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Old 02-21-2008
Rob Sherrill Rob Sherrill is offline
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Followup: Class A individual

Here’s our other followup, Class A style…and, once again, we came reasonably close to our projections.

Wilmington and Coal City each had three state champions for the first time ever, and Vandalia had perhaps its best individual state ever, advancing four to the finals. Unfortunately, all four came up short as Wilmington rallied for a 96-83 unofficial victory.

Here’s a breakdown of how things happened:

1. Wilmington – predicted finish, 1st; actual finish, 1st (96 points)

Four of Wilmington’s five state placewinners, including state champions Van Duyne, Murphy and Fritz, won their final match of the tournament, which ultimately was the difference. Heino also made the finals and Goodwin came through a tough top bracket to place. Just six of the Wildcats’ state-best 10 state qualifiers contributed victories, but that’s a far bigger percentage than last year…and in the long run, it was enough.

2. Stillman Valley – predicted finish, 2nd; actual finish, 5th (61.5 points)

The lack of a wrestler with finalist potential ultimately did in the Cardinals, which placed four but had to settle for a third and three fourths. Hawley and Glaudel came up just short of placing, but Person broke through to make up the difference. Still, this performance is no failure. All eight qualifiers won a match, which sets them up well for the state duals…it’s hard to believe this is their first trip in the event’s 25th year.

3. Vandalia – predicted finish, 3rd; actual finish, 2nd (83 points)

We thought the Vandals would put up their best Assembly Hall showing ever and they did, with four finalists and five placewinners. As we wrote in our preview, we expected them to score enough points for Wilmington to be staring at their headlights through the rear-view mirror. Right again…they actually held an 83-81 lead over the Wildcats entering the medal-match round, but they didn’t score another point and Wilmington rallied. Still, congratulations to Eller, Pyle, Bowling and Shroyer, who parlayed four years as starters against a tough schedule into Grand March appearances.

4. Bishop McNamara – predicted finish, 4th; actual finish, 6th (49 points)

Letton’s upset loss to Devine, who went on to win the title, was one of the stunners of the semifinals. But he finished a strong third, Zinanni advanced to the finals and Young performed as expected. Better make sure those alarm clocks work a little better in the future, though.

5. Macomb – predicted finish, 5th; actual finish, 3rd (69 points)

It was a record-setting year for the Bombers, who would have taken home a state trophy. Myers looked every bit as dominant as a year ago in repeating and Kline almost made it back-to-back titles to close out the meet. Miller took advantage of a great bracket and the tough middle weights also contributed, with Hall placing as well. An inaugural trip to the state duals caps a season to remember.

6. Coal City – predicted finish, 6th; actual finish, 4th (63 points)

Just a three-man team…but all this threesome did was go 10-0 at the Assembly Hall and win three state titles. Roseland came out of a wide-open pack to win at 135 and Evans and Odeen will return next season to try to become two-time state champions. They had no margin for error…and they didn’t make any.

7. Murphysboro – predicted finish, 7th; actual finish, 11th (26 points)

The Red Devils were among a six-team pack that finished within two points of each other in the battle for 10th place. The leaders of last year’s charge, Miller and Baker, did what was expected, even though a loaded 119-pound class kept Miller from repeating as champion. Brashear and Tyrone were capable of adding to the total, but both fell victim to tough draws.

8. Petersburg Porta – predicted finish, 8th; actual finish, 7th (34 points)

Devine turned out to be the real deal with his decisive semifinal victory over Letton, then outlasting Kline in the ultimate tie-breaker to win the title. The rest of the lineup wasn’t helped by their draws, but Standley and Hild won matches and six of the Bluejays’ seven qualifiers return next season.

9. Illini Bluffs – predicted finish, 9th; actual finish – 10th (27 points)

Ferman made the most of his four years in the starting lineup, advancing to the finals, and Wolfe, who started off strong but faltered in January, ended his career like a senior should, finishing fourth. We though Walker would finish the same way, but the top bracket at 135 was just too tough.

10. Herrin – predicted finish, 10th; actual finish, 18th (18 points)

Holliday completed a third consecutive great run at the Assembly Hall, reaching the Grand March. In the final analysis, Kesler was the Tigers’ best chance at more points, but he couldn’t get through the consolation bracket this time. Still, it’s back to the state duals and another successful season for Kelsey Lewis’s team.

11. Byron – predicted finish, 11th; actual finish, 16th (24 points)

All 24 points were scored by Fish, whom the whole world had marked down as the Tigers’ seventh state champion. Smith had possibilities, but a tough bracket ended his tournament early.

12. Gibson City/Melvin-Sibley – predicted finish, 12th; actual finish, 29th (13 points)

Hey, it happens…sometimes you have that surprise team. Not, as it turned out, in Class A this year. All four Falcons won at least one match at the Assembly Hall, but not enough to get any to the awards stand. Kirby and Unzicker, however, return next season.

Dakota and Lena-Winslow, by the way, each scored 34 points, tying Porta for seventh place. Those two teams finished 1-2 at the Assembly Hall a year ago.

