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Old 02-15-2011
Rob Sherrill Rob Sherrill is offline
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A look at AAA through a different lens

A quarter of a century ago, this is the type of column we’d have been writing.

Officially, there’s no team scoring at the individual state tournament in Champaign, and that’s a shame. We’ve missed out on what would have been some great team races over the years. Who’s hurt by that? Nobody...except us. But it is what it is, and we’re all left to speculate, as I’m doing here.

Oak Park-River Forest would have dominated the AAA team scores the past two seasons, but that won’t be the case this weekend. It looks like a good old-fashioned showdown between some of the other traditional powers instead.

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 let’s see which teams those might be.

******

1. Glenbard North: Several teams have the opportunity to place five wrestlers at the Assembly Hall. The question is which team’s five will place the highest. The Panthers look as good as anybody. Joe Gosinski should repeat as state champion and Marmolejo, Gonzalez and Murphy all have finals potential. Four finalists likely would wrap it up. John Gosinski should place, too…maybe high on a hot weekend. And were it necessary, Durkee or Buyle could probably score a point or two.

2. Carl Sandburg: The odds-on duals favorite also could place five…but only Chris Lopez is a likely finalist. And he’ll probably have to face Hinsdale Central’s Jack Allen, whom he’s already lost to in the Hinsdale Central finals. Holler and Fishback could both get there on a hot weekend, but that’s asking a lot. Beyond them, it comes down to how much Argueta and Brandon Lopez can help out. If both are able to get to the third-place match, the Eagles would have a shot.

3. Harlem: What a breath of fresh air to watch the Huskies power through an undefeated season and what could be their first dual state trophy in what should be their first Elite Eight appearance. Harlem finished second in the unofficial team race last year and should challenge again. They have three legitimate finalist candidates in Northrup, Elmore and Anthony. If Denny can place high and Hecox gets hot, the Huskies are serious contenders.

4. Lyons Township: Here’s a team that we think of as a monument to the team concept – and then the Lions get seven through the Leyden sectional. The good news: all seven could win matches. The bad news: only Nora, who’s had a great senior year, is a legitimate finals candidate. Still, Bates and Gonzalez could place high and Windmoeller, Polka and Pieroth also could place. They won’t give you five placers who will win the title, but they would be solid state trophy material.

5. Providence: Uncharacteristic of typical Providence squads, this year’s Celtics are a three-man team. All three have the potential to win state titles. Cooper should win his second title in his fourth Grand March appearance, Klimara’s won it before and Togher has enough quality wins to make it happen. They’re probably a top five team no matter what happens, but they’d need three titles – and a lot of help – to win it.

6. Lockport: The Porters finished second in this race two years ago and, now that they’re healthy, will challenge. Oster was a 2009 state champion who should make it back to the finals – though he’ll be an underdog against Gosinski – but Johnson also is a legitimate finals candidate and the McMurtry brothers both can score big points. If all four make the finals, which is a long shot but possible, Lockport could steal the title.

7. Wheaton-Warrenville South: Now we get to the teams with ifs. How surprising would it be to see the Tigers – who haven’t had a state finalist in over three decades – have three in one year? Savenok and Chino have been on the awards stand before and Hall has come out of nowhere in the wide-open 215-pound class. They’re likely the only ones of the Tigers’ five qualifiers who could score, but they could win a state trophy on a hot weekend.

8. Minooka: This Indians team has more star power than last year, when the ultimate in team-concept wrestling managed just a pair of sixth-place finishes and didn’t even make the top 20 – then completed a wire-to-wire No. 1 run to the duals title. Residori and Hill both have finals potential and Zabel also could place – though 130 is a deep weight class – but DeKlerk and Ruettiger also could contribute. The Indians took some hits at the sectional, especially Oughton, who might have contributed.

9. Schaumburg: The Saxons live or die on the fortunes of LaManna and Marchok. Should both win – and if Felde also contributes – they’ll likely make the top five, which would be quite an accomplishment for a program which has had only one finalist in its history.

10. Belleville West: In my first year at the Assembly Hall, four Belleville West wrestlers came to the state meet undefeated, and a fifth took an upset first loss at the sectional. Those were the good old days. It’s been two decades since the Maroons have looked this good. But they have three legitimate placewinners: Spraggins, who went to the Grand March as a freshman, Viglasky and Ventimiglia. If Hardy can also contribute – and he has a good draw – West could crack the top 10.

