Wrestling: Three things learned
February 27, 2014 7:54PM
Updated: February 28, 2014 2:17AM
1. It’s an exclusive club. The first 76 years of the state tournament produced 11 four-time champions. Three more joined the list this year: Glenbard North’s Jered Cortez, Marmion’s Johnny Jimenez and Dakota’s Josh Alber (177-0), the first four-time unbeaten champ in the tournament’s history. Thornwood’s Kris Williams could become No. 15 next season. Williams won his third state title with an overtime win over Libertyville’s Steve Polakowski, a Minnesota recruit.
2. Let’s give an award. There isn’t an Outstanding Wrestler award given at the state tournament, but this vote would go to Mount Carmel senior Bryce Brill, winner of his third state championship. Any of the aforementioned four-timers were worthy, as was Lockport’s Brian Rossi for stomping the rugged 113-pound field, but no wrestler dominated his weight class as did the Northwestern-bound Brill. The 152-pounder’s closest match was a 14-4 major decision in the quarterfinals.
3. It’s not official. The IHSA doesn’t keep an official team score for its state tournament, but let’s take a look to see how some of the Southland teams held up. In Class 2A, Oak Forest finished fifth, Lincoln-Way West was seventh and Rich Central took 13th behind a state title from undefeated lightweight Jabari Moody. In 3A, Lockport was third, Marist finished fourth, Mount Carmel was fifth and Lincoln-Way Central ninth.