Senior JC Herring
Oak Hill’s J.C. Herring made the most of his last chance to walk off a wrestling mat as a winner Sunday afternoon.
The senior was invited to compete in the Indiana-Illinois Duals at Culver Academies and in his reprieve won in a 15-2 walkover at 106 pounds over a Eureka, Ill., wrestler. Herring helped Indiana defeat Illinois in the dual meet format.
“It was really fun, but bittersweet,” Herring said Monday evening. “I knew it would be the last time I wrestled, but I would be in a meet with state champions and other state finalists from Indiana and Illinois.”
Herring was a two-time state finalist at 106 pounds and it helped seal his invitation to the seniors only meet. The wrestler he faced was a finalist in the Illinois state finals.
“It was a blessing to be invited to it and I met a lot of good athletes and it was pretty cool,” Herring said.
At the state finals, Herring wasn’t able to get past the first round either time, losing the most recent in a second period pin. But he still was among the most accomplished Golden Eagles wrestlers ever with a 71-8 record in two seasons with a pair of sectional and regional championships.
“It was a nice exclamation point on his career,” Oak Hill coach Andrew King said of Herring. “Qualifying for state twice makes it a great career, and we only had him for two years. I’m thrilled that we had him for that period of time.”
Herring started out at Marion and won the first of his three straight regional titles with the Giants. Overall, he compiled an 86-11 record at the varsity level with the Giants and Eagles.
After graduating this spring, Herring will attend Indiana Wesleyan University where he may compete for the track and field team. IWU doesn’t field a wrestling team.
This spring, Herring will compete for the Eagles’ track and field and baseball teams. He last played baseball his freshman year.
“I got to build a lot of relationships with other wrestlers both from Indiana and Illinois,” Herring said about competing in the meet. “I want to think Coach (Nick) Duke for coming all the way to be there for me.”