Just one try for Justin

By on February 28, 2014

Heavyweight Knight’s opening match his only one as part of State field
CHAMPAIGN, ILL.—There would be no repeat performance for KHS wrestling in 2014’s version of the State tournament.

On the State Farm Center mats on the campus of the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill., the Kaneland presence didn’t include an individual state title, like Dan Goress at 145 pounds a year ago.

However, the Knights still boast a state qualifier in heavyweight senior and future Indiana State Sycamore Justin Diddell, now by definition one of the top 16 285-pounders in Class 2A.

Diddell, who was a first-time qualifier, finished his 2013-14 campaign with a record of 32-9 after a Friday first-round loss to Taylorville competitor Blake Hooper. Hooper bested Diddell 3-2, and was the eventual sixth-place finisher at 285.

The finals of the heavyweight field came when Highland’s Tanner Farmer beat Montini Catholic’s Michael Johnson with a pinfall in 2:25.

Lone Knight Diddell had originally advanced to State thanks to a second-place finish at the Pontiac Sectional, while teammate Austin Parks was the next-best finisher for Kaneland in the 160-pound field at fifth.

A year ago, the Knights sent Goress, Stephen Gust, Esai Ponce and Zach Theis, Diddell’s predecessor, to the Champaign dance.

With the end of the 2013-14 season in the books, Kaneland says goodbye to seniors Brian Endrenal, Cullen Murray, Dane Goodenough, Jonathan Terry, Diddell, Kegan Workman, Sam Madriz and Zach Russell.

Encouraging for the Knight attack is the potential return of the remaining eight sectional qualifiers in juniors Nick and Adam Mish, freshman Matthew Redman, freshman Riley Vanik, sophomore George Strang, Parks, junior Tom Price and sophomore Zack Parker.