On Jan. 10 the Fairbury Jeffs wrestling team traveled to Wilber to compete in the Blue River Riot. The Blue River Riot consisted of Fairbury, Seward, West-Point Beemer and Wilber/Clatonia.
Despite having only four teams present, the tournament hosted big matches, featuring some of the state’s best wrestlers. The biggest match on the night for the Jeffs was Paul Mach ‘17 facing off against Riley Homolka of Wilber/Clatonia in the 285 pound weight class.
Homolka entered the match as the top ranked heavyweight in Class C. Mach earned the upset as he beat Homolka by a final score of 3-2.
Going into the match head Fairbury wrestling coach Derek Garfield saw the match as an opportunity.
“My first thought was that it was a huge opportunity to wrestle one of the best in the state…in the past Paul and Riley have gone 1-1,” coach Garfield said. “Two years ago Paul beat Riley and last year Riley was able to repay him.” Coach Garfield said.”
Being able to beat one of the best wrestlers boosted Mach’s confidence, who currently sits at 24-2 on the season.
“It makes me feel good,” Mach said. “It makes me feel confident in my abilities.”
Even after knocking off the top ranked wrestler in Class C, both Coach Garfield and Mach plan to continue improving as the season progresses.
“It means we are doing the right things in practice . . . we expect to get better everyday and we have to keep improving,” Coach Garfield said.
The win didn’t change Mach’s approach or the team’s as they head into the latter part of January with the goal of wresting their best in February.
“Just keep wrestling the way I wrestle and hopefully good things will happen,” Mach said.