Montini Outlasts Mt. Carmelís Upset Bid
By Andre’ Morgan
In the slush and snow of the first 2010 Chicago snowstorm, Montini’s new Head Coach Israel Martinez brought his Illinois Best Weekly second ranked (AA) Bronco’s to Mt. Carmel early Saturday morning looking for competition. Despite a gaudy 5 and 0 record, Martinez didn’t feel he had seen his team tested yet so far. With several important tournaments like the Ironman, The Clash and the Dvorak looming on the horizon, it was time to get some gut check matches.
Sometimes it is be careful what you ask for (you might get it) as the Bronco’s had to survive some late heroics from upset minded, eight ranked (AAA) Mt. Carmel (5-3) to pull out the 32 to 24 win.
“What we tried to do was get some better matchups,” said Martinez. “Winning the dual meet to me is not as important as it has been in the past.”
Montini showed signs early of sending Mt. Carmel back to bed and turning the dual into a rout. Rolling out four straight wins to build a 15-0 lead the Broncos got started fast at 112 pounds when Michael Gibson posted a solid 7 to 3 decision. Gibson hit a couple of cheap tilt’s to lead 4-0 through two periods and never really allowed Hernandez to get any offense going.
The Bronco’s state champion, KeVon Powell made his season debut at 119 next against Payton Brezinski. Although leading the match the whole way and controlling the action, Powell found himself working a 6-3 lead going into the third period.
“I was just trying to get my timing right”, said Powell. “I am not surprised at how Mt. Carmel came at us. They are a great team, a great program and they came ready to battle. We are state champs and we have a target on our back. I am ready for that challenge.”
When Brezinski missed on a low single shot and Powell hit a textbook pancake, missing the fall as time expired but gaining the 11-3 win and increasing Montini’s lead to 7-0.
Sophomore Michael Sepke stepped in the circle at 125 and dismantled Mt. Carmel’s Jim Regan 23 to 8. Using a series of cheap tilts, he built a 19 to 6 lead through two periods. In the third and looking for the fall he got extra aggressive but had to settle for the technical fall boosting the lead to 12 to 0.
Caravan junior state qualifier Brendan Tyler-Hall and Chris Garcia locked up in a tight battle tied at 2 to 2. With 28 seconds left in the 130 pound match Garcia got the takedown needed and the Bronco’s bench erupted.
Montini forfeited the 135-pound match and bumped up Drew Vrbenec to face Northern Illinois recruit Tyler Argue at 140 pounds.
Argue hit the first takedown but Vrbenec showed he was ready hitting Argue with a leg cradle to tie the score at 10-10 late into the third. That got the Caravan All Stater’s attention and a single leg takedown by Argue sealed the win. Suddenly Mt. Carmel was back in the dual 15 to 9.
“I believe moving Drew Vrbenec up was a great decision”: said Martinez. “He realized that he could beat aTyler Argue who is one of the best kids in the state.”
Another close match ensued at 145 pounds with Mt. Carmel’s Kevin Skryzpiec dropping a 4 to 3 decision to fellow senior Frank Baer. Leading 3 to 2 with 18 seconds Baer got the reversal out of a scramble to secure the win.
In what was thought to be the feature match up prior to the dual, the 152 pound match up between the Robertson’s, Stephen from Montini and Mt. Carmel’s Ricky turned out to be a dud. Stephen, the defending state champ displayed a takedown clinic on the Caravan’s state qualifier Ricky. Stephen, signed with University of Penn led 10 to 5, hitting singles out of tie-ups and closed out the third period with a single to a double narrowly missing the tech fall. The 22 to 9 final decision pushed the team score to the same 22 to 9 lead with Montini winning six of the first eight matches. However, three of those six matches were only by four points or less and the Bronco’s won two in the last thirty seconds.
Without Jason Erwinski, Mt. Carmel head coach on the bench, the Caravan came storming back into the dual. Erwinski was absent due to some personal family matters but you could not tell at the end. Scoring with back-to-back falls and a decision Mt. Carmel took a 24 to 21 lead on the back-to-back state champions, the dual was about to get interesting.
Mt. Carmel’s Nick Williams recorded a falll at 3:02 over Mike Maduko at 160. Maduko was filling in for regular Montini starter Dimitri Willis, who is just getting back into wrestling shape. Willis’ played running back on Montini’s back-to-back state champion football team.
The Williams pin brought the score to 22 to 15 and was followed by another fall from senior Sterling Hicks at 5:15 over Montni’s John Nugent in the 171-weight class.
Trailing 22 to 21, Mt. Carmel freshman Jimmy Mickens gave the Caravan their first lead 24 to 22 with his slim 3 to 1 victory over Anthony Ferraro.
In a rematch of the 2008 IKWF championship, Montini’s Edgar Ruano and David Denne, the Mt. Carmel state qualifier battled to a scoreless first period. Denne scored the first point with an escape in the second period but gave up a technical violation for a head slap to tie the match 1 to 1. “The plan in the third was to get out the bottom but it took me a little longer than expected, but I got it done,” lamented Ruano. “I am happy with the win.”
With the match, looking like it was headed to overtime Ruano scored a takedown on the taller Denne to win the match 3 to 1 and regain the lead 25 to 24 for Ruano. “He stays in good position,” noted Ruano. “He likes to beat on the head, wear you down., he’s a little stronger so I have to stay in good position and get him out of position.”
With two matches to go Montini called on veteran Ross Ferraro to end the Caravan comeback. Initially the match was not looking like Ferraro would dominate it. Mt. Carmel’s Amanio Brown – Hall thwarted every offensive shot by the smaller but athletic Ferraro.
“I am always on the tip of my toes, never judging a book by it’s cover and just do the best I can”’, said Ferraro. “
A senior offensive lineman for the Bronco’s football squad took the match into overtime before countering a Brown – Hall attempted throw into his own five-point move for the win.
“It usually takes me about a week, week and a half to get back into wrestling shape,” said Ferraro. “I took twelve hours off (after the football title game) and got right back into the wrestling room Monday morning. A match like this gets us ready for the tougher tournaments coming up and definitely gets us fired up.”
The 28 to 24 Bronco lead meant Mt. Carmel would need at least a major to tie or technical from the smaller Jack Diana at 103 pounds over Tommy Pawelski.
Montini closed out the dual with a business like 9 to 4 decision, winning the last three matches and nine of fourteen weights.
“We are building,” concluded Martinez. “We are trying to work towards the goal and the goal is to win a state championship.”
Last edited by admin; 12-04-2010 at 07:28 PM.