Notre Dame and Maine South dual has taken on new meaning
By Seth Schwartz
The neighborhood rivalry between Notre Dame and Maine South is always competitive.
But the dual has taken on new meaning after best friends Kevin McCann (Notre Dame) and Brett Harman (Maine South) were murdered in the fall of 2004.
Before the match, a moving 15 minute video tribute was shown. Gifts were given to the parents of the deceased and the head coaches.
“The reason we exchange the gifts is to honor their memory and because Kevin and Brett were a gift to us,” said Maine South coach Craig Fallico, who talked to the audience about the courage and heroism the two exhibited throughout their lives.
Starting at 171, Notre Dame got a major from Kevin Stahler and Julio Perez (189) and a second period pin from Colton Kelly (215).
Maine South’s Sean Sullivan (285) got the Hawks on board with a pin. At 103, Matt Sommers took down Alex Gutierrez and locked up a cradle at 5:31 giving the Dons a 20-6 advantage as they went on to a 39-26 win Thursday night in Park Ridge.
The Hawks rallied. Terry Calkins (112) added a pin, [the Dons Scott Smith had a decision at 119], Mike Williams (125) majored and Juan Diaz (130) pinned. The Dons’ Tim Donnelly held off Tommy Brewster for a 7-5 decision. Danny Brewster (140) had a major to tie the match at 26.
Jim Bimeofiore (145) had a major, Jim Wallenberg (152) added a pin at 5:24 and Joe Cortese (160) got behind Blake Baer in overtime for a 3-2 decision to give Notre Dame a 39-26 win.
“I used a thread-through arm bar, sunk it in and pulled him towards me and sunk in the half deeper,” said Wallenberg. “I almost had it in the first period, but I ran out of time.”
“We thought we’d lose four weights,” said Notre Dame coach Augie Genovesi. “We didn’t expect to lose at 130. This is a big night for the kids [on both teams]. They all know each other and there was a lot of excitement in the gym. Maine South was fired up and they did a great job.
“It’s always an emotional night; even after six years you still get choked up. Brett and Kevin were best friends. They worked out together at our place so much. They were great kids who were headed for successful lives. There’s no better tribute you can get than when a coach gives you his sons to coach.”
Dennis McCann is an assistant coach at Maine South. His son eldest son Terry wrestled at Notre Dame.
“We wrestled tough, but not smart,” said Fallico. “Diaz gave us a huge win [at 130], but we made too many mistakes at 103, 119 [Scott Smith’s decision], 135 and 160.”