Wrestlers Dixon and Reed Qualify for State


Emilie Bowman, Editor-in-Chief

Senior wrestler Sherman Dixon and freshman Demari Reed both qualified for state this past weekend at the IHSA Sectional Meet at Bolingbrook High School. Senior Casey Roberts qualified for the tournament as an alternate after finishing fifth in his weight division at sectionals.

At the Thornton Fractional High School IHSA Regional Meet on February 2, senior Eric Mohammad and younger brother junior Alex Mohammad qualified for sectionals as well. Although they came short of the chance at state Head Coach Scott Richardson was proud of all five young men who competed.

“All five guys we sent to sectionals represented Shepard High School and the wrestling program in unbelievable ways,” stated Richardson. “At Regionals every wrestler from our school won at least one match.”

Freshman Demari Reed made history this past weekend by becoming the first ever freshman in Shepard’s wrestling program to qualify for the state championship at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana.

The event will be held February 14-16 in the State Farm Center which can hold as many as 16,000 spectators. Richardson remarked that going from a fieldhouse to such a large arena can be a challenge and even a bit intimidating but both Dixon and Reed have wrestled in large arenas before.

Richardson plans to keep his wrestlers on their same regimented routine in preparation for state, referring to it as “just another meet.”

The team finished their 2018-19 regular season as conference champions. Coming off a conference win against Eisenhower High School and Richards High School on January 11, the wrestlers won the SSC Red Division Conference Meet as well, hosted by Thornton Fractional North High School on January 19.

According to senior Robert Quick, this seasons conference victories against Richards and Eisenhower were a “fantastic” way to end a high school wrestling career.

Quick also reminisced about the coaches that have been guiding him along this journey, “Coach Craig had a large effect on me for the short amount of time that I was with him before he passed away, he taught me and my fellow wrestlers strength and perseverance but also how to just be a good person in general,” stated Quick.

The Astros placed in the top four teams in every tournament entered this season along with taking first place at the Dave Anderson Invitational hosted by Stagg High School on December 1. During that meet the Astros beat out 10 other teams with the help of freshmen Reed and seniors Dixon and Roberts who all took first in their weight divisions. This marked the first time that a Southland team has won this tournament since 1997.

Richardson speaks highly of his team, admiring their dedication to the program and all of the hard work and effort they put in each and every year. Along with this Richardson is proud of the growth he’s seen in his wrestlers since they first stepped foot on the mat.

“Next season I’d like to really stress that the younger guys follow in our graduated seniors footsteps on the mat, in the halls, and in the classroom,” said Richardson. “The seniors that finished this season are unbelievable role models. I’ve learned from them, my coaches have learned from them, and hopefully the younger wrestlers have learned from them as well.”

Wrestling has become more than just a sport for some of the athletes. “Wrestling is a sport where you can learn more than to compete; you learn dedication, hard work, and to never give up even if you’re not the best,” stated senior and team captain Casey Roberts.