Last edited by admin; 02-16-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 02-15-2011
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MR TWISTER MR TWISTER is offline
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As always Rob....Top Notch stuff. See ya in the Dome Saturday.
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Old 02-16-2011
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Good assessment. I agree, if we did like Iowa did and give out two separate championships, OPRF would have won the last two state individual tournaments easily. This year is a paradox between teams like Carl Sandburg, Minooka, and LT that have no clear world-beater, vs teams like Providence, Harlem, and Lockport which are based on a few solid individuals. In my opinion, Glenbard North is a mix...solid team and bona fide potential finalists in Gosinski, Murphy, and Gonzalez.
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Old 02-16-2011
Pirate Pride Pirate Pride is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Sherrill View Post
A quarter of a century ago, this is the type of column we’d have been writing.

Officially, there’s no team scoring at the individual state tournament in Champaign, and that’s a shame. We’ve missed out on what would have been some great team races over the years. Who’s hurt by that? Nobody...except us. But it is what it is, and we’re all left to speculate, as I’m doing here.

Oak Park-River Forest would have dominated the AAA team scores the past two seasons, but that won’t be the case this weekend. It looks like a good old-fashioned showdown between some of the other traditional powers instead.

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 let’s see which teams those might be.

******

1. Glenbard North: Several teams have the opportunity to place five wrestlers at the Assembly Hall. The question is which team’s five will place the highest. The Panthers look as good as anybody. Joe Gosinski should repeat as state champion and Marmolejo, Gonzalez and Murphy all have finals potential. Four finalists likely would wrap it up. John Gosinski should place, too…maybe high on a hot weekend. And were it necessary, Durkee or Buyle could probably score a point or two.

2. Carl Sandburg: The odds-on duals favorite also could place five…but only Chris Lopez is a likely finalist. And he’ll probably have to face Hinsdale Central’s Jack Allen, whom he’s already lost to in the Hinsdale Central finals. Holler and Fishback could both get there on a hot weekend, but that’s asking a lot. Beyond them, it comes down to how much Argueta and Brandon Lopez can help out. If both are able to get to the third-place match, the Eagles would have a shot.

3. Harlem: What a breath of fresh air to watch the Huskies power through an undefeated season and what could be their first dual state trophy in what should be their first Elite Eight appearance. Harlem finished second in the unofficial team race last year and should challenge again. They have three legitimate finalist candidates in Northrup, Elmore and Anthony. If Denny can place high and Hecox gets hot, the Huskies are serious contenders.

4. Lyons Township: Here’s a team that we think of as a monument to the team concept – and then the Lions get seven through the Leyden sectional. The good news: all seven could win matches. The bad news: only Nora, who’s had a great senior year, is a legitimate finals candidate. Still, Bates and Gonzalez could place high and Windmoeller, Polka and Pieroth also could place. They won’t give you five placers who will win the title, but they would be solid state trophy material.

5. Providence: Uncharacteristic of typical Providence squads, this year’s Celtics are a three-man team. All three have the potential to win state titles. Cooper should win his second title in his fourth Grand March appearance, Klimara’s won it before and Togher has enough quality wins to make it happen. They’re probably a top five team no matter what happens, but they’d need three titles – and a lot of help – to win it.

6. Lockport: The Porters finished second in this race two years ago and, now that they’re healthy, will challenge. Oster was a 2009 state champion who should make it back to the finals – though he’ll be an underdog against Gosinski – but Johnson also is a legitimate finals candidate and the McMurtry brothers both can score big points. If all four make the finals, which is a long shot but possible, Lockport could steal the title.

7. Wheaton-Warrenville South: Now we get to the teams with ifs. How surprising would it be to see the Tigers – who haven’t had a state finalist in over three decades – have three in one year? Savenok and Chino have been on the awards stand before and Hall has come out of nowhere in the wide-open 215-pound class. They’re likely the only ones of the Tigers’ five qualifiers who could score, but they could win a state trophy on a hot weekend.

8. Minooka: This Indians team has more star power than last year, when the ultimate in team-concept wrestling managed just a pair of sixth-place finishes and didn’t even make the top 20 – then completed a wire-to-wire No. 1 run to the duals title. Residori and Hill both have finals potential and Zabel also could place – though 130 is a deep weight class – but DeKlerk and Ruettiger also could contribute. The Indians took some hits at the sectional, especially Oughton, who might have contributed.

9. Schaumburg: The Saxons live or die on the fortunes of LaManna and Marchok. Should both win – and if Felde also contributes – they’ll likely make the top five, which would be quite an accomplishment for a program which has had only one finalist in its history.

10. Belleville West: In my first year at the Assembly Hall, four Belleville West wrestlers came to the state meet undefeated, and a fifth took an upset first loss at the sectional. Those were the good old days. It’s been two decades since the Maroons have looked this good. But they have three legitimate placewinners: Spraggins, who went to the Grand March as a freshman, Viglasky and Ventimiglia. If Hardy can also contribute – and he has a good draw – West could crack the top 10.
Mark Schaefer was a finalist in 1994 at 119... just saying.
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