Wrestling: Thornwood’s Williams earns tournament championship
By Logan Malloy For Sun-Times Media December 21, 2013 11:00PM
Updated: December 22, 2013 2:15AM
Two-time state champion Kris Williams is slowly moving up the food chain.
After outsizing most of his opponents the past two seasons as the state’s 106- and 113-pound champion, Williams was at a noticeable size disadvantage against Merrillville, Ind., junior Justin Johnson in the 120-pound championship Saturday at the Rich East Rocket Invitational.
“He was bigger. He felt stronger than me,” said Williams, who is competing for Thornwood after two seasons at Thornton. “He came out real aggressive, so I just did the same thing he did.”
Williams countered with speed and polished technique, taking an 8-0 first-period lead before landing a pin 30 seconds into the second round.
Williams was named the invite’s Most Outstanding Wrestler.
“I had the better technique,” he said. “I’m definitely faster than my weight class.”
Another wrestler with speed for his weight was Bloom’s Johnnie Foster (182 pounds). Foster was trailing 5-2 in the finals before snapping past a cradle and flattening Merrillville’s Mathew Hollins for a first-period fall.
“My coach always tells us to keep fighting even if you’re in a bad position,” Foster said. “He got the cradle on me but I kept using my athletic ability to break through.”
Merrillville had six individual titles, led by heavyweight Shawn Steck, to earn its eighth straight team championship. Bloom finished second, and Rich East, behind a title from Aaron Bouie (195), was third in the 15-team event.
“Man, I can’t even describe this feeling,” Boiue said. “This is definitely the highlight of (my career).”
Oak Lawn’s Joe Robinson and Rich South’s Cody Ralston engaged in a competitive match for the 170-pound crown. At one point, Robinson sent Ralston airborne with a powerful reversal for a 7-2 lead. Robinson secured the pin a minute later to improve to 15-1.
“I just cut down to 170 this week,” Robinson said. “Those guys (at 182) were a little too big for me.”
Rich Central junior Jabary Moody (113) won his second Rocket championship.
T.F. South’s Jake Tisza seized the 138-pound bracket. Tisza’s older brother, Blake, was the invite’s Most Outstanding Wrestler last season.
Other champions included Bloom’s Dominique Taylor (160) and Thornton’s Larry Henderson (220).