Smith: Two Morris senior wrestlers fulfilling a dream
A couple of weeks ago, the Morris wrestling team celebrated its senior night. It was a crazy night for me and I couldn’t be there, but before the event I talked to Morris coach Jon Lanning and two of the varsity senior wrestlers as they approached their waning days in the Redskins program.
“Trevor Allbert has done a really nice job this year. He just made second-team All-[NIB12E] Conference. Kenny Baldridge, we have been talking about all year. He’s still ranked No. 2 in the state by Illinois Matmen. He was first-team All-Conference for a second year in a row,” Lanning said. “Mason Dryfhout, this is his first year, he’s wrestled for us at heavyweight. Joe Jordan is a Plainfield transfer who has never wrestled before but he’s done a nice job since we asked him to come out. And we have Dalton Ness, he’s one of our most improved guys. He’s going to be right there as far as going to the state finals, but he’s going to have to have a good sectional.”
So far, so good for the three regulars. Baldridge, Ness and Allbert each made the cut out of the LaSalle-Peru Regional and are probably wrestling in the Pontiac Sectional for the right to go to state as you read this – competition started this morning.
Ness said he has enjoyed his four years in the program.
“It’s been a good experience, especially watching Kenny go to state. He’s a kid I’ve wrestled with since the sixth grade,” Ness said. “Trevor, I’ve grown up with throughout youth programs. We’ve played football and wrestled with the Little Redskins together. It’s nice to have that camaraderie to be able to do all that kind of stuff together.”
Ness said he is surprised at how fast the last four years have gone.
“It feels like it was just yesterday that I was going out there and getting killed as a freshman,” he said.
Allbert said he has benefited a lot from having both Ness and Baldridge in the practice room.
“I think it’s been a good experience. When Dalton is my partner, sometimes that gives me a bigger weight to lift and Kenny, he’s just so strong and flat out a great wrestler,” Allbert said. “It’s good wrestling both to get the variations. From picking up someone heavy and knowing as much as Kenny does.”
Like Ness, Allbert also can’t believe how fast the high school years have flown.
“It’s crazy. Especially with all the memories I’ve had through the four years I’ve been here. I’ve had some great times,” he said. “Gaining experience as a freshman from the seniors, asking them what works. That’s helped me be a better wrestler.”