Last edited by Rob Sherrill; 02-21-2008 at 10:51 PM.
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Old 02-22-2008
gjd gjd is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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As always, a great job Rob. It is so enjoyable to read your predictions and then your follow up after the tournament. First time for Stillman in twenty five years partially because of Byron, Oregon and Dakota, great to see them adding even more strength the area. Thanks for continued superb coverage Rob. Someday, I will return to watch the State tournament, in spite of the addition of a third class. I do miss the excitement generated in Assembly Hall.

glen dallman
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Old 02-22-2008
Rob Sherrill Rob Sherrill is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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Glen, you and your teams were responsible for a lot of that excitement...please come by and see me when you do get to Champaign. I'll be writing this blog the entire season next year...and maybe on a few special occasions in the off-season...so hopefully there will be lots to read on this site going forward. I wouldn't be doing this - or writing The Illinois Best Weekly - without coaches and readers, so thanks.
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Old 02-24-2008
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rastler rastler is offline
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i dont thing Unzicker will be returning next year. I believe that he will be to old.
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Old 11-27-2008
bgtrn2 bgtrn2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Sherrill View Post
Here’s our other followup, Class A style…and, once again, we came reasonably close to our projections.

Wilmington and Coal City each had three state champions for the first time ever, and Vandalia had perhaps its best individual state ever, advancing four to the finals. Unfortunately, all four came up short as Wilmington rallied for a 96-83 unofficial victory.

Here’s a breakdown of how things happened:

1. Wilmington – predicted finish, 1st; actual finish, 1st (96 points)

Four of Wilmington’s five state placewinners, including state champions Van Duyne, Murphy and Fritz, won their final match of the tournament, which ultimately was the difference. Heino also made the finals and Goodwin came through a tough top bracket to place. Just six of the Wildcats’ state-best 10 state qualifiers contributed victories, but that’s a far bigger percentage than last year…and in the long run, it was enough.

2. Stillman Valley – predicted finish, 2nd; actual finish, 5th (61.5 points)

The lack of a wrestler with finalist potential ultimately did in the Cardinals, which placed four but had to settle for a third and three fourths. Hawley and Glaudel came up just short of placing, but Person broke through to make up the difference. Still, this performance is no failure. All eight qualifiers won a match, which sets them up well for the state duals…it’s hard to believe this is their first trip in the event’s 25th year.

3. Vandalia – predicted finish, 3rd; actual finish, 2nd (83 points)

We thought the Vandals would put up their best Assembly Hall showing ever and they did, with four finalists and five placewinners. As we wrote in our preview, we expected them to score enough points for Wilmington to be staring at their headlights through the rear-view mirror. Right again…they actually held an 83-81 lead over the Wildcats entering the medal-match round, but they didn’t score another point and Wilmington rallied. Still, congratulations to Eller, Pyle, Bowling and Shroyer, who parlayed four years as starters against a tough schedule into Grand March appearances.

4. Bishop McNamara – predicted finish, 4th; actual finish, 6th (49 points)

Letton’s upset loss to Devine, who went on to win the title, was one of the stunners of the semifinals. But he finished a strong third, Zinanni advanced to the finals and Young performed as expected. Better make sure those alarm clocks work a little better in the future, though.

5. Macomb – predicted finish, 5th; actual finish, 3rd (69 points)

It was a record-setting year for the Bombers, who would have taken home a state trophy. Myers looked every bit as dominant as a year ago in repeating and Kline almost made it back-to-back titles to close out the meet. Miller took advantage of a great bracket and the tough middle weights also contributed, with Hall placing as well. An inaugural trip to the state duals caps a season to remember.

6. Coal City – predicted finish, 6th; actual finish, 4th (63 points)

Just a three-man team…but all this threesome did was go 10-0 at the Assembly Hall and win three state titles. Roseland came out of a wide-open pack to win at 135 and Evans and Odeen will return next season to try to become two-time state champions. They had no margin for error…and they didn’t make any.

7. Murphysboro – predicted finish, 7th; actual finish, 11th (26 points)

The Red Devils were among a six-team pack that finished within two points of each other in the battle for 10th place. The leaders of last year’s charge, Miller and Baker, did what was expected, even though a loaded 119-pound class kept Miller from repeating as champion. Brashear and Tyrone were capable of adding to the total, but both fell victim to tough draws.

8. Petersburg Porta – predicted finish, 8th; actual finish, 7th (34 points)

Devine turned out to be the real deal with his decisive semifinal victory over Letton, then outlasting Kline in the ultimate tie-breaker to win the title. The rest of the lineup wasn’t helped by their draws, but Standley and Hild won matches and six of the Bluejays’ seven qualifiers return next season.

9. Illini Bluffs – predicted finish, 9th; actual finish – 10th (27 points)

Ferman made the most of his four years in the starting lineup, advancing to the finals, and Wolfe, who started off strong but faltered in January, ended his career like a senior should, finishing fourth. We though Walker would finish the same way, but the top bracket at 135 was just too tough.

10. Herrin – predicted finish, 10th; actual finish, 18th (18 points)

Holliday completed a third consecutive great run at the Assembly Hall, reaching the Grand March. In the final analysis, Kesler was the Tigers’ best chance at more points, but he couldn’t get through the consolation bracket this time. Still, it’s back to the state duals and another successful season for Kelsey Lewis’s team.

11. Byron – predicted finish, 11th; actual finish, 16th (24 points)

All 24 points were scored by Fish, whom the whole world had marked down as the Tigers’ seventh state champion. Smith had possibilities, but a tough bracket ended his tournament early.

12. Gibson City/Melvin-Sibley – predicted finish, 12th; actual finish, 29th (13 points)

Hey, it happens…sometimes you have that surprise team. Not, as it turned out, in Class A this year. All four Falcons won at least one match at the Assembly Hall, but not enough to get any to the awards stand. Kirby and Unzicker, however, return next season.

Dakota and Lena-Winslow, by the way, each scored 34 points, tying Porta for seventh place. Those two teams finished 1-2 at the Assembly Hall a year ago.
What are your predictions for the 08-09 season and have you already put them out.
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