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Wrestling: Montini bests Mount Carmel 40-27

Lombard 12/7/13--Montini's Jimmy Pawelski left wrestles with Mount Carmel's YahyThomas 103-pound match during Saturday's quad Montini High School. | Jeff

Lombard, 12/7/13--Montini's Jimmy Pawelski, left, wrestles with Mount Carmel's Yahya Thomas in a 103-pound match during Saturday's quad at Montini High School. | Jeff Krage~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 9, 2014 10:04AM



Two weeks into the wrestling season is a little too soon to make many definitive judgments, especially for Montini and Mount Carmel.

Both schools also are football powers and some of their best wrestlers still were playing that sport a week ago in DeKalb.

Three of them didn’t compete Saturday in Lombard at Montini’s quad: Mount Carmel’s Jimmy Mickens, top-ranked in Class 3A at 195 pounds by IllinoisMatmen.com, and Montini’s Anthony Ferraro, No. 1 in 2A at 195, and Mike Maduko, third in 2A at 182.

But full strength or not, six-time defending state champ Montini remains a force to be reckoned with as it showed in a 40-27 win over the Caravan. That wrapped up a sweep for the Broncos, who also beat Morgan Park 62-0 and Bowen 62-12. Mount Carmel rolled past Morgan Park 51-4 and Bowen 58-6.

“We got a couple transfers coming in, Kegan Calkins (from Wheaton North) and Mike Johnson (Wyoming Seminary in Pennsylvania),” Montini senior 220-pounder Edgar Ruano said. “But you know what, those guys are tough. They fit into what we do here at Montini.

“We’ve got 10 guys ranked 1 or 2 in the state, we’re ready to compete. We’re ready to make a run at, I think, our 12th (state) title and do well at the national level.”

Both Calkins and Johnson had first-period falls for the Broncos (8-0) against Mount Carmel (5-3), wrestling at 126 and 285 pounds, respectively. So did Dylan Duncan (120), another transfer, from Marmion; and Vince Turk (138).

Ruano sat out against Mount Carmel, though he did wrestle against Bowen, winning 8-2.

“It’s all good,” said Ruano, another of Montini’s football players, who took one day off after the state final before rejoining the wrestling team. “Getting the rust out. ... I’m getting there slowly but surely.”

Maduko is out till mid-January with a knee injury, according to Montini coach Israel Martinez, but Ferraro should be back sooner after being given some rest after football.

Montini, which also had a technical fall from Xavier Montalvo (160) and major decisions from Chris Garcia (145) and Mitch Navarro (170), has a couple of big tests coming up: the Ironman tourney in Ohio next weekend and Hinsdale Central’s Rex Whitlatch Invitational the weekend after that.

“We understand state titles are given out in February,” Martinez said. “So are they going to be ready? I don’t know if anybody in the country is going to be ready (in mid-December).”

Mount Carmel, meanwhile, hopes to be prepared for some big tests of its own, including the Whitlatch and Dvorak tournaments this month.

“We’re going to be a lot tougher after probably next week because we’ll get everybody where they need to be,” Caravan coach John Kading said. “The reality is we’re a young team besides Bryce (Brill, a senior 152-pounder and defending state champ) and Jimmy. ... We’ll be there when it counts.”

Brill had a tech fall for the Caravan, while Jake Tucker (132) scored a first-period fall and Aaron Davis (220) had a major decision.



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