The East Peoria wrestling team is off to a strong start. A week after a third-place finish at the Illini Bluffs Invitational, the Raiders were a Journal Star-area-best third at the 11-team Chatham Glenwood Invitational on Dec. 1.
East Peoria put three wrestlers in title bouts, with junior Caleb Collins earning a championship at 285 pounds, and six others in the top four to score 189 points — just nine away from first-place Grayslake Central.
“So far from what I’ve seen we’re the best conditioned team that I’ve seen so far of the teas we’ve wrestled,” EP coach Phil Johns, Jr. said. “We’re a young team, but a lot of the young people stepped up Saturday and won some matches. Everybody contributed.”
Collins recorded a second-round pin in the 285-pound title match.
“He did a great job,” Johns said of Collins, who had a 13-second pin in the quarterfinals and a 5-4 decision in the semifinals. “He looked pretty fast for a heavyweight. He’s starting to pick up a few new moves. It’s a good start to the season. All in all, I’m very happy.”