By PAUL HINES
MT. VERNON —
Wrestling has become a lifestyle for Alex and Chase Vosburgh.
The brothers have been competing in the sport since they were toddlers and are once again back in the state finals. Both brothers are making their second straight appearance in Champaign.
“They really have dedicated their lives to it,” Mt. Vernon wrestling coach Sean Docherty said.
The sports creates a bond for the family. Alex and Chase’s father is a consistent presence at the team’s event. He functions almost as an additional coach, shouting instructions to his sons. The family also has constructed a wrestling ring at their house.
“Wrestling is pretty much everything to me and my brother,” Alex said. “That’s what we’ve done since we were little. My dad, he uses that a lot to teach us life lessons. We learn a lot from it. When things get tough we can relate back to our wrestling.”
Mt. Vernon wrestling coach Sean Docherty said Alex and Chase’s father has impacted the Rams program with his knowledge of the sport.
“Obviously having him underneath the roof you don’t have to worry about them making weight,” Docherty said. “You don’t have to worry about them blowing off practices. They’re kids that you wish you had 14 of them because they do the right things. They do what they’re supposed to do.”
After starting the sport at a young age, they’ve traveled nationally to camps, clinics and tournaments. Alex took a break from the sport for several months during the summer of his sophomore year before returning to the mat.
“I didn’t think about wrestling. I didn’t do anything with it,” Alex said. “I think it kind of refreshed me coming into my junior year last year.”
Chase (38-1), a sophomore, advanced to the event after winning the regional and sectional. He dominated the regional final with an 8-1 win. He won the sectional final 5-3. He faces a fourth-place sectional finisher, Jarrod Johnson (16-12) of Sandwich, in the opening round.
“I’m definitely a lot more prepared and ready this year more than I was last year,” Chase said. “Toward the end of the year last year I was a little bit tired. I peaked a little bit too early. This year I’m feeling pretty good.”
Alex (37-3) lost in the regional and sectional final to the same wrestler — Cahokia’s David Frazier. Both wrestlers start on the opposite side of the state bracket. Alex opens state against Alex Friedman (42-2).
A season ago Alex advanced to state and split four matches. He finished a match away from a medal opportunity.
“My goal is to win it all. That’s what I’m striving for, and I’m just going to take it one match at a time wrestle smart,” Alex said.
Wrestling for 2A begins at 4:30 p.m. today and continues until Saturday.