York beats Hononegah for Flavin title
By Steve Nemeth
Results from DeKalb's Don Flavin Dual Team Invitational serve as testimony to No. 10-ranked York's overall quality and its team concept.
Take for example 189-pounder Jim Nudera's indifference to risking his unbeaten record by moving up to 215 for the two-day event which finished with York's 37-15 championship victory which dethroned Hononegah.
"You do whatever coach says to do," Nudera said with a literal shrug. "I feel confident that I can win at 189 or 215 so the bottom line is if coach needs me to move up, so be it.
"Granted, I'm lucky to be pushing 200, so 215 is a little more of a challenge, but coach (Terry) Clarke does a great job of instilling a dual team mindset."
That and the Dukes' strength were on display as their margins of victory ranged from 19 to 86 during the two days of competition that boosted York's season ledger to 21-2.
"Our motto for years has been 'together we winí and that's because in order to win a dual you need 14 guys doing their job," Clarke explained.
"For some that may mean getting a pin or extra team points, for some, it might mean keeping their opponent from earning more than three team points."
In Wednesday's championship, Nudera's major decision capped off York's turning a 3-0 deficit into a 16-3 lead before Hononegah rallied to pull to within seven at 19-12 before Duke Rudy Guthrie pinned No. 4-ranked Colin Dodd in 3:11.
"That pin was gigantic," Clarke insisted. "Quite honestly, Rudy has been fighting the flu and we even thought about leaving him at home this morning, but he came up big for us."
While a tie was still mathematically possible, Valdez's 9-0 major decision, which enabled him to match Nudera in boasting a 23-0 individual record for the season, put the match on ice for York at 34-12.
After having claimed its pool with one-sided wins, 56-10 over Stagg, 82-0 over Saint Viator and 51-14 over Kaneland, York began the day with a 44-19 triumph over Prospect followed by a 38-19 semifinal victory over Glenbard West.
Hononegah, an IM 3A Honorable Mention, went from a 36-26 triumph over Kaneland to a 37-29 semifinal victory over Stillman Valley before losing to the Dukes.
While the lone setback gave the Indians a 14-6 record, coach Justin Wieman wasn't going to dwell on not repeating as Flavin champion.
"We're still figuring some things out and have some things to work on, but I'm happy that we had lots of good individual performances," Wieman said.
"It's a great tourney focusing on the team concept but guaranteeing individual wrestlers up to six matches, so we plan to keep coming back and we'll be expecting to win next year."
In the third place showdown, Class 1A No. 3-rated Stillman Valley finished atop Glenbard West in Tuesday's pool by virtue of a 34-33 match decided by the seventh tiebreaker criteria (first points scored).
However, on Wednesday the Cardinals using an altered line-up came up short in a 37-33 rematch.
"It can be tough to beat a team twice simply because the tide can turn in just a couple matches," Cardinals coach James McCarty admitted. "We won a couple we didn't in the first meeting and they did the same. At the end of what can be a long two days, it can be a test of endurance. Some guys are happy to be done and some are still hungry.
"I'm a product of 1A wrestling and I always ignored the idea of 1A vs. 2A or even 3A. We want the best possible tests for our guys and I'm proud of how we wrestled here so we definitely plan to be back. There's a lot of nice competition in a format that emphasizes the dual meet aspect while guaranteeing individuals six matches," McCarty added.
"Having to face Glenbard West again is just like in a state meet where you might face the same opponent in a wrestleback; bottom line you've always got to be ready to take care of business on the mat."
In the fifth place showdown, Prospect's Harry Hamilton scored a 5:26 pin in the closing 145-pound bout to enable the Knights to post a come-from-behind 28-27 victory over Kaneland.
Tournament host DeKalb, which lost two matches Wednesday based on the outcome of the final individual match, and Waubonsie Valley agreed to forgo their seventh-place contest since the Barbs used a 44-16 win over the Warriors on Tuesday to finish ahead of WVHS in pool competition.
"Losing a match based on the last individual bout is frustrating, but it's also a reminder how important every contest is from the start through the middle," DeKalb coach Mike Pater noted.
"Hopefully it's a learning experience the kids can remember come the postseason. It's always about winning the close matches and beating people that maybe you're not supposed to beat.
"We moved Doug (Johnson) up and he got a big win (over Prospect's No. 10-rated 130-pounder Josh Boggess) and we did the same with Jake (Jones), except he came up a little short," Pater said.
"It was also encouraging to see someone like (Dylan) Hottsmith brought up from the frosh squad and see him go 3-1 in his first varsity outing. All of those our reasons we like hosting the tournament and believe people like the format as well."
Naperville North beat Bloomington 42-31 to claim the 'Orange Bracket' crown with New Trier beating Shepard (47-32) for third. Bloomington's Kyle McAvoy was voted by the coaches as the Upper Weight Outstanding Wrestler while Stillman Valley's Nick Harrison was the Lower Weight Outstanding Wrestler.
Don Flavin Dual Team Tournament Results
Tuesday's (Dec. 28) Matches:
York 56, Stagg 10
Kaneland 67, Saint Viator 6
Naperville North 46, Shepard 18
Stillman Valley 34, Glenbard West 33 (7th tiebreaker criteria)
York 82, Saint Viator 0
Kaneland 58, Stagg 6
Glenbard West 45, Naperville North 29
Stillman Valley 73, Shepard 6
York 61, Kaneland 14
Stagg 62, Saint Viator 12
Stillman Valley 44, Naperville North 24
Glenbard West 60, Shepard 17
DeKalb 44, Waubonsie Valley 16
Fenwick 40, Burlington Central 36
Hononegah 56, New Trier 13
Prospect 39, Bloomington 23
DeKalb 49, Fenwick 27
Waubonsie Valley 37, Burlington Central 28
Hononegah 40, Prospect 15
New Trier 38, Bloomington 36
DeKalb 53, Burlington Central 16
Waubonsie Valley 54, Fenwick 23
Hononegah 44, Bloomington 22
Prospect 41, New Trier 33
Wednesday's (Dec. 29) Matches:
York 44, Prospect 19
Glenbard West 30, DeKalb 26
Stillman Valley 52, Waubonsie Valley 16
Hononegah 36, Kaneland 26
York 38, Glenbard West 19
Hononegah 37, Stillman Valley 29
Championship: York 37, Hononegah 15
3rd-Place: Glenbard West 37, Stillman Valley 33
Prospect 32, DeKalb 28
Kaneland 38, Waubonsie Valley 33
5th-Place: Prospect 28, Kaneland 27
7th-Place: DeKalb-Waubonsie Valley walk-over
Bloomington 45, Stagg 25
Shepard 34, Fenwick 23
Naperville North 45, Burlington Central 13
New Trier 63, Saint Viator 6
Bloomington 37, Shepard 32
Naperville North 42, New Trier 27
Championship: Naperville North 42, Bloomington 31
3rd-Place: New Trier 47, Shepard 32
Stagg 47, Fenwick 28
Burlington Central 70, Saint Viator 10
5th-Place: Burlington Central 45, Stagg 35
7th-Place; Fenwick 52, Saint Viator 27