JEWELL - Jordan Toillion had just finally started to accept the fact that his wrestling career was over yesterday morning when fate stepped in and gave him a second chance.
And just like that his dreams were alive once again.
Third at last Saturday's Class 1A sectional tournament in Fort Dodge, South Hamilton's senior 152-pounder missed out on advancing to this weekend's districts in Clarion. But when Manson-Northwest Webster's Skyler Michalski was forced to withdraw this week that bumped Toillion up and kept his hopes of a state-tournament berth in play.
"Isn't that crazy awesome?" an excited Dan Brodie, South Hamilton's head coach, said. "Jordan was in my first period class when (South Hamilton athletic director Todd) Coy came in and gave us the news and you would have had to pick Jordan's jaw up off the floor with a spatula. He's just really excited because he has a new lease on life."
Toillion (11-11) will be thrown right into the deep end against top-ranked and undefeated Noah Irons of Lake Mills when wrestling gets underway at noon on Saturday.
"We may struggle with Irons, but I feel like the other two opponents in his bracket he has a chance to work with," Brodie said. "He needs to be thinking he has a real good chance at a wrestleback."
Saturday at Clarion
(Number of Qualifiers)
Clarion-Goldfield (11), South Central Calhoun (8), Lake Mills (6), Fort Dodge St. Edmond (5), Central Springs (4), Belmond-Klemme (4), South Hamilton (4), Manson-Northwest Webster (4), Pocahontas Area (3), Prairie Valley (2), Mason City Newman (2), Eagle Grove (1), Northwood-Kensett (1), Southeast Webster-Grand (1).
South Hamilton Brackets
132 - No. 3 JD Rader, SHAM (35-0) vs. Ethan Blanchard, CESP (31-15). No. 9 Kaleb Simacek, MNW (22-8) vs. Tanner Heaberlin, B-K (30-7).
138 - Dylan Huse, EG (21-17) vs. Coleby Bratrud, N-K (34-4). Luke Peters, SHAM (27-14) vs. No. 5 Taylor Lehman, C-G (30-5).
145 - No. 4 Payton Rice, MNW (44-1) vs. Brady Brott, C-G (29-11). Austin Roys, SHAM (31-5) vs. Brady Schmidt, LAMI (33-12).
152 - Logan Peed, SCC (26-7) vs. Logan Nelson, C-G (25-12). Jordan Toillion, SHAM (11-11) vs. No. 1 Noah Irons, LAMI (43-0).
Third-ranked JD Rader (132), Luke Peters (138) and Austin Roys (152) will also represent South Hamilton at districts. Rader (35-0), a two-time state place winner, will be the overwhelming favorite.
"JD has wrestled in big matches before and he's not looking past it," Brodie said. "He's definitely going to own this tournament."
Peters (27-14) will face a tough bracket, beginning in the semifinals against fifth-ranked Taylor Lehman of Clarion-Goldfield. Roys (31-5) opens against Brady Schmidt of Lake Mills.
A total of 14 schools will be represented in the tournament. Clarion-Goldfield features a field-leading 11 qualifiers, followed by South Central Calhoun with eight.
The top two finishers at each weight will advance to next week's traditional state tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.