All Holden Brazelton has pretty much done during his freshman season wrestling for St. Joseph-Ogden High School is win tournaments.
If Brazelton can win his next tournament, he’ll add his name to a select few wrestlers in SJO history.
And that’s as a state champion.
Brazelton and sophomore teammate Emmitt Holt will represent the Spartans during the Class 1A state meet that begins on Thursday afternoon at State Farm Center in Champaign.
Brazelton won the 120-pound sectional title at the 1A Olympia Sectional in Stanford last Saturday and will carry his 41-3 record into a first-round match at the state meet against Pierson Wilkerson (28-22) of Vandalia.
Brazelton started his stay in Stanford by pinning Garrett Kean of Eureka in 3 minutes, 18 seconds before earning a 3-1 decision against Ethan Monson of Mercer County in the quarterfinals.
During his semifinal match, Brazelton secured an 8-0 major decision against Bowden Delaney of Tremont to clinch his berth at state — the top four finishers in each weight class moved on to Champaign — and set up a sectional title match with Braydon Campbell of Ridgeview/Lexington.
And Brazelton emerged triumphant against Campbell, posting a 3-1 decision to give him his first sectional title of his high school career.
Holt placed second at 113 at the Olympia Sectional, and will take his 33-7 record into a first-round match at state against Tony Keene (37-2) of Harrisburg.
In Stanford, Holt opened up his tournament stay by pinning Hunter Sierer of Peoria Notre Dame in 3 minutes, 23 seconds to advance to the quarterfinals. He topped Jack Thompson of Camp Point Central via a 3-0 decision to meet Dylan Crouch of Dwight in the semifinals.
Holt qualified for state after beating Crouch in a 5-2 decision before losing to Keygan Jennings of Farmington by a 7-2 decision in the sectional title match.
SJO had one other wrestler, junior Owen Birt, compete at the Olympia Sectional at 195.
Birt won his first-round match by pinning Ronin Ryerson of Chillicothe IVC in 1 minute, 20 seconds before he lost a 10-3 decision to eventual sectional champion Cooper Wendling of Tremont in the. quarterfinals.
Birt then defeated Gabe Alvarez of Clifton Central by pin in 3:19 in his first wrestle back match and then pinned Nolan Yeary of Olympia in 1:51 to advance to the wrestleback semifinals. But his season unfortunately ended with a 13-4 major decision loss to Brody Cuppernell of St. Thomas More in that match. Birt finished his season with a 23-10 record.
The 1A first-round match state matches are set to begin at noon on Thursday, with quarterfinals happening at 6:45 p.m. on Thursday.
First-round wrestlebacks are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Friday, with second-round wrestlebacks at 1:30 p.m. before state semifinals are set to begin at 7 p.m. on Friday.
The state meet schedule for Sunday involves 1A quarterfinal wrestlebacks at 9 a.m., 1A semifinal wrestlebacks at 11 a.m., 1A third-place and fitfh-place matches at 1 p.m. and state championship matches beginning at 6 p.m. after the Grand March takes place at 5:30 p.m.