MARION -- The Marion Wildcats wrestling team opened their season on home mats, winning nine of 11 matches over the Goreville Blackcats for a decisive 60-24 win.
Marion's Tate Miller got the first win in the 125 class, pinning Briella Morgan in 1:49.
Teammate Ricky Wade followed in the 132 class, pinning Charlie Woodrome in only 15 seconds to put the Wildcats up 12-0.
Andre Morrison lost by pin in 5:59 to Alivia Ming in the 138 class.
Hunter Gibb padded the Marion lead with a forfeit win in the 145 class.
In the 152 class, Nate Dampier needed only 13 seconds to pin Goreville's West Henderson to give Marion a 24-12 lead.
Derrick Khy widened the Wildcat lead, pinning Martin Gholar in the 170 class.
Malakei Weatherly followed in the 182 class, pinning Lusian Rosenthal in 1:48.
Clayton Tanner won by forfeit in 192, giving Marion a 42-12 lead.
Levi Tanner pinned Matt Carter in only 36 seconds in the 220 class, putting Marino ahead 48-12.
Kanye Gunn followed in the 285 class, pinning Wyatt Freen in 1:01.
The Blackcats sneaked back in with Jeremiah Pullium's forfeit win in 106 followed by Dustin Melvin's loss by pin in 2:40 to Goreville's Briley Lehman at 113.
Brennan Vogt sealed the final score, pinning Bronco Morgan in 25 seconds in the 120 class.
"It's awesome to be back to a normal wrestling season after last year's shortened season because of COVID," said Wildcats head coach Darren Lindsey.
Lindsey said a win in the season opener is nice but noted that his team will face some stiff competition on Saturday at Murphysboro with the Red Devils as well as Highland and Cape Central Missouri.
Marion has 42 wrestlers this season, 22 of which are freshmen.
Lindsey also noted that some of his wrestlers have not settled in to their certified weight classes yet.
"It's nice to have such a large, deep team with a large number of returning varsity starters to lead the way," said Lindsey, adding he expects this team to continue the recent success the Wildcats have enjoyed.