DIXON – When the Dixon and Sterling wrestling teams rumble on January 9 in Dixon, it is sure to be quite the battle royale.
On Saturday at the Dixon Duals, the Dukes and Golden Warriors barely broke a sweat. Both squads remained undefeated on the season after cruising to three wins apiece in Lancaster Gymnasium.
Dixon (7-0) blanked Plano 76-0, crushed Galesburg 54-13, and downed Sandwich 51-27. Leading the way was sophomore 160-pounder Sebastian Quintana, who dominated with two pins and a major decision.
Hakeem Banks (106) and Finn Brandon (195) were each undefeated on the day with two wins and a forfeit. Banks got two pins.
“I just kind of stuck to the basics to get the job done,” Banks said. “Sometimes I catch myself doing too fancy of moves, and those don’t quite work out, so I just stuck to what I do and stayed aggressive.”
Elijah Ankney (132) and Clint Schielein (182) each won two bouts for Dixon.
For head coach Chris Bishop, the day was a good measuring stick to see where his team stands, and what it needs to do to be ready for a tough dual against Rock Falls on Tuesday.
“You’re always going to have things to work out, and that’s the reason competition is key,” Bishop said. “You get to see those things. We’re going to go back in the room next week and work on the things that we’re missing right now.”
Sterling (6-0) had an easy time of it in wins against Plano (69-6) and Knoxville (52-13), but had to step it up a bit to get past Sandwich (47-30). Leading the way for the Golden Warriors were a pair of triple-winners in Noah Garcia and Cade Lyons.
Garcia, a senior, won by pin and technical fall at 132 pounds, and by pin at 138.
“Right now I feel like I’m progressing in my wrestling, but I’m not exactly where I want to be yet,” Garcia said. “I will be there soon.”
Lyons, a 220-pound sophomore, pinned all three of his opponents.
“I just did what my coaches told me,” Lyons said. “I worked underhooks, and it worked out well.”
Winning two bouts for Sterling were Julian Rodriguez (120), Isaiah Figueroa (145), Nick Simester (152), Turner Garcia (160), Miguel Ruiz (182) and Moises Lopez (195).
Like the Dukes, the Golden Warriors face a stiff early-season test when they travel to LaSalle-Peru on Wednesday.
“We’re a young group, but they’re working hard,” Sterling coach Jeff Gale said. “We understand that every meet’s a practice all the way until the end, so right now it’s about making sure we’re improving every day, and we’re going to see where we’re at next week.”
Stars of the matches: Sebastian Quintana (D), Noah Garcia (S), Cade Lyons (S), 3 wins apiece
Up next: Rock Falls at Dixon, 5:30 Tuesday; Sterling at LaSalle-Peru, 5:30 Wednesday