ROCHELLE — The Rochelle varsity wrestling team hosted Rock Falls and Erie-Prophetstown for a nonconference triangular meet Wednesday evening. The Hubs fell 48-22 against the Panthers before dropping their match against the Rockets 63-17 to move to 1-3 on the season. Rochelle will host DeKalb on Thursday at 5 p.m.
Sophomore Grant Thompson started strong to give Rochelle an early lead against Erie-Prophetstown. Thompson won by 9-1 major decision against Eric Marquez at 126 pounds before the Panthers scored 15 straight points to jump ahead 15-6. Erie-Prophetstown took a forfeit at 132 before Trevor Cobo won by fall over Rochelle junior Keegan Davis-Carter at 138.
Gunner Wuebben then beat Rochelle sophomore Osiris Lenker by 8-1 decision at 145 before senior Eddie Villalobos stopped the bleeding by pinning Luke Wetzell at 145.
“Getting back into wrestling mode after the football season was hard but once we got our first duals out of the way we’ve been able to get rolling,” Villalobos said. “It feels good to be back in the mat room but it’s tough since we lost so many guys. We have to start strong because we’re so young and we have a lot of freshmen and sophomores. We’re trying to build something here.”
Tyler Smith defeated Rochelle junior Zeke Horn by 8-3 decision at 160 and Matt Garrison pinned Hub sophomore Noah Messer at 170 to give Erie-Prophetstown a 24-12 lead. Gabe Friedrichsen then won by 8-0 major decision against Rochelle junior Bryan Garza at 182, but Hub sophomore Ben Harvey brought Rochelle closer by pinning Lucas Carey at 195.
“It’s been a rough start as a team but I think when we have everybody in the lineup… We can be a good team,” Harvey said. “I’m really pushing myself hard in the wrestling room and I know what I have to do to achieve my goal of placing at state. I need to keep my head down and continue wrestling my way.”
Gabe Bohms defeated Rochelle junior Gavin Ansteth by 7-5 decision at 220 before Trevor Pratt beat Hub junior James Rodriguez by 11-3 major decision. Rochelle sophomore Ivan Pineda pinned Nick Smith at 106, but the Panthers took the final two matches when Carter Jepson pinned Hub freshman Nate Burdin at 113 and the team earned a forfeit at 120.
The Rockets earned a forfeit at 132 then extended their lead when Izaih James pinned Keegan Davis-Carter at 138. Adam Meenen pinned Osiris Lenker at 145 before Eddie Villalobos recorded a 23-8 technical fall against Devon Parker. Reiley Dowd pinned Zeke Horn at 160, but Rochelle responded with back-to-back pins by Noah Messer (on Noah Bellini at 170) and Harvey (on Lonnie Gribbons at 182).
Rock Falls then won 4-of-5 matches by fall beginning with Joe Nelson over Gavin Ansteth at 195. The Rockets picked up a forfeit at 220 before Brody Mulvaney pinned James Rodriguez at 285 and Payhyton Smith pinned Ivan Pineda at 106. Anthony Reyes won by fall over Nate Burdin, and Rock Falls took a forfeit at 120 before Dillon Schueler won by 6-1 decision against Grant Thompson.