian Jones at 182 pounds.
The Quad-Cities schools advanced wrestlers in all but six weight classes, though only sending through one wrestler at each weight.
Even with the strong outing, Ruettiger said his squad still has work to do.
“This is a first step,” he said. “We still have some things to correct, but this is something to build off of and keep getting better.”