By JACKSON WILSON
Enquirer Democrat Reporter
It wasn’t smooth sailing, but Jake Schwartz passed his first postseason test of his senior year.
Though Schwartz didn’t place first in a stacked 160-lb. weight class, he could afford to use a ‘mulligan.’ However, the Carlinville High School captain had to survive two consolation opponents in order to remain alive for next weekend.
Schwartz took down Mt. Zion’s Kaden Becker in a 36-second opening round, but lost to Shelbyville’s Will Fox via a 4-1 decision. Up until that moment, Schwartz had only been defeated twice in 37 matches.
Schwartz won by technical fall over Sacred Heart-Griffin’s Donovan Scott in the first elimination match and set the stage for a ‘sectional or bust’ dual with one of his personal friends from Auburn, Colby Willhite. Willhite, also a senior, put up a tough fight in the beginning but Schwartz was able to finish him after 2 minutes and 48 seconds.
Ronald LaPlante, Blake Pruitt, Devon Hulett, Connor Rice and Kaelen Furness also competed for Carlinville. Though nobody else advanced, a couple came close.
LaPlante and Pruitt each had opportunities to land the third and final position in their respective weight classes, but couldn’t complete the job. LaPlante (126) ended his season 24-18 and Pruitt (285) finished 19-17 after they each fell one win short.
Hulett (120) rebounded from a quarterfinal defeat with a 3:42 pin but only lasted 38 seconds in the following match. His final record was 5-5.
Rice (145) and Furness (152) both came up empty-handed, with the exception of a single consolation bye that was given to Furness in the elimination bracket. Furness concluded the season 6-9. Rice went 4-23.