PORT BYRON — An eighth-grader a year ago, Collin Altensey got to witness his older brother Trystan win his first individual high school regional wrestling championship for the Riverdale Rams.
When the two got to be a part of the same lineup this winter, naturally there was talk of having the opportunity to win championships together.
"Both of us wanted to at least get to state together, if not place," said Trystan Altensey (38-3).
The brothers took that first step toward that goal last Saturday at the Class 1A Princeton Regional, Trystan, a senior, earned his second straight regional title, winning the 170-pound class. Earlier that day, younger brother Collin (38-2) won his first prep postseason title at 106 pounds.
But for the older Altensey, one of five seniors in the Riverdale lineup, it was what his kid brother and his freshman classmates could bring to the team that was equally appealing.
"With all of the guys in his grade coming up, I knew we could be good as a team," said Trystan, a two-time IHSA individual state qualifier. "We really like that aspect of it, and the main goal for me and my brother was to do good as individuals and as a team."
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Both goals were accomplished. Buoyed by five individual championships, including the Altensey brothers' twin titles, the Rams left Princeton last Saturday with their first regional team title since 2007.
"It's awesome," Collin Altensey said. "As a team, we hadn't been that good for awhile, so it's great for me to get to be a part of this with Trystan. We prepared over the summer to reach our goals. First it was individual goals, but we wanted to do it for the team also, and that included both of us getting big points at regionals."
After winning his 106-pound regional title by pinning Alleman sophomore Dalton Nimrick in 3:38, the younger Altensey knew he did not need to encourage his brother much when it came to putting up a similar performance.
"He knows what he has to do to get ready," said Collin. "I didn't need to talk to him much."
Ranked fourth at 170, the older Altensey is a two-time state qualifier at 152 pounds, with last year's march to Champaign including his first individual sectional title. Capping his career as a state champion is also on his list of goals. However, he knows that will not be easy.
"Our sectional (Oregon) is really tough," he said. "I really hope I can win it all, but I've got to take each match one at a time."
For Collin Altensey, this weekend's trip to Oregon's Blackhawk Center for the sectional round offers the promise of redemption as he hopes to book his first trip to Champaign's State Farm Center.
"Garrett Luke (of Lena-Winslow/Stockton) beat me earlier in the year (5-3 at the North-South Duals), and we got split at Oregon, so I could see him in the finals if I make it," he said. "Right now, I'm feeling pretty confident."