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Old 02-21-2010
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 18,958
State Championship thoughts and notes...

A note to Extreme Cardinal and Demitrios...

First I must ask. How is Demetrios? I hope that it is nothing serious and if it is serious you have my prayers and help if needed. Knee injuries were our specialty over at Team Morgan for a three year stretch including ACL rebuilt and scope and both Meniscus repair. Hopefully this is not the case and D is back on the mat asap.

Secondly I just wanted to tell Demitrios that you won last night in your own way. You went toe to toe and backed up everything EC said you would do. It is already one of the greatest matches in state history. Even without a wrestled finish to the match due to the injury default. However, I can hear it now. "Where you in the Dome when Mitchell and Schneider wrestled in the finals in 2010." You may not of got a bracket board and taking nothing away from Schneider's win, you (both) got a standing ovation from Assembly Hall. That Demitrios and Extreme Cardinal is very, very rare.

State finals thoughts still rambling through my head...
I saw a lot of potential good and heard a lot of bad in the IHSA's new toy, live t.v. for all of the championship. There will be a lot of discussion in the coming days, weeks and months about this feature of Illinois wrestling. The wrestling was excellent but the broadcast needs help. The camera fixed picture was boring. One announcer for six mats on Friday is bad enough. Then if you mix in a healthy dosage of miss pronunciations, no scoreboards, mat or clock shots you have a hot mess.

Lack of wrestling knowledge for something of this magnitude is inexcusable and you have to question the production of the show. Honestly it was embarrassing as a state to have an announcer who does not know the wrestlers or the schools much less the rules and moves. And we say we area top five state.

Good thing for this years champs Video Infinity is still making the state finals DVD.

To make it easy J.D. Oliva and Video Infinity should be providing the on air talent for the finals and directing the production.

J.D. Oliva and Video Infinity produced another Jumbotron hit this year. I especially like the tribute to Mirabella, Gerdes and Williams. Nice touch with Jeff's mom and Ken and Steve's brothers paying tribute to them. Loved the action clips. Then again I am a sucker for anything old school, wrestling included. Illinois wrestling history is deep. Ed Ewolt explained the depth as no one else could. Great stuff J.D.

Was it me or were there more glitches in the Grand March production?

And I really wonder who will take over for Dave Ganaway? If it is a non wrestling person will we have more problems within the sport? Well that is too political to worry about on the day after championships were handed out. I will leave this issue for another day and move on...

It has been a few years since we had decent weather on state finals weekend. Saturday morning the sun was partially out and causing problems for the dome staff. I entered the Dome down through the catacombs due to falling ice on the roof. Everyone coming through the pass/wrestlers entrance was re routed by our friendly senior citizen security through a maize of doors, steps, tunnels and turns. Interesting way in to say the least. But once in it was well worth the trouble. The semis were excellent.

Too much Montini over on the AA mats. Special shout out to Kevon Powell for picking up his first title. He made it look easy. T4L baby!

Marmion's Ben Whitford also started a legacy in Illinois with a 119 pound title as a freshman. Whitford is smooth as butter and when he wasn't putting wrestlers away he was scoring tons of points. Any way you look at it, he has a solid chance to get four state titles.

The Keith Surber vs Ed Cooper final score surprised me. Yes I picked Surber to win. Call it a gut call on that one. It just seemed to me like he was due for a big win. In the past I have called Saber's wrestling hot. At the state finals Surber was sizzling hot in route to the title. Surber who signed with Nebraska is going to be just fine on the college level in due time.

And Cooper wrestled great up until that finals match. He has a nice style for that weight class. But he was not on point in the finals for whatever reason. I just don't know what happened to Cooper. I never in a million years thought I would see him give up that many points in the finals or any other match. But it happens and that's why you wrestle the matches.

What the heck happened in the Malik Taylor match? Either I missed something or...I am going to just move on to another topic...

I did see a few younger faces in the officiating ranks. I hope this is a good sign.

Juhwon Akui started late due to injury from being an All State football player and finished a wresstling state champion. After scoring 25 touchdowns and over 5,000 all poupose yards on the football field Akui followed that up with a state wrestling title. Wow! Enuff said!

Munster mash! Three titles in four trys for one of Illinois best ever, Lee Minster. Not bad for a judo player. He is so smooth for a big guy. It will be so interesting to see him in the Big Ten in the future.

Speaking of judo players, Lane Tech added to their rich athletic tradition with their first state champion, super sophomore Max Schneider. Schneider's face, battered and bruised like a boxer was glowing and smiling like a winner following his title match.

Celebration of the night goes to Evanaton's Jeffery Brown. The heavyweight rocked Assembly Hall one last time sending the fans home with a final buzz because of his takedown with :10 to win a state title. Big men are not suppose to do that. Brown's running bear hug of his coach and double fist pump got the celebration started. Brown's face, covered with a big smile showed in a nutshell what the IHSA state wrestling championships are all about.

Last edited by MR TWISTER; 02-21-2010 at 11:37 PM.
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Old 02-21-2010
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mckbln mckbln is offline
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Let's not forget the 3 titles for OPRF and a 3rd place. Great job! It was a tough night for returning state champs; 3 of the 5 got beat. Come to think of was a tough tournament for the CCL. If somebody had told me going into the state championships that BOTH Cooper and Klimara were going to lose, and that between the three, St Rita, Mt Carmel, and Providence there would be only one state champ I would have said, "Yea, right."

Great night for the WSC Silver.... besides OPRF's dominating performance, Strocchia pulled a HUGE upset at 160, and although both he and Allen fell short, Hinsdale Central has a young, up and coming team.

If I had to pick an OW it would be Surber at 130lbs. He had a great tournament and really "brought it" when it counted. I don't think any of us thought he would win that big over Cooper.

Amazing job Max. Tough to compete, let alone win with a torn rotator cuff. Makes it hard to finish those throws. Hurry up and heal so you can go fight in the Youth Olympics in judo.

Of all the 2A champs I would have to say that both K. Powell and Whitford would have won it in 3A as well.

"On the bloody morning after, one tin soldier rides away..."
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