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Allen Catour, Writer

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The postseason officially began for the Orion Chargers as they headed to Princeton on Feb. 7-8 for the Class 1A Regional. The top three finishers from each weight class advance on to Sectionals.

The Chargers finished Friday with seven wrestlers in the semifinals and four in the consolations. They were looking dominant early with Ethan Meisenburg (138), Allen Catour (145), Josh Fair (182), Brody Mulvaney (220), and Luke DeBaillie (Hwt) all pinning their opponents in the quarterfinals.

It was a tough semifinal round for Orion as they hit tough competition on. Only Catour, Fair, and DeBaillie were able to make it to the finals while the other wrestlers lost their matches. Luke Moen (106), Meisenburg, and Schnerre were able to bounce back and wrestle back to the 3rd place match.

Moen and Meisenburg would both end up finishing in 4th place. Both wrestlers will be alternates for Sectionals this weekend in case anything happens to a wrestler. Moen was simply overmatched against Brady Dowd of Rock Falls as he was pinned in 5:15. His season record ended at 28-13. As a freshman, Moen has a lot of potential in the future to be a consistently good wrestler. Meisenburg wrestled his rival Will Rude from Sterling Newman in his final match. The two have met twice previously during a dual and the Erie Tournament. The two have gone back and forth in their careers. Rude got the last laugh as he caught Meisenburg on his back and got the pin with only .2 seconds left on the clock. While it wasn’t the ending Meiseburg wanted, he still had a successful high school career. He was a state qualifier in 2017 and 2019, his freshman and junior year, and finished with over 100 career wins.

Heavyweight Luke DeBaillie was the highlight for the Chargers in the 1st and 2nd place matches. DeBaillie claimed gold by pinning Alleman’s Charlie Jagusah in 1:31.

“It feels really good to get first. Headed into the tournament I had a couple of losses that I probably shouldn’t have had. Those losses motivated me to work hard and wrestle to the best of my ability this weekend. I avenged one of those losses first round against Morrison when I pinned him. Winning Regionals also means I get a first-round bye Friday, so I get to watch the two kids that feed into me and see what they tend to do,” DeBaillie says.

Sectionals will be from Feb. 14-15 in Oregon. The top four place finishers will advance to State on Feb 20-22 at the State Farm Center in Champaign, Illinois.