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Edwardsville notches win in showdown against CBC

Edwardsville notches win in showdown against CBC

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EDWARDSVILLE — Under a spotlight and with the roar of the crowd behind him, Caleb Harrold basked it all in Tuesday.

It was a dream scenario for the Edwardsville High senior wrestler. 

"I love feeling the energy from the crowd and feeding off of it," Harrold said. "It's just exciting and I want to do it every time."

Harrold fed off the added energy in Jon Davis Wrestling Center to score a pin that helped the Tigers in their 45-23 victory against CBC in a border showdown between the area powers.

CBC is the two-time defending Class 4 state champion in Missouri, and Edwardsville reached the Illinois Class 3A state dual meet quarterfinals last season. 

"We both believe in good competition," Edwardsville coach Jon Wagner said. "They've got some hammers and we've got some good kids, but we both believe this is good for the crowd and good for our kids in February."

The 182-pound clash between Harrold and CBC's Luke Ebers was one of the second match of the dual, which started at the 170-pound weight class.

Harrold said he fed off the excitement in the crowd, which was still buzzing after the intro and the dimming of the lights to set up the dual.

Heading into the third period, Harrold and and Ebers were tied 2-2.

"I could tell that he was kind of waning there in the second period," Harrold said. "I knew if I came hard on top, I would be able to get him turned."

Within the first 20 seconds of the third, Harrold exploded with action, getting Ebers on his back for a two-point takedown.

But Harrold wasn't done with just those points. He scored a pin at the 4:22 mark to give Edwardsville a 6-4 lead after two matches.  

"I had to believe in my ability to ride on top," Harrold said. "Once I got the cradle, I knew it was over from there."

It was one of four pins for Edwardsville, with Blake Moss following at 220 pounds, Zeke Rhodes at 113 and Austin Bauer at 138.

CBC started the dual behind 12 points, forfeiting matches at 106 and 285.

But Wagner said he never allowed himself to relax, even though the dual was sewed up after 11 of the 14 matches. 

"I want them all to win," Wagner said. "It's more than the win, we're in it for the grind and try to put out a good product."

CBC got pins from Jack Darrah at 195 and Santino Robinson at 120. 

Capping the night a 4-1 victory for Edwardsville senior Luke Odom over CBC junior Vincent Zerban at 160. Zerban, native of Bethalto, Ill., was a Missouri Class 4 state champion last season. 

"I was kind of feeling it out and I knew he was coming with a shot," said Odom, a University of Illinois signee and two-time Illinois state tournament medalist. "As soon as he did it, I went on the counter-attack and got the score."

Odom scored a two-point takedown early in the second and third periods to wrap up his victory.

"Luke Odom and Vincnet Zerban needed that match," Wagner said. "Odom won't see someone like him in a tournament next week. He needed this match, that's part of the reason why we set this up."

Last season, Edwardsville beat CBC 36-28.

CBC coach Cornell Robinson said he loved the super-charged atmosphere against Edwardsville and wanted his wrestlers to experience it before the postseason.

"It's perfect. Our kids get to learn how to deal with adversity," Robinson said. "You want your kids to be battle-tested. It's not a hostile environment, but it's hard to work in. I love it and I got to get the kids to love it."

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