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Wrestling: Marmion ready to challenge in Class 3A

Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez is two-time defending state champion. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez is a two-time defending state champion. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

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Kaneland, Marmion, Plano, Sandwich, Yorkville


Anthony Bosco, Marmion Jr. (106); Trent Bowers, Plano Sr. (285); Weslye Brown, Plano Sr. (160); Patrick Crothers, Sandwich Jr. (126); Jimmy Davis, Waubonsie Valley Jr. (138); Jake Field, Marmion Sr. (126); George Fisher, Marmion Sr. (132); Alex Fritz, Marmion Sr. (285); Dan Goress, Kaneland Sr. (145); Austin Graham, Metea Valley Sr. (138); Stephen Gust, Kaneland Sr. (106); Carlos Jacquez, West Aurora Soph. (106); Johnny Jimenez, Marmion Jr. (120); Max Larsen, Oswego Sr. (160); Ivan Lopez, Plano Jr. (132); Brad Martens, Geneva Sr. (120); Derrick Maisonet, Plano Jr. (220); Esai Ponce, Kaneland Sr. (132); Jack Pradel, Oswego Soph. (120); Zach Prinz, Oswego East Soph. (170); Tyler Sebby, Sandwich Sr. (195); Brennan Sharp, Yorkville Sr. (138); Joel Shump, Batavia Sr. (126); Cody Snodgrass, Marmion Sr. (182); Zach Theis, Kaneland Sr. (285); Jose Villarreal, Plano Sr. (120); Lucas Warren, Marmion Fr. (220); Mickey Watson, Batavia Sr. (195); Shaun Wollenweber, Plano Sr. (113); Jesse Wood, Sandwich Sr. (113).

Updated: December 27, 2012 6:17AM

Former Marmion wrestling coach Dean Branstetter started the Cadets wrestling program in 2002 and steadily built it into one of the top programs not only in the state, but in the Midwest.

Branstetter stepped aside prior to this season, leaving the reins to former Providence state champion Ryan Cumbee. And Branstetter did not leave the cupboard bare.

Two-time defending state champion Johnny Jimenez and 2010 state champion and Michigan commit George Fisher return to lead another Cadets charge, though they have been bumped up to Class 3A this season due to all of their recent success.

“With six returning state qualifiers from last year’s team, we have quite a bit of returning strength,” said Marmion assistant coach Joe Silvestro, who served under Branstetter and has stuck around as one of Cumbee’s assistants. “We are very young this year. Our freshman class is special. They are all good with a lot of experience. That class has the ability to be state champions.”

But before that class can put its four-year run together, they will bolster a lineup that included Anthony Bosco, who was third in Class 2A at 106 pounds last year, two-time state qualifier Alex Fritz and the solid Jake Field and Cody Snodgrass. Lucas Warren headlines the freshman group that figures prominently into this varsity season’s plans.

There are several other Class 3A wrestlers to watch for, as well. Leading the way is West Aurora sophomore Carlos Jacquez, who is ranked No. 2 in the state at 106 pounds behind Bosco to start the season according to Batavia features Joey Shump, who had an impressive national showing over the summer and is committed to Cleveland State, and Mickey Watson. Batavia also welcomes back former head coach Tom Arlis to the staff as an assistant coach.

Oswego is led by Max Larsen and Jack Pradel, but has its third head coach in as many years. Former Oswego East assistant coach Andrew Cook takes over for Jeff Charlebois, who headed to Minooka. One of the Panthers’ top performers last year, Frank Yattoni, transferred to Minooka as well.

Jimmy Davis (Waubonsie Valley), Austin Graham (Metea Valley), Brad Martens (Geneva) and Zach Prinz (Oswego East) also figure to have solid seasons.

As usual, the area is loaded at the Class 2A level, even with Marmion moving to 3A. Yorkville, Sandwich and Kaneland will all be in the mix once again this season. Kaneland has a senior-heavy team led by Stephen Gust, Esai Ponce, Dan Goress and Zach Theis. Sandwich moves up to Class 2A again after placing third as a team at the Class 1A level last year. State qualifiers Jesse Wood, Tyler Sebby and Patrick Crothers are back to help Sandwich’s transition to Class 2A.

Plano had one of its most successful seasons ever, qualifying seven wrestlers for state, and figures to be a power in Class 1A under first-year coach Joe Kampf this season. State qualifiers Shaun Wollenweber, Ivan Lopez, Jose Villarreal, Weslye Brown, Derrick Maisonet and Trent Bowers, as well as state alternate Jake Wilson, all return. Brown and Villarreal each placed third at state last year.

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