Wrestling: Plano, Marmion seek first team trophy
By Gary Larsen For Sun-Times Media February 21, 2013 6:34PM
Plano's Wes Brown checks the clock as he wrestles with Clinton's Kye Reczek in Champaign. | Jeff Cagle~For Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 23, 2013 6:34AM
Plano’s wrestling team will break new ground on Saturday when coach Joe Kampf leads the Reapers into their first dual team Elite Eight appearance in program history.
“This was the first year we ever won regional, so it’s been a year of making history for us so far,” Kampf said. “It’s very exciting. And if we can win our first match we can win a state trophy for the first time in our history.”
Class 1A Plano squares off with Aledo in a state quarterfinal match in Bloomington, with the winner guaranteed at least a fourth-place state trophy while the loser goes home.
The Reapers head to the team finals with a 26-6 record and three medal winners from last weekend’s individual state finals. Derrick Maisonet (49-1 at 220) won a state title in Champaign, while Wes Brown (47-5 at 160) placed fourth and Shaun Wollenweber (36-13 at 132) was sixth.
Jake Wilson (35-11 at 106), Ivan Lopez (33-14 at 138), Zach Tomac (21-13 at 145) and Junior Nunez (31-9 at 285) were also state qualifiers this season. The Reapers’ Killian Murphy (152), Alex Rodriguez (170) and Austin Ricketts (182) all won 20-plus matches.
Aledo went 22-3 this season and one of those three losses came against Plano, which beat the Golden Eagles in a dual meet 34-28 on Dec. 29.
“That dual came down to the last match,” Kampf said. “I think they’ll try to change things up on us a little so we’ll have to be ready. They sent two guys to the (individual) state finals and we sent one, and the stronger guys in their lineup are tough.”
The winner between Plano and Aledo will wrestle in Saturday’s semifinal round against the winner between Litchfield (27-3) and Vandalia (20-11). Petersburg (PORTA), Lisle, Dakota and LeRoy are on the opposite side of the bracket.
Dakota is the top-ranked 1A team according to Illinois Matmen and the next highest ranked team present is Plano at No. 5.
Class 3A Marmion (24-2) wrestled in a Class 2A state quarterfinal match in 2010 and will make its first appearance at the 3A quarterfinals when the Cadets take on Minooka (14-7), which won a 3A team title in 2010 and is making its fifth consecutive trip to the Elite Eight.
Third-ranked Marmion may be favored to beat the 14-7 Indians, but Cadets coach Ryan Cumbee knows that predictions are meaningless at this point in the season.
“I’m very familiar with Minooka, I used to live near there, and we’re not going to take them lightly. We know they have strong individuals and we’re going to just go out and wrestle hard,” Cumbee said.
Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez (53-2 at 120) and George Fisher (52-4 at 132) both won state titles, while Anthony Bosco (41-11 at 106) placed third and Alex Fritz (40-19 at 285) finished sixth in state. Marmion had three more state qualifiers this year in Jake Field (126), Trace Carello (145) and Cody Snodgrass (195).
Minooka had a pair of state medal winners in fourth-place Corbett Oughton (13-5 at 152) and sixth-place Carson Oughton (40-11 at 145). The Indians also have a quartet of 30-plus match winners in Danny Ruettiger (126), Mike McNulty (138), Jeff Klank (160) and Erik Velazquez (220).
A win over Minooka would send Marmion to a semifinal dual against the winner between Grant (25-1) and Lincoln-Way Central (19-2). The other side of the bracket features the Sun-Times No. 1 team in Carl Sandburg against No. 2 Oak Park-River Forest and Glenbard North vs. Harlem.
“We have the depth to get past our injuries, and we can’t and won’t look past our first dual with Minooka,” Cumbee said. “Because if we win that one we’re guaranteed to bring home the first team trophy for Marmion in our program’s history.”