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Old 12-24-2008
Wrestling Media
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 18,963
All Presents Unwrapped at Dvorak...

Well the Al Dvorak Memorial Tournament has ended and as usual was spectacular. This is the 8th Dvorak I have attended and it continues to impress me with it's quality, talent, tournament operation, etc. Without a doubt it is the best tournament in Illinois.

And in my personal opinion I like it better than the state tournament. Why? Number one is you get to see the match ups you want to see in the finals unlike state. And there are no stupid classifications. A, AA, AAA does not matter. In some ways this is a true state title. For instance if both Clayton Kendall and Carl Foreside should move on to win AA and AAA titles there will be no discussion on who would of won had they been in both AAA. That was settled at Dvorak.

With that said I will list below some of my other observations from my day at Dvorak.

Montini - As always the talk of the tournament. Are they the number one team in Illinois. While I have not personally seen Oak Park River Forest this year I have seen their personnel. I find it hard to believe that they are as deep as Montini. I would love to see a dual between these two but if I had to make a bet I am going with the Broncos. I just believe the edge they have is in their schedule. It is superior to every one's (except Mt. Carmel) and I am a firm believer that it would carry them over the top in a close dual.

Klimara - After watching him wrestle 4 times this year he is the real deal. He is just too big for this weight class. I tend to refrain from predictions but I don't believe I can find anyone in the 103's that can put him in danger and that is scary. He has a legit chance to win both CCL's and state this year which means he has a legit chance to be a four timer in both which is very rare.

Cooper - He seems to have picked up steam from when I observed him earlier. At Dvorak he was sharp and dominating. He wrestled with a purpose and if he shows up in Champaign like that then he will get the title that eluded him last year.

Waliullah - This kid continues to impress me. While he did not win Dvorak he wrestled a strong tournament and will definitely be a factor at 112.

Roth - If you are from Dixon I would make some serious celebration plans come February. This kid is the total package. Strong, skilled, sharp and ready to dominate. I doubt there are many in AA that can challenge him other than Alan Tate - Crete -Monee. In fact Roth looks like a college wrestler and will be great on the next level. Central Michigan is lucky to have him.

Morrison - He has developed a nice solid offense that will be hard for any high schooler other than maybe Chase or Ramos. I doubt either one will put themselves in Morrison's path. The future at Oklahoma State will be bright for Morrison, especially if he adds some college weight. He should be a lifetime college 125.

Robertson - While the state runner up struggled with Morrison and his bleeding nose he should be alright.

Rasche - I would like him better at 125 than 130

Wojcik - He gets the most out of limited athletic skills. Experience is his plus and if he plays it right he could medal high come Feb. I am not sure he can beat Chase but maybe he can.

Ernst - Other than Roth he was the most impressive wrestler at Dvorak south of I 80.

Barnheisel - Does not take losing easily. There is a lot of pride in that Fenwick kid and I like it. Moore was a bit too quick in the first two periods. However the quick low single that Barnheisel struggled to defend won't be a problem on the next level. Very few wrestlers get that type of shot off on the next level because the defense of it is better overall. I believe that Barnheisel will adjust to it as well.

Derek St. John - He was the O.W. and very well deserved. He was dominating and in control of the toughest weight class at Dvorak. And his conditioning was on another level. He looked like he could wrestle another 6 minutes if he had too.

Stenberg - If St John was the best conditioned athlete at Dvorak then this Lockport kid is a close second. After his finals match he did not look as if he even sweats.. He is a real threat to win a state title and everyone at 171 (including Kendall if he drops) needs to take notice.

Hecox - Sorry but every time I see him he does not impress me. Now granted I don't see him a lot but the few times I have he seems off by a half beat. Maybe it was the hype that he received coming into high school and the expectations placed on him. I know he is better than what I saw in the third period of the third place match. Good thing that was not the state finals.

Kendall - I have been reading the post on Kendall after the Munster match. Had I not seen the video I would of thought he stunk it up. Instead it was a little hip toss and he got caught. Now a few days later he bounces back to win Dvorak over the favorite Foreside. He has all of the tools to win a state title for DLS.

Foreside - I believe he will win the AA title. He is a load. Still though he has to seriously work on getting off the bottom if he plans to wrestle on the next level. It is very hard to throw people on the college level. But other than that he may be the most exciting wrestler in Illinois. When he is on the mat everyone watches. I am sure the concession had no business during the 189 finals.

Goebel - While he is not his brother he is very, very good. And I doubt he will be challenged in AA but we will see.

Castillo - I was kinda disappointed. I though he would win but Blaydes woke up midway through the second period and started bringing it to Castillo. The injury that Castillo suffered to his wrist / arm /shoulder really impacted his performance in the third period. Still he is a real threat to get to the finals in Champaign. It will be interesting to see if he meets up with Blaydes again. - we continue to provide all types of coverage in this state yet I still see complaints. It should not be taken for granted what a jewel of a website that Illinois has. Where are the donations to keep it running?

Mike Bare - Here is a young guy that pays for this site out of his own pocket. Now he won a state title this year with his boys soccer team yet he has no soccer website due to his commitment to wrestling. Obviously he knows soccer at a high level and could easily start a soccer site which has a much bigger fan base and possibly a more affluent one. But I doubt they are as passionate. I think everyone reading this should at the very least send a Happy Holidays to him and possibly a donation.

Chat Room -I was really disappointed in some of the activities that took place during the Dvorak in the chat room attached to the live video feed. The immature comments about Albert White was garbage. As usual it was people hiding behind the internet and people that would not say any of that to his face. It really ruined a great opportunity to showcase Illinois wrestling to the rest of the country. Some times our fans need to grow up.

Harlem - Great job again. I was not at Harlem for the first day but day two was smooth as butter other than the old man that interrupted our broadcast to say that chairs on the mat would ruin the mats. He was kinda grumpy and obviously did not know that chair would not ruin a wrestling mat. But I forgave him because he was old. But he should know that we were in the middle of a live broadcast. I would say in the future to him to try to work with the media a little better. However other than that little bump, great job Harlem. And maybe next year Hecox can bring the home crowd that title that will make all the work a little bit sweeter.

Other than those observations I can't wait until next year's Dvorak.

Last edited by MR TWISTER; 12-24-2008 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-24-2008
Rob Sherrill Rob Sherrill is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 1,260
Well said...and even though I couldn't make it up there, I agree with everything here. Great job on the broadcast. Harlem has clearly figured it out in terms of hosting this tournament...and combine that with a real pro at the computer like Mick Torres and short of a transformer blowing up, there's almost nothing that could go wrong, even at a major event like this. Hats off to Iowa City West for a performance that exceeded my expectations without Carew...and to the ultimate no-excuses program, Lockport, for a landmark second-place finish.

And if you compare the order of team finish to the rankings in Monday's edition of The Illinois Best Weekly, I'd swear I almost have this thing figured out. Guess I should after 25 years. Happy Holidays and congratulations on a great job.
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