The Waterloo High School wrestling program made some great strides this season, but it just did not end as hoped.
First was the bitter disappointment of placing third in the Mississippi Valley Conference meet earlier this month at Mascoutah. The Bulldogs had hopes of winning the MVC for the first time in school history.
The regionals, also held at Mascoutah, went a little better, with three WHS wrestlers qualifying for sectionals.
Friday and Saturday at Chatham-Glenwood, Zach Shaw, Pat Bieber and Paul Stewart wrestled in the IHSA Class 2A Sectional.
None of the three state hopefuls were able to advance.
Shaw started out by winning his first two matches Friday night, putting him in the semifinals. On Saturday, however, Shaw lost 1-0 to a Springfield wrestler, falling just short of advancing to state.
Shaw ended his strong season with a record of 25-11.
Stewart and Bieber both lost on Friday, meaning they needed to win three matches in a row on Saturday to make it to state.
Both wrestlers started Saturday with a win, but followed that with a loss to end their seasons.
“Neither wrestled very well,” WHS wrestling coach Pat Stewart said. “All had a good year, but it ended short of their goals.”
Paul Stewart finished his season with a school record 36 wins, and now has 86 wins in his three years at WHS.
Bieber, who advanced to state last year, finished with a season record of 35-4 and completed his illustrious WHS wrestling career with 96 wins.