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St. Rita’s Akui positioned to join elite four-timers

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  • St. Rita’s Akui positioned to join elite four-timers

    By Andre’ Morgan
    Illinois Matmen

    The 36th Chicago Catholic League championships provided no surprises leading up to the finals. However, once the championships began the fireworks were not far behind. The last two years the team championship has come down to national powers Providence and Mt. Carmel with each team splitting titles. The Caravan won in 2008 and the Celtics were champs last year. Arguably the best conference in Illinois, in the years since 1974, the CCL title has run through basically these two schools. Mt. Carmel has 13 titles overall and Providence, which joined the league in 1997, has nine including the 2010 title.

    Each team had seven finalists with Providence making the most of the opportunity crowning four to Mt. Carmel’s two. Brother Rice joined the party with three champions on the podium. St. Rita had two champions, while host Loyola, Fenwick and De LaSalle had one a piece.

    The biggest upset of the night happened when Mike Avelar (Brother Rice) upended Providence’s two-time state finalist and defending state champion Edwin Cooper 5-3. For his efforts, Avelar was named the meet’s Most Outstanding Wrestler. Brother Rice’s Like Nelson was awarded the Tony Lawless Award for the conference’s top senior wrestler. Providence coach Keith Healy won his eighth Tony Lawless Award as the top coach to add to his one as a wrestler (1983).

    Providence came from behind in the championship round to over take Mt. Carmel 227 to 221. St. Rita finished third (140), followed by Brother Rice (130) and Fenwick (93).

    “We are starting to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” noted Healy.

    The premier match at 171 pounds featured St. Rita All American Jahwon Akui and Mt. Carmel’s Ironman champ Charles Argue, both nationally ranked.

    Akui, who got a late start on the season due to an ankle injury, only had 13 matches to date. In fact, Akui re-injured the same ankle in his first round match, a 16-8 major decision warm up of things to come against Brother Rice’s Alberto Lagunas. Meanwhile Argue was on the bottom of the bracket and wasting little time with a 1:20 fall of Gordon Tech’s Hyeck-Joo Hwang. Next up for Argue was avenging an earlier loss to Loyola’s Pat Dougherty with a semi-final 10-0 major decision. Akui showed he meant business in his semi final with a: 36 fall of Providence’s Sean Downs.

    With great anticipation, a buzz was heard through the packed Rambler Gym as both removed their respective team shirts. The first period was scoreless, with several attempted shots and lots of hand fighting but most of the action on their feet finished out of bounds.

    Argue started the second period down and escaped for the first score of the match, 1-0. More tie-ups and hand fighting followed with neither wrestler taking risky moves at this point of the match.

    Both wrestlers are friends off the mat but when it comes time to compete in wrestling it’s all business.

    “We exchanged a few words at the end of the second period,” Akui pointed out. “He was like, dog I’m tired. And I was like I am tired too, I know what you mean. Then we just went back to work. We are just two good friends going at it. We want the same thing. When the CCL is on the line, we want to go at it. I wouldn’t want it any other way then he do his best and I do my best.”

    The third period started with Akui down and trailing 1-0 but he gets out quickly and at the same time scoops up Argue’s leg in a failed tree top trip. With 20 seconds left in the match and the score 2-1 in Argue’s favor, Akui hits a perfect power double to win 3-2.

    “I thought it was a great bout,” Akui said. “This match was scheduled on my calendar if he made it to the finals. I felt like he was on the defense, and if he was on defense the whole match, I thought that sooner or later I would find an opening or that he might slip up on a couple of shots. He battled tough and he has really good hips so I got to be accurate when I get in on a shot. That’s why it was a slow paced match because I needed to be 100 percent.”

    A jubilant Akui held up three fingers signaling each one of his Chicago Catholic titles and indicating that he will try to be the 11th four-time champion at the 2011 meet.

    “Today I proved that I can go with the best,” said Akui. “ I know he won Ironman, which most people say is the best tournament in the country for folkstyle. He took second at Dvorak, that match could of went either way. I just wanted to test myself against the best and show my skills. I wanted Illinois to know that I am back and ready to rock and roll, ready to contend for a state title. I am a junior national champion and I have the skills. I just have to do my best downstate."

    Last edited by admin; 01-24-2010, 12:48 PM. Reason: correction
    Contact: mike@illinoismatmen.com
    Illinois' Premier Wrestling Website

  • #2
    Cooper is a not a two time state champ Twist. He lost in the finals as a freshman to Nowry in 2008.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm not sure about P.C. and Mt. Carmel being national powers!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by freddie View Post
        I'm not sure about P.C. and Mt. Carmel being national powers!
        If you wrrestle a national schedule and you place in national tournaments then you are a national power. If your school is or has been ranked nationally then you are a national power.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by wrestlr89 View Post
          Cooper is a not a two time state champ Twist. He lost in the finals as a freshman to Nowry in 2008.
          Correct. Ill change it. Long day yesterday.

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          • #6

            I think its funny that the CCL didn't spell St. Laurence right. No W in the school name, at least not when I went there!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Spladelman View Post

              I think its funny that the CCL didn't spell St. Laurence right. No W in the school name, at least not when I went there!
              Good catch....but it was done by Loyola so I can understand it, especially if they used spell check. And same for St Francis De Sales....I guess these teams are not winning enough for the graphics people to pay attention.

              On another note what is going on with St Laurence. To fall so far is sad...they had 4 wrestlers there but put a ton of money into their baseball and football program and facilitites. I bet the wrestling alums like yourself Keith Healy have to be cringing....

              Same thing for Tilden Tech....what history those two programs have but at least St Laurence has a team...Tilden does not yet the CPS powers that be want to upgrade their wrestling programs...well start with your most decorated team...oh well...how the mighty have fallen
              Last edited by MR TWISTER; 01-24-2010, 12:32 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                If you "place in national tournaments", and your school "is ranked nationally", then you are a national player, not sure about "power". If you "wrestle" in national tournaments, and your school "has been ranked" well then you are neither one.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by freddie View Post
                  If you "place in national tournaments", and your school "is ranked nationally", then you are a national player, not sure about "power". If you "wrestle" in national tournaments, and your school "has been ranked" well then you are neither one.
                  Those two teams are "invited" to national tournaments and those tournaments only "invite" national level teams. I don't see teams Corliss or Hyde Park or St Francis De Sales invited so I won't play the semantics game.

                  Both PC and MC have been invited and nationally ranked with nationally ranked wrestlers on their squads consistantly over the last 20 years so therefore I stand by what I wrote. You don't go to the Ironman, Cheesehead, Clash unless you are a national level team.

                  It's all debatable and opinionated much like rankings so I will leave it as it is until I find other national writers like Josh Lowe, Andrew Hipps or Rob Sherrill that disagree with me. thanks
                  Last edited by MR TWISTER; 01-24-2010, 01:14 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Playing the semantics game is how people communicate.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by freddie View Post
                      Playing the semantics game is how people communicate.
                      Uh...no it's not! Communication is communication and semantics are semantics. Two different things.
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                      Semantics[1] is the study of meaning, usually in language. The word "semantics" itself denotes a range of ideas, from the popular to the highly technical. It is often used in ordinary language to denote a problem of understanding that comes down to word selection or connotation.

                      Communication is commonly defined as "the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs".
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      I am done with this topic (semantic) on this (subject) thread. It is destracting from the original topic. If you want to debate it create a seperate thread about which schools are national level teams.
                      Last edited by MR TWISTER; 01-24-2010, 01:41 PM.

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                      • #12
                        Wrestlr89... Twist was CORRECT

                        Twist, no need to retract your statement. In your write up you stated that Cooper is a 2x Finalist and returning State Champ, which is correct. He was in the finals his freshman year and lost to Max. Then last year, he won it as a sophomore. That makes him a 2x finalist and returning State Champ!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by MR TWISTER View Post
                          Those two teams are "invited" to national tournaments and those tournaments only "invite" national level teams. I don't see teams Corliss or Hyde Park or St Francis De Sales invited so I won't play the semantics game.

                          Both PC and MC have been invited and nationally ranked with nationally ranked wrestlers on their squads consistantly over the last 20 years so therefore I stand by what I wrote. You don't go to the Ironman, Cheesehead, Clash unless you are a national level team.

                          It's all debatable and opinionated much like rankings so I will leave it as it is until I find other national writers like Josh Lowe, Andrew Hipps or Rob Sherrill that disagree with me. thanks
                          Well, I certainly don't disagree. But there are two angles to this story. It certainly helps to have the history and the tradition to be invited to major events. People buy tickets to go and see good teams.

                          However, not all good teams have either the desire or the resources to travel. Going to national tournaments is an expensive proposition. So having shown a willingness to travel...after all, tournament directors do have spots they have to fill...is also a factor in getting invited.

                          Most coaches...the smart ones, anyway...are more concerned about seeing their kids make steady progress than obtaining a national ranking. Even though I do national rankings, I don't have a problem with that in the least.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            @Mr. Twister don't feed the troll. MC and Provi are nationally renown wrestling powers. Providence more recently but MC making a steady come back.

                            @Rob Sherrill you're right there are a few teams that don't travel that should be ranked but for the sake of this thread Mr. Twister's statement is accurate.

                            BTW Hi Rob it's been too long. I've been out of the game for awhile with business and family. "Every time I get out....they pull me back in" MC has done an outstanding job of trying to get the "old dogs" plugged back in.

                            Sincerely Sean Kavanaugh

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