GCMS/Fisher's Cale Horsch finishes second in 106-pound bracket at IHSA Class 1A state meet

CHAMPAIGN -- In just his freshman year, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley/Fisher's Cale Horsch is already making a name for himself in IHSA wrestling.
With his second-place finish in the 106-pound bracket of the IHSA Class 1A state meet, Horsch became just the ninth wrestler in Gibson City, Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley and GCMS/Fisher school history to finish a state meet with a top-two finish.
"At the beginning of the year, I didn't expect to be here, but as the season went on, I definitely had my hopes up," Horsch said.
The process of getting Horsch's hopes up started in open gyms held last spring, according to GCMS/Fisher head coach Josh Carter.
"I asked Cale what his goals were for the season, and he told me that his goals were to make it to sectionals, and I told him his goals were too low, that he needed to aim higher," Carter said. "I told him his goal should be to place at state. He came in and worked hard and did the things that he needed to do to put himself in position to reach that goal, and I couldn't be more proud of the kid. 
"He's a great wrestler, but a better kid. He works hard in the practice room and does everything you ask him to. He's a great student and a great person. He's the type of kid that you'd love to have in your program."
In Saturday's championship match, Horsch faced El Paso-Gridley junior Monte Gregory. After the first period, Horsch led the match 3-2 thanks to a takedown with about a minute left in the period.
"I was very confident. I was very proud of myself for defending his shot and getting the takedown," Horsch said. "I was able to ride him out for the rest of the first period. I felt comfortable going into the second period. A simple mistake was just costly."
Gregory then took a 4-3 lead via a takedown before an escape by Horsch tied the match at 4-4 with 1:23 left in the second period. With two seconds left in the second period, Gregory ended the match by pinning Horsch.
"We worked on (matching up against his style)," Horsch said. "We had a game plan going in. I executed some of it, but not all of it. A little mistake cost me the match."
With the loss, Horsch ended his season with a record of 41-4.
"I'm very proud of myself," Horsch said. "I just came up a little short, but I've got next year."
Two of those losses were to Gregory, including Saturday's state championship match and the Heart of Illinois Conference Duals held Jan. 27 at LeRoy.
In a dual between GCMS/Fisher and El Paso-Gridley held that day, Gregory won via 13-6 decision over Horsch.
"He's really tough. The first time I wrestled him, I had no idea what to do with him," Horsch said. "This time, I was a little more prepared and ready to wrestle."
Saturday's state championship win improved Gregory's record to 45-1.
"(Cale) was wrestling well. He made a couple of mistakes. Gregory just capitalized on the last one. Hat's off to that kid. He wrestled a good match and did what he needed to do to win. That's going to happen sometimes. It's hard to wrestle a perfect match. At this level, when you make a mistake, good wrestle will capitalize on it, and Gregory did. Hat's off to him," Carter said.
"Cale got to this point by capitalizing on other kids' mistakes as well. He knows how to wrestle. I'm just really proud of him. He came out and competed well. He didn't back down. He wasn't afraid of (Gregory). He just made a mistake. It happens."
In his second day at the State Farm Center for the IHSA Class 1A state meet, Horsch reached the semifinals of the 106-pound bracket.
"I love it here," Horsch said. "I hope to be here more and more in the future."
Horsch reached the final four by pinning Mount Carmel's Dayton Hall in a time of 2:27 in the quarterfinals on Friday.
"I liked it. I felt aggressive in it, and it just went my way," Horsch said.
Horsch went into the second with a 4-0 lead after scoring a near fall in the first period.
"I really wanted that near fall," Horsch said. "That just gave me a confidence boost going into the second period."
Horsch faced Wilmington's Jack Narine in the semifinals later that day. 
Narine pinned Melrose Park Walther Christian's Darryl Norwood in four minutes in the first round and won via 4-3 decision in the quarterfinals over Litchfield's Bailey Powell.
"That's a very good accomplishment for me right now, but I'm hoping to make the finals. That's the bigger accomplishment," Horsch said after the quarterfinal match. "I'm going to go out and wrestle hard in the semifinals, and hopefully make it to the finals."
Cale Horsch let out a primal scream as he leaped from the mat after his semifinal victory via 8-2 decision.
“Just that i’m a finalist now,” Horsch said when asked about his instant reaction to winning. “A freshman being in the finals, it’s amazing.”
Horsch credited training partner Cole Maxey, a GCMS sophomore, for sticking around the workout room despite not clearing the regional round to get Horsch ready for the big time.
Horsch won via technical fall in the first round of the 106-pound bracket at the IHSA Class 1A state individual meet on Thursday.
He defeated Alex Armira of Chicago Hope Academy via 17-0 score in a time of 3:20. Hall, meanwhile, won via 13-3 major decision over Dakota's Connor Elmer to reach the quarterfinals.
Following his loss to Horsch, Hall (44-4) pinned Armira in 29 seconds in the first round of wrestlebacks before winning via 6-1 deision over Litchfield's Bailey Powell and via 7-1 deision over Vandalia's Jarek Wehrle.
In the third-place match, Hall won via 8-1 decision over Belleville Althoff Catholic's Matthew Minick.
After losing to Horsch in the semifinals, Narine lost via 6:39 pinfall in overtime to Belleville Althoff Catholic's Matthew Minick in the wrestleback semifinals.
Overtime was good to Narine in the fifth-place match, however, as he gained the game-winning point in extra time to break a 4-4 tie against Vandalia's Jarek Wehrle.
"(My competition) just gets me ready for this time," Horsch said. "I love the hard competition."
Less than an hour after his championship match, Horsch already had his goal for next year set.
"My goal's definitely to be on top of that podium," Horsch said. "I'm very proud of myself, but I've got to get better for next year. I want to be on top of that podium. I'm not finished working hard. I've just got to do a little work in the offseason so I can be here next year."
Carter said he is looking forward to having Horsch in his program for another three years.
"He's the type of kid that others in our program can look up to," Carter said. "It's good to have somebody in the (practice) room like that. You want kids to follow others as a person and a wrestler. I'm thrilled to have him for three more years, and I'm excited to see how he's going to grow and progress as a wrestler."
Before the championship, Cale Horsch walked in the IHSA state meet's Grand March alongside his brother, senior Jacob Horsch, who reached the state tournament last year as a junior.
Originally, the plan was for Cale's father to walk out with him, but the Horsch family eventually had other plans. 
"It meant a lot. My dad and my coach said something about having Jacob walk out with me since he's a senior," Cale Horsch said. "I just loved that idea. It meant a lot having him out there with me."
Jacob Horsch is one of two Falcon wresters graduating this school year, along with Owen Duke, from a roster of 18.
As a team, the GCMS/Fisher roster gained a third-place finish at the IHSA Class 1A Clinton Regional along with a 3-1 record in the HOIC Duals and a 3-0 mark in the HOIC East Quad Meet held Jan. 23 at Gibson City.
"It was a very enjoyable year," Carter said. "We had a lot of young kids, but by and large, the kids did the things that we asked them to do in the practice room. Hopefully, everybody comes back and continues to progress as wrestlers. 
"I think we can top what we did this year. I think some of those kids who are coming back should have higher goals to strive for. We've got some good, young talent, and hopefully, we can make the most of that in the years to come."
-- Colin Likas contributed to this report
At State Farm, Champaign
First round
Match 1 -- Monte Gregory (El Paso-Gridley) pinned Brycen Baldwin (Westmont), 1:32.
Match 2 -- Matthew Minick (Belleville Althoff Catholic) dec. Jaden Rice (Lena-Winslow), 4-2.
Match 3 --  Jarek Wehrle (Vandalia) dec. Gage Mowry (Rock Island Alleman), 3-2.
Match 4 -- Zach Foote (Camp Point Central) pinned Quiovany Santos (Chicago Dunbar), 2:57.
Match 5 -- Bailey Powell (Litchfield) maj. dec. Joel Mylin (Aurora Christian), 9-1.
Match 6 -- Jack Narine (Wilmington) pinned Darryl Norwood (Melrose Park Walther Christian), 4:00.
Match 7 -- Cale Horsch (GCMSF) tech. fall Alex Armira (Chicago Hope Academy), 17-0 (3:20) 
Match 8 -- Dayton Hall (Mt. Carmel) maj. dec. Connor Elmer (Dakota), 13-3.
Match 9 -- Monte Gregory (El Paso-Gridley) dec. Matthew Minick (Belleville Althoff Catholic), 6-2.
Match 10 -- Jarek Wehrle (Vandalia) dec. Zach Foote (Camp Point Central), 4-3.
Match 11 -- Jack Narine (Wilmington) dec. Bailey Powell (Litchfield), 4-3.
Match 12 -- Cale Horsch (GCMSF) pinned Dayton Hall (Mt. Carmel), 2:27.
First-round wrestlebacks
Match 13 -- Matthew Minick (Belleville Althoff Catholic) tech. fall Brycen Baldwin (Westmont), 16-0 (5:53).
Match 14 -- Gage Mowry (Rock Island Alleman) dec. Zach Foote (Camp Point Central), 1-0.
Match 15 -- Bailey Powell (Litchfield) pinned Darryl Norwood (Melrose Park Walther Christian), :31.
Match 16 -- Dayton Hall (Mount Carmel) pinned Alex Armira (Chicago Hope Academy), :29.
Match 17 -- Monte Gregory (El Paso-Gridley) dec. Jarek Wehrle (Vandalia), 3-2.
Match 18 -- Cale Horsch (GCMSF) dec. Jack Narine (Wilmington), 8-2.
Wrestleback quarterfinals
Match 19 -- Matthew Minick (Belleville Althoff Catholic) dec. Gage Mowry (Rock Island Alleman), 9-2.
Match 20 -- Dayton Hall (Mt. Carmel) dec. Bailey Powell (Litchfield), 6-1.
Wrestleback semifinals
Match 21 -- Matthew Minick (Belleville Althoff Catholic) pinned Jack Narine (Wilmington), 6:39.
Match 22 -- Dayton Hall (Mt. Carmel) dec. Jarek Wehrle (Vandalia), 7-1.
Fifth-place match 
Jack Narine (Wilmington) dec. Jarek Wehrle (Vandalia), 5-4 (OT).
Third-place match 
Dayton Hall (Mt. Carmel) dec. Matthew Minick (Belleville Althoff Catholic), 8-1.
Championship match 
Monte Gregory (El Paso-Gridley) pinned Cale Horsch (GCMSF), 3:58.


Categories (3):Prep Sports, Wrestling, Sports


The Paxton Record embraces discussion of both community and world issues. We welcome you to contribute your ideas, opinions and comments, but we ask that you avoid personal attacks, vulgarity and hate speech. we reserve the right to remove any comment at its discretion, and we will block repeat offenders' accounts. To post comments, you must first be a registered user, and your username will appear with any comment you post. Happy posting.

Login or register to post comments