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Old 02-15-2011
Rob Sherrill Rob Sherrill is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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A look at AA through a different lens

We thought this would be a three-team race before the season even began…and with the state tournament looming, there’s little reason to believe anything’s changed.

Officially, there’s no team scoring at the individual state tournament in Champaign. If there were, the inaugural middle-class AA state tournament would be a battle for fourth place…behind Crystal Lake Central, Marmion Academy and Montini, the front-runners since Day One.

Lots of folks are posting their individual top fours and top sixes here on the Illinois Matmen forums, and that’s great. I’ve put together a handicap of the race behind the race…the unofficial team scoring race.

So…while you look at the individuals, I’ll look at the team aspect, doing my best crack at a fearless forecast, with the landscape of the likely top 10 teams described below.

******

1. Crystal Lake Central: The Tigers have the most sure points. Jauch should win his third title, Marsden his second and Harrah is a mismatch for the rest of 189. All three should win and pick up plenty of bonus points in doing so. Two-time champion Kielbasa should be a fourth finalist and Jason Fugiel could make it five in the Grand March. Those five alone should be enough to win, but Kyle Fugiel, Zelasco, Lutzow and Abitua could make it nine placewinners – in which case the rout would be on.

2. Marmion Academy: On the right weekend, the Cadets could match – or even exceed – Crystal Lake Central’s five finalists. Whitford seems a lock and Jimenez, Cortez, Fisher, Brill and Silvestro also could make the Grand March, but the latter five all face serious challenges. Don’t expect anyone besides Whitford to contribute bonus points, even if they win, which likely will result in coming up just short…especially since Greco and Fritz are the only other scoring possibilities.

3. Montini: This year’s Broncos team finds itself in an unfamiliar position – focusing on the state duals for redemption. For the first time in over a decade, there are no sure champions. Even two-time state champion Robertson will face the battle of his life to repeat against Kielbasa…and imagine the pressure if the team race were on the line. Powell did supply some hope, though, at the sectional. Pawelski, Garcia, Baer, Willis, Ruano and Ferraro all could place – and all would have to for the Broncos to have a shot – but none are sure things.

4. Richmond-Burton: You need sure points to contend, and likely state champion Dechow provides them for the Rockets, who are basking in the best season in school history. Kennedy also should make the finals, with Joe Ellis and Dedick also having solid shots at placing. Fourth place appears to be the best they could hope for, but if Sutton, Matt Ellis, Okane, Graves or Boettjer are on, a team that appears to be going to its first Elite Eight with a head of steam could sneak into the top three.

5. Yorkville: The Foxes faded over the second half of the season, but they have several potential point scorers. Suddenly, returning placewinners Wyeth and Clayton Bass, who have been beaten up all season, are back at the state meet with favorable draws, and Connor Bass, Messenger and Corwin also have placewinner potential. It’s unlikely any will advance to the Grand March. But if all five place, the Foxes should make the top five.

6. Rock Island: Despite the fact they’ll have to face Crystal Lake Central in the dual sectional, the Rocks have been another AA feel-good story this year. McGhee is a favorite to win, but then it comes down to who else can contribute. The best bets appear to be Hakizimana and Carstens, with Kerres a distant possibility. They’ll all have to be on for the Rocks to think top five.

7. Sycamore: Probably none of the elite AA teams took more hits at the sectional than the Spartans did, as ranked wrestlers like Kerwin and Austin Culton fell by the wayside. They’re still as dangerous in the dual series as any team in their classification, but Lalowski is now their most legitimate title contender at the Assembly Hall, with Kyle Culton in reserve. Akins and Davis would have to overcome tough draws to contribute.

8. Troy Triad: The Knights will depend on a pair of potential state finalists: Graumenz and Tindle, who both have favorable draws. The question is whether Swift can contribute. The loss of state placewinner Buhrman at the sectional hurt.

9. Civic Memorial: This is strictly a two-man team, but both have histories of contributing. Pearce is looking for his second trip to the Grand March and if three-time state placewinner Williams can maneuver past a tough draw, the Eagles would have enough points to crack the top 10.

10. Washington: Two-time state champion Reel represents sure points. Who else does? That’s the question. Rice has the capability, but will have to reverse regular-season losses to do so. If Mileur can contribute, that would be a bonus.

Last edited by admin; 02-16-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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