Coal City wrestling team advances to state dual tourney

Coal City's Alex Friddle topples Aurora Christian's Cameron Johnson on Saturday at the State Farm Center during Class 1A State Wrestling Championship in Champaign. Friddle helped Coal City defeat Clinton on Tuesday in the Class 1A Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Sectional and advance to the state tournament in Bloomington this weekend.[]

GIBSON CITY — Coal City advanced to the Class 1A dual team state finals for the third time in four years after beating Clinton 40-29 in the Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Sectional.

The Coalers (25-8) square off against El Paso-Gridley on Friday in an 11 a.m. quarterfinal meet at Bloomington's Grossinger Motors Arena. This is the first dual team finals appearance for the Titans, who beat Beardstown 34-33 on criteria at Gibson City.

Coach Mark Masters' Coalers didn't go to state last season after finishing second in 2016 and third the year before. If they can beat El Paso-Gridley, they'll assure themselves of a third trophy in four years. Aurora Christian or Hope would meet them in a 2 p.m. semifinal.

Coal City won eight matches as Alex Friddle (126), Trevor McIntire (138), Ryan Wasielewski (145) and Brendan Nevin (220) all recorded falls.

Connor Huston (113) won by technical fall, Evan Rivera (106) and Brandon Strnad (120) both claimed major decisions and Daniel Jezik (160) picked up a 3-2 victory.