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Wrestling: Maisonet, Goress savor state final victories

Plano's Derrick Maisonet celebrates his Class 1A state final victory Saturday Champaign. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

Plano's Derrick Maisonet celebrates his Class 1A state final victory Saturday in Champaign. | Matthew Grotto~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 21, 2013 6:38AM

For Dan Goress, it was all about now or never. Meanwhile for Derrick Maisonet, it was a case of getting revenge and of family pride.

Those factors served as perfect motivators for Kaneland’s Goress and Plano’s Maisonet as they competed in Saturday’s IHSA state wrestling finals.

The Knights senior hoped to cap his career as the Class 2A champ at 145, while the Reapers junior hoped to claim top honors at 220 in Class 1A.

Although both individuals came in as underdogs against the top-ranked guys in the state in their class, none of that seemed to matter much.

Both Maisonet and Goress got the job done at the Assembly Hall by 3-2 scores, although Maisonet had to go to an ultimate tiebreaker in his final.

In the process, Maisonet was able to avenge his only defeat in 49 matches when he rode out Dakota’s unbeaten Daniel Zimmerman in the final overtime.

Beside becoming Plano’s first state champ since J.J. Cannon in 2010, Maisonet placed one spot higher than his uncle Travis Martinez did for the Reapers in 1998.

“(Zimmerman) was my one loss throughout the season and he’s a tough kid,” Maisonet said. “He beat me 4-2 in our first dual and I wanted to get my second chance at him and I got it. That drove me to where I’m at today. The Grand March was one of the best feelings in my life. I was a little anxious and nervous but I felt like I usually do when I wrestle. The last 15 seconds were the longest in my life.”

Maisonet was joined on the awards stand by juniors Wes Brown (4th at 160) and Shaun Wollenweber (6th at 132), giving Plano its most placewinners since 2001.

Now Maisonet and his teammates hope they can make more history by becoming the first Reaper squad to qualify for the dual team state finals.

While one champion has another week left to his season and will also be back next year, Goress may have stepped onto the mat for the final time.

But if that’s indeed the case, then the Knights senior can feel proud of his final effort after beating Montini’s Michael Sepke for the 145-pound championship.

“This feels good,” Goress said. “The hard work and training pays off. I didn’t care if they put a bulldozer in front of me, I wasn’t going to lose. I might never wrestle again, so why go out on a bad note? I wasn’t here to impress anybody. I was just here to win and I did exactly what I needed to do. Kaneland hadn’t ever had a 2A champ and I tried to preach that hard work gets you anywhere.” 

In the process, the 42-3 Goress became his program’s first state champion since Scott Brewer pulled off the same accomplishment 20 years ago.

The Knights also received a medal from senior Zach Theis (5th at 285), marking the first time the program had two placers since 1993.

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