March 3, 2024 Local Stories in and Around St. Joseph, Illinois

Brazelton, SJO wrestling off to solid start

A relatively young St. Joseph-Ogden wrestling team is faring well through the first two weeks of the season.


The Spartans — who only boast seniors Emmitt Holt and Rachel Harris among the 33 wrestlers in the program — have compiled a 5-2 record in dual meets and finished in the top half of their first tournament of the season, with junior Holden Brazelton winning a title at the Rex Avery PORTA Invitational in Petersburg this past Saturday. Here’s a roundup of what SJO has accomplished so far leading into Thursday night’s dual meet at Westville:

Goodwin shines in Warrensburg
The Spartans defeated Riverton 72-6 and host Warrensburg-Latham 54-26 on Tuesday night in Warrensburg.


Sophomore Brandon Goodwin registered two pins at 144 pounds, winning in only 47 seconds against Riverton and in 1:07 against Warrensburg-Latham.

In the win against Riverton, SJO had forfeit wins at 106, 126, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190 and 215, but picked up contested victories in three other weight classes.


Sophomore Maddie Wells won by pin in 1:39 at 132, junior Landen Butts delivered a pin in 3:38 at 138 and junior Brodie Harms won via pin in 2:53 at 285.

SJO came through with nine contested wins in its victory against Warrensburg-Latham, all by pins. Freshman Khaden Hallowell had the quickest pin on the night for the Spartans, winning in just 39 seconds at 190. Sophomore Coy Hayes was also efficient with his time on the mat, winning by pin in 43 seconds at 157.


Four other pins happened in less than two minutes, with Brazelton at 132 doing so in 1:56, sophomore Logan Xiao contributing one in 1:55 at 150, junior James Barron finishing one off in 1:21 at 175 and junior Quincy Jones earning one in 1:08 at 215. Junior Jackson Walsh at 113 supplied one in 2:35 and sophomore Devan Swisher had another one in 3:50 at 165.

Brazelton places first in Petersburg
In his third season at SJO, Holden Brazelton is arguably the most accomplished wrestler in the room for the Spartans after qualifying for the IHSA state meet during his first two seasons of high school.


He placed third at 132 in Class 1A after he was sixth at 120 in 1A in 2022.

So far this season, Brazelton is again showing he’s one of the state’s top small-school wrestlers. Brazelton won the 132-pound bracket at this past Saturday’s Rex Avery PORTA Invitational in Petersburg, helping SJO place 14th at the 32-team meet with 86.5 points.


Brazelton was the only SJO wrestler to finish first in Petersburg as he opened his tournament with a 16-0 technical fall against Jaxson Dukeman of Cumberland before he advanced to the semifinals with a pin in 44 seconds against Kenneth Lockhart of Sacred Heart-Griffin in the quarterfinals.
Brazelton didn’t waste much time, either, in his semifinal match, pinning Kobe Brent of LeRoy/Tri-Valley in 1:16 to set up a championship match against Keegan Jennings of Farmington. And what a championship match it was, with Brazelton securing a close 1-0 decision.

Hayes also delivered some critical points for SJO by placing fifth at 157. He advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Ryne Peavler of Shelbyville, but Hayes responded by winning a 9-5 decision against Bo Zeleznik of LeRoy/Tri-Valley and then pinning Aden Greene of Canton in 4:14 in the fifth-place match.

Wells finishes third in Pontiac
Sophomore Maddie Wells finished third at 130 pounds during ‘The Munch’ Pontiac girls’ wrestling Invitational this past Friday. Wells won her first two matches by pin before losing in the semifinals to Olive Linhorst of Edwardsville, but Wells ended her tournament on a winning note by pinning Kira Caliteux of Minooka in 1:42 in the third-place match.
Wells’ efforts helped SJO place 26th at the 32-team meet.

Spartans split pair
SJO defeated Clifton Central 40-35, but lost 57-21 to Oakwood/Salt Fork on Dec. 5 in a triangular meet in St. Joseph.


Swisher compiled the quickest pin for SJO against Clifton Central, doing so in 23 seconds at 165 while Jones also had a fast pin in 47 seconds at 285.

Butts won by pin in 2:04 at 132 and Brazelton secured a 15-1 major decision at 138. In the loss to Oakwood/Salt Fork, Holt won by pin in 4:24 at 106, Hallowell won by pin in 1:25 at 215 and Brazelton won a 9-2 decision at 138.

SJO wins twice in season opener
Multiple SJO wrestlers contributed during the Spartans’ season-opening quadrangular against Danville, LeRoy/Tri-Valley and Urbana on Dec. 2 in St. Joseph.


The Spartans defeated Danville 52-26 and Urbana 58-21, but lost 53-19 to LeRoy/Tri-Valley.
SJO had forfeit wins at 106, 113, 120, 150 and 285 against Danville and won four contested matches. Brazelton won by pin in 2:42 at 132, freshman Alex Vaughn won by pin in 3:13 at 144, Hayes won a 14-6 major decision at 157 and Swisher won by pin in 4:38 at 165.


The Spartans recorded forfeit wins at 106, 113, 126, 132 and 150 against Urbana before registering five contested wins. Sophomore Camden Getty won via a 15-0 technical fall at 120, Hayes won on a 19-3 technical fall at 157, junior Carson Sarnecki won by pin in 1:13 at 175, Hallowell won by pin in 1:10 at 215 and Jones earned a pin in 41 seconds at 285.


Brazelton and Sarnecki had the only two contested wins for SJO against LeRoy, with Brazelton winning a 7-1 decision at 132 and Sarnecki winning a 19-5 major decision at 175.

What’s next
After Thursday’s dual meet at Westville that is slated for a 6 p.m. start, the Spartans will travel to Tolono on Saturday and take part in the all-day Unity Invitational. The Unity Invitational is the last event for SJO until Abe’s Rumble in Springfield takes place Dec. 29-30.

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