Wrestling: Marmion sending seven to state meet
By Curt Herron For Sun-Times Media February 9, 2013 10:46PM
Marmion's Johnny Jimenez gets the upper hand on Marist's David Kasper during the 120-pound championship at the Class 3A Shepard Sectional. | John Booz~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 9, 2013 10:49PM
All wrestling teams enter sectionals hoping they can advance as many guys as possible to the state finals in Champaign.
But when you’re competing in the toughest sectional tournament in the state, you better have realistic goals and be happy about any qualifiers you get.
That was the story for the seven area squads who participated in the Class 3A Shepard Sectional in Palos Heights.
Marmion claimed seven of the 56 qualifying spots, which go to the top four finishers at each weight class. The Cadets also had a pair of champions.
Naperville Central advanced a pair of individuals to next week’s finals while Naperville North, Metea Valley and Geneva each had one qualifier.
West Aurora and Batavia suffered the same fate as 14 other schools in the rugged competition which failed to qualify anyone for the state finals.
Winning championships for the Cadets were Johnny Jimenez (120) and George Fisher (132), while Jake Field (126) fell in overtime in his title match.
Also finishing second for Marmion were Trace Carello (145) and Alex Fritz (285), while Anthony Bosco (106) took third and Cody Snodgrass (195) was fourth.
Jimenez improved to 44-2 after capturing a 3-0 victory over Marist’s David Kasper in the 120-pound championship match.
“I feel awesome and I’m really excited and mentally prepared about going to state next week,” Jimenez said. “I’m wrestling against everyone like it’s a state finals match. I’m ready for state.”
Fisher moved his record to 43-4 after recording a 7-2 triumph over St. Rita’s Michael O’Connor in the 132-pound finals.
“I’m really happy with how I wrestled today, but I wish that I would have scored more points in all of my matches,” Fisher said. “Overall, I’m pretty happy with where I’m at going into state.”
Field (30-8) was closing in on the 126-pound title, but Marist’s Nick Gasbarro used a late five-point move to force overtime, where he claimed a 13-12 win.
Fritz (35-13) ran into Hinsdale Central’s unbeaten Brian Allen in the 285-pound championship match and dropped a 15-5 decision.
Carello (32-14) suffered the same fate in the 145-pound title match, where he lost by technical fall to Mount Carmel’s Bryce Brill.
North’s Wayne Yuan (33-8) bounced back from a semifinal loss with a pair of wins to take third at 113 to give the Huskies their lone qualifier.
“After my junior year I was so disappointed after coming up short, so I worked hard this summer and the entire season and never gave up in any of my matches and it paid off for me,” Yuan said.
Central’s Luke Roth and Ben Williamson both fell in Friday’s quarterfinals, forcing them to win three times on Saturday just to earn state trips.
After being beaten for the first time all season, Roth (34-1) took third at 220 while Williamson (35-12) settled for a fourth-place finish at 132.
“Last year I fell one win away from going to state so this feels awesome,” Williamson said. “Coach told me that if I wrestled my hardest and stayed aggressive that I could end up on the podium.”
Geneva’s Brad Martens (40-7) bounced back from a defeat in his first match on Friday to claim a fourth-place showing at 120.
“After my loss last night it feels good to make it,” Martens said. “I came back today and I wrestled tough. I definitely felt good today and was fresh and I wrestled one of my best tournaments.”
Metea’s Breon Hoosier (27-5) also won three matches on Saturday and eventually settled for a fourth-place finish at 170.
Falling one win shy of state trips were Marmion’s A.J. Jaffe (113), Riley DeMoss (152) and Nathan Traxler (182) and Batavia’s Joel Shump (126), Charlie Smorczewski (138) and Jon Wagner (160).
Other individuals who came up one victory short of trips to Champaign were Geneva’s Thomas O’Brien (132), West Aurora’s Tim Young (170) and Metea’s Sam Feedlund (220).