Odom, Reynolds each take 2nd at Cheesehead

Article Source Written By: Matt Kamp mkamp@edwpub.net 

KAUKAUNA, Wis. – Edwardsville senior Luke Odom came up a win short of his third championship at the Cheesehead Invitational, while seniors Lloyd Reynolds and Caleb Harrold enjoyed top-four finishes at the prestigious tournament.

Odom (160 pounds) and Reynolds each took second and Harrold (182) finished fourth for the Tigers, who took 12th as a team with 316 points. Edwardsville was the third-best team out of Illinois, trailing only second-place Mount Carmel (554.4 points) and 11th-place Aurora Christian (322.5 points). DeKalb finished 13th with 299 points, followed by Lockport in 14th with 281 points. Minnesota’s Simley won with 614.5 points.

“The guys fought hard. They all had a lot of matches and were able to weather it. They will all be sore tomorrow, but in the long run everybody got better and we’re on our way to meeting our second-half goals,” EHS coach Jon Wagner said.

A year ago, Edwardsville had three champions in Odom (138), Noah Surtin (120) and Josh Anderson (220). It took seventh as a team.

The Tigers entered Saturday with a chance to match their total for champions, but they came up short with Odom suffering his first loss – he is now 28-1 – in the championship match of 160 pounds and Reynolds falling in the championship match of 285 pounds. Harrold lost in the semifinals to the country’s top-ranked wrestler in the 182-pound weight class.

After winning at 138 pounds last year and 126 pounds as a sophomore, Odom opened this year’s tournament with six straight victories, including three by pin, to set up a 160-pound championship match with Arrowhead Union’s Keegan O’Toole, the top-ranked wrestler in the country and in the tournament. Odom was seeded second in the tournament.

Thanks to a pair of takedowns, O’Toole led 4-1 after two periods and he extended the lead to 6-1 after a reversal just 11 seconds into the third. The eighth-ranked wrestler in the country, Odom recovered with an escape and takedown to whittle the lead down to 6-4 before allowing a reversal and nearfall made the score 10-4 with 36 seconds left. Odom made it 10-6 with a late escape, but a takedown from O’Toole finished off the match.

A Mizzou recruit, O’Toole is a three-time state champion in Wisconsin. He is 24-0 this season.

“Luke had a marquee match-up there. Personally, I thought Luke did an admirable job. I definitely believe in Luke’s abilities. It was a great match. Luke had two takedowns in the match,” Wagner said.

At 285 pounds, Reynolds won six straight, including a 1-0 win over Mount Carmel’s Elliot Lewis in the semifinals, to make it to the championship match in a battle of the top two seeds. Reynolds was ranked No. 1, followed by Howard.

Facing Tennessee’s top-ranked James Howard of McCallie High School, Reynolds trailed 2-0 going into the third period after a first-period takedown. Starting on top in the third, Reynolds surrendered an escape six seconds in and couldn’t rebound, losing 3-0.

Howard is now 15-2, while Reynolds is 27-2.

“(Howard) was a fairly athletic, physical heavyweight. Lloyd just came up short,” Wagner said.

Harrold was a win away from becoming the third Tiger to advance to the final, but he ran into a buzzsaw by the name of Patrick Kennedy in the semifinals. The top-ranked wrestler at 182 pounds, Kennedy, from Kasson-Mantorville, pinned Harrold in 38 seconds to drop him to 23-5. Kennedy, who ultimately won the title, is an Iowa recruit.

Harrold bounced back to win 6-4 over Stoughton’s Brandt Spilde before being pinned in 2:04 by Simley’s Gavin Nelson in the third-place match. Harrold is now 24-6.

“I thought Caleb had a phenomenal tournament. He did what he had to do to get back in the fourth-place match. I’m proud of him,” Wagner